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How California has helped shape US refugee policy




A sign of celebration at the Camp Pendleton village for Vietnamese refugees, Spring 1975. Refugees from Southeast Asia in California played a critical role in helping to shape the landmark 1980 federal law on refugees.
A sign of celebration at the Camp Pendleton village for Vietnamese refugees, Spring 1975. Refugees from Southeast Asia in California played a critical role in helping to shape the landmark 1980 federal law on refugees.
Courtesy of UCI Southeast Asian Archives and John Scire

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California has often played a special role in helping to shape the nation's immigration policy. That's also the case when it comes to refugees.

"California has had a distinct impact on refugee policy," said Kevin Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis. "California, because it receives so many immigrants and refugees has been a big player and a big leader when it comes to immigration."

A Martínez spoke with Kevin Johnson of UC Davis. To hear the full conversation, click the blue player above.