Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

William Ascher

Rights Information

© 2013 Pricilla Hsu


The research in this thesis will look at the lives of a very specific group of Chinese immigrant workers in the restaurant industry, particularly those in the metropolitan city of Los Angeles. While unskilled Chinese workers are popular in the Chinese restaurant business because of the lack of skills required, they are quite mobile between the manufacturing and construction sectors as well. Working conditions are less than ideal for these immigrants, who find that life in America may not be what they expected prior to arrival. Though there are many organizations that seek to improve the lives of immigrants already residing in the United States, better efforts towards coordination could be put forth to ensure the availability and knowledge of these resources. Though Asian immigrants and their children have a reputation as a high-achieving model minority, there still remains a class of people who struggle with the same issues of relocation and assimilation as other immigrants. This research hopes to analyze the patterns of immigration for workers like these, to evaluate whether it is still feasible to achieve the American dream, and, if necessary, re-think U.S. immigration policy by looking to our Northern neighbors Canada and providing some policy recommendations.


Peter Kiang Senior Thesis Paper Prize, Asian-American Studies at the Claremont Colleges