Penn State International Law Review


Vietnamese disparagingly refer to them as bui doi. Americans refer to them as persons "of particular humanitarian concern to the United States." In both cases the reference is to Amerasians, the children and young adults of mixed American/Asian parentage. For the purpose of this Comment, an Amerasian may be defined as one whose mother is Asian and whose father is American. Since the last United States forces pulled out of Vietnam on April 30, 1975, these Amerasians have been caught up in a bureaucratic tug-of-war between Washington and Hanoi. Despite positive legislation, the problems faced by Vietnamese Amerasians still exist and will continue to exist until the governments of the United States and Vietnam cease playing politics.

This Comment addresses the problems faced by Vietnamese Amerasians and the solutions which have thus far been implemented. Specifically, Section II provides background material including examinations of the scope of the problem, the nature of the Amerasians' plight, and the Orderly Departure Program (ODP). Section III analyzes the 1982 Amerasian Act, discussing its effects and criticizing its restrictiveness. Section IV looks at President Reagan's 1984 Amerasian initiative which called for the admission of all Amerasians from Vietnam by 1987. Next, Section V analyzes the 1987 Refugee Act. Section VI discusses three recent developments. Section VII presents a case study of the French approach to the problem. Finally, Section VIII lists several recommendations.