IIR's Immigrant Stories Project Adds China!

IIR's Immigrant Stories Project Adds China!

The Institute for Immigration Research (IIR) is proud to announce that The Immigrant Stories Project has added added immigrants from China. This is the sixth profile in this project.

Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans have become the targets of misplaced anger and abuse in recent weeks, and Chinese-owned businesses have suffered a great deal during the COVID-19 crisis. In order the highlight facts about Chinese immigrants and their contributions to the United States, the IIR's Immigrant Stories webpage now includes a new fact sheet and analysis of immigrants from China living in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metro areas.

The Chinese story also includes an interview with with world renowned chef Peter Chang. Chef Chang describes his journey to the United States, what motivated him to create a chain of authentic Chinese restaurants, and how his businesses are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Born in 1963 in a small farming village in Hubei Province in central China, Chang never believed he would become a chef. Yet he went to the culinary school and graduated with outstanding grades. Soon, Chang worked at 5-star hotels in China and won national cooking competitions. He and his family arrived in the United States in April, 2001. Today, Chang owns multiple Chinese restaurants in the Washington, DC metro area including Mama Chang in Fairfax, VA. It features recipes by Chang’s wife and mother and honors the women in Chang’s family for their influences in Chang’s culinary career.  “It focuses on home-cooked meals and reminds people so much of what they had growing up,” according to Chang. When the pandemic hit, Chang chose not to close his restaurants because his employees need to support themselves and his customers need to eat. He adapted and transformed his business model. "When the market is sluggish, it is time for restaurants to think about how to survive, and I am happy that I put it into practice.” Chang stated.

Chef Chang was interviewed by IIR postdoctoral fellow Wenjing Wang in April 2020. 

The Immigrant Stories Project aims to provide essential information regarding immigrant populations in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland metro areas by combining data and personal stories. In addition to China, the project includes stories and data on immigrants from Afghanistan, Bolivia, the Caribbean, India, Korea, and Pakistan. Additional countries of origin will be included in the future.

Explore More Immigrant Stories Here

Visit our website, www.iir.gmu.edu, for more data and analysis of immigrants and immigration in the United States.