Association of Indians in America

Identification: National association of Asian Indians

Date: Founded on August 20, 1967

Significance: The association has provided a unified voice and sense of purpose for the nearly two million people of Asian Indian descent living in the United States, gathering them under the common bonds of Indian heritage and commitment to the United States.

In 1965, Congress passed a new Immigration and Nationality Act, repealing the Immigration Act of 1917 and opening the door to immigrants from India, who soon arrived in large numbers. Founded in 1967 and incorporated in 1971, the Association of Indians in America (AIA) is the oldest association of Asian Indians in the United States. The AIA has three goals: to support the social welfare of Asian Indians living in the United States and to ease their transition into the mainstream; to help members work for development in India; and to provide charitable, cultural, and educational means for Asian Indians to participate in American community life. The AIA is a grassroots organization with chapters throughout the United States. It has worked to gain political recognition of Asian Indians by the federal government, to lobby for the reunification of families, to promote scholarship in areas affecting public policy, to support voter registration, and to assemble resources to aid victims of natural disasters around the world.

Cynthia A. Bily

Further Reading

Bacon, Jean Leslie. Life Lines: Community, Family, and Assimilation Among Asian Indian Immigrants. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Das Gupta, Monisha. Unruly Immigrants: Rights, Activism, and Transnational South Asian Politics in the United States. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006.

Ng, Franklin, ed. The Asian American Encyclopedia. Tarrytown, N.Y.: Marshall Cavendish, 1995.

See also: Asian immigrants; Asian Indian immigrants; Immigration Act of 1917; Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965; Motel industry.

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