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"They came here and they found jobs within a month or two and are making ten, eleven, twelve dollars an hour," he said.A 2002 community directory provides listings of 13 Hmong community organizations and 39 Hmong religious congregations in the Minneapolis-St. Whereas many Hmong in California's Central Valley have taken up their old occupations of farming, those in Minneapolis have found jobs working in factories.
With the first wave that arrived in the late 1970s and early 1980s, voluntary resettlement agencies purposely tried to disperse the Hmong around the country, such as Providence (RI), Philadelphia, Chicago, Des Moines, Iowa, Kansas City (KS), Denver, Missoula (MT), Tulsa, and Salt Lake City.
The first Hmong migration of notable size to the United States began with the fall of Saigon and Laos to Communist forces in 1975.
Many Hmong had worked with pro-American anti-Communist forces during the conflicts in Vietnam and Laos.
From 1981 to 1986, the number of Hmong refugees slowed to a few thousand each year, but admissions picked up again between 19, when about 56,000 Hmong refugees were accepted.
After 1994, Hmong refugee admissions slowed to a trickle as most of the Thai camps were by now empty, with the remaining Hmong repatriated to Laos.And the United States' first Hmong politician, a 32-year-old female lawyer named Mee Moua, was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 2002.