What is Amerasian?

According to the definition as explained by Wikepedia, Amerasian is a person born in Asia, to a U.S. military father and an Asian mother. The term has sometimes been used to describe a person in the United States of mixed Asian and non-Asian ancestry, regardless of the circumstances.

Several countries have significant populations of Amerasians, including the islands that dot the Pacific Ocean. These countries include Japan (Okinawa), Thailand (Phuket and Pattaya Beach), South Korea, the former South Vietnam, and most notably, the Philippines, where the largest U.S. air and naval bases outside the U.S. mainland were situated.

The term was coined by writer Pearl S. Buck and was formalized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Many people were born to Asian women and U.S. servicemen during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The official definition of Amerasian came about as a result of Public Law 97-359, enacted by the 97th Congress of the United States on October 22, 1982.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), an Amerasian is: “[A]n alien who was born in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand after December 31, 1950, and before October 22, 1982, and was fathered by a U.S. citizen.”[1] The Amerasian Foundation (AF) and Amerasian Family Finder (AFF) define an Amerasian as: “Any person who was fathered by a citizen of the United States (an American servicemen, American expatriate, or U.S. Government Employee (Regular or Contract)) and whose mother is, or was, an Asian National Asian.”[2]

The term is commonly applied to half Japanese children fathered by a U.S. serviceman in Japan on the island of Okinawa, as well as half-Korean children fathered by veterans of the Korean War or stationary soldiers in South Korea. The term is also applied to children of Filipinos and American rulers during the U.S. colonial period of the Philippines (but is still used until today) and children of Thais and U.S. soldiers during World War II and the Vietnam War. The U.S. military stationed bases in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Children born to mainland U.S. and native Pacific Islander parents in U.S.-controlled Pacific Islands are also sometimes considered Amerasian.

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