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Asian Americans have a long history in the United States with the earliest settlements composed of Filipino sailors in the mid-1700s; they first debarked in Mexico as part of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade and subsequently, settled in Louisiana. A more sizable population of Chinese sailors and merchants arrived
in the 1840s in New York, followed by an even bigger wave of miners and railroad workers to California following the Gold Rush. Many other Asian immigrant groups arrived in the late 1800s, but an increasingly restrictive set of immigration laws and racial violence kept their numbers relatively small. Only after the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which eliminated national origin quotas, did Asian Americans grow in large numbers. Given the suppression of Asian migration prior to 1965, this sizable numerical growth has also meant rapid rates of growth that started in the early 1970s and continue to today, with a growth of 46 percent from 2000 to 2010 and a growth of 10 percent from 2010 to 2013. Interestingly, the U.S. Census Bureau did not even begin to classify Asians together as a racial group until 1990, when it included 10 groups under the category of Asian or Pacific Islander, or API.