In those days, they took only 100 immigrants from India.: Becoming Minnesotan

Sudhansu Misra, c.1995.
  • Name - Sudhansu Misra
  • Age at interview - 64
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview -
    06.07.1993
    05.05.1994
  • A 100 year old home in Goa, India, now a bed and breakfast, 2010.

    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Opportunities in America: What kind of opportunities does this person see in America that he/she did not have in the homeland?

    Words to look for

    immigrant
    visa

    Background Information

    Immigration laws have changed over time.  Until 1965 the U.S. used a quota system to determine how many applicants from each country throughout the world would be given a visa to immigrate to the U.S.  European countries had a much higher quota than Asian and African countries did.  Currently, the U.S. distributes visas based on specialized work skills, family reunification, and refugee status.

    To learn more about Asian Indian history and culture, visit our Asian Indian Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Sudhansu Misra 3
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    Transcription

    Narrator: Sudhansu Misra (SM)

    Interviewer: Polly Sonifer (PS)

    SM:  Right after I joined Honeywell, they applied for my immigration visa. In those days, they took only 100 immigrants from India throughout the year, so I was one of the hundred. That was until Kennedy became the president, 1964.  So, they didn't have any other routes, so you had to be within that hundred.  So, I was in the preference because I was working for the military at UNIX and for the Honeywell Company.  And then, they went and investigated my very roots, right from the school days, went to my high school teacher.

    PS:  In India?

    SM:  Yes, everything was investigated because I was not only considered for immigrant, I was also going for a secret clearance.  Immigration visa wasn't too hard, but the secret clearance, that was very involved.

    PS:  Did they talk to your teachers in India and your family?

    SM: Yes, yes.  Family, teachers, friends, whoever I gave as a reference.  They made an inquiry, yes.


    Related Glossary Terms

    clearance

    Noun: Permission for a person to travel.

    immigrant

    Noun:  A person who comes to a country to permanently settle from another country.

    involved

    Adjective:  Complicated.

    visa

    Noun:  A permit to enter and leave a country, normally issued by the authorities of the country to be visited.

    Citation

    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
    nid: 619