An official Ethiopian goodwill delegation was dispatched to the United States in 1919 to congratulate the Allies on their victory in World War I. Dejazmach Nadew, the nephew of Empress Zawditu and Commander of the Imperial Army, was among the four-member delegation, which also comprised Blattengeta Heruy Welde Sellase, Mayor of Addis Ababa, Kentiba Gebru, Mayor of Gondar, and Ato Sinkas, Dejazmach Nadew’s secretary. Emperor Haile Selassie sent out the first wave of Ethiopian students to complete their education overseas after his official coronation. A group of over a dozen Ethiopian students also traveled to the United States. Makonnen Desta, a Harvard anthropology graduate who later became the interim Ethiopian Minister of Education, Makonnen Haile, a Cornell finance graduate, and Ingida Yohannes, a New York University veterinary medicine graduate, were among them. Melaku Beyen, Besha Worrid Hapte Wold, and Worku Gobena, three additional students, went to Muskingum, an Ohio missionary institution, with two of them eventually transferring to Ohio State University. Melaku Beyan, one of the two that went to Ohio State, went on to Howard Medical School in Washington, D.C. to get his medical degree. Between 1941 and 1974, around 20,000 Ethiopians travelled to the West to pursue higher education and execute diplomatic missions under the leadership of Haile Selassie. However, the net movement of permanent immigrants remained low during this time because most temporary immigrants returned to Ethiopia with a Western education and near-certain political success, while the country’s relative stability determined that few Ethiopians would be granted asylum in the United States. The 1965 Immigration Act, the Refugee Act of 1980, and the Immigration Act of 1990’s Diversity Visa Program all contributed to a lower net movement of permanent immigrants during this time. Following the Eritrean–Ethiopian War in the 1990s, the majority of Ethiopian immigrants arrived later in the decade. Between 1992 and 2002, Ethiopians immigrated to the United States at a rate of roughly 5,000 people each year. Since then, Ethiopian Americans have developed ethnic enclaves around the country, particularly in Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Due to its many Ethiopian stores and restaurants, as well as a high concentration of residents of Ethiopian and Eritrean descent, Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, California, has become known as Little Ethiopia.
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