Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cambodians are a relatively new immigrant group to the United States, arriving in significant numbers following the U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia in April 1975. As a group, Cambodians made up about 15% of the over 1 million refugees arriving from Southeast Asia between 1975 and 1993. A key feature of this immigrant group is that they came to the United States as refugees with a high degree of physical and psychological trauma resulting from the radical communist reforms instituted by the Khmer Rouge, who controlled Cambodia's government from April 1975 to late December 1978. Cambodians arrived in the United States during an economic recession and a time of growing social and political conservatism, which would lead to significant reductions in public assistance programs. Because Cambodians had no prior immigration history with the United States, there were no well-established Cambodian communities to provide linguistic, emotional, and economic support for adjustment. ...