But some Vietnamese refugees, like Carolee Tran, who arrived in this country when she was 8, faced significant hardship and racism. Her name, GiaoUyen, was Americanized. “My father told us, “if they can’t say your name, they won’t think of you as a person,” she told us.

Today, as Afghan and Ukrainian migrants settle in the United States, we asked whether refugee resettlement is better now than it was for Vietnamese refugees 50 years ago, and what may be owed to people across the globe fleeing war, destruction and despair.

As Kenneth Quinn, a former ambassador and foreign service officer told us, “All societies are determined by answering that question: To whom do I have an obligation?”

JOSEPH HOGAN is a producer at Retro Report. This article first appeared in Retro Report’s free weekly newsletter. Subscribe and receive lessons from history in your mailbox. Follow us on Twitter @RetroReport.

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