What was "Operation New Arrivals?"
Learn how 1975's record-setting operation still shapes San Diego's refugee communities. When the Vietnam War ended in April 1975, there was a big problem: 130,000 Vietnamese people in Saigon who would be at risk to stay there. Over the course of 5 months in 1975, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Army ran Operation New Arrivals to give these refugees new homes in the United States. This effort remains the largest ever resettlement in United States history-- and San Diego's Camp Pendleton openned as the first mainland processing center, and received the largest numbers resettled during the operation-- upwards of 50,000 people. This operation would make San Diego a major U.S. refugee resettlement site and City Heights the vibrant community it still is today.
While many of the people who began their American journey in Camp Pendleton's "tent city" moved away later, nearly 800,000 Vietnamese people emmigrated over the following decades, and many have stayed where there was a history in San Diego. Today about 33,000 Vietnamese-Americans call San Diego their home, and the Little Saigon District can be found along El Cajon Boulevard between Highland Ave and Euclid Ave in City Heights.
Source: Calls To Action