In 1989, the American Homecoming Act helped children born from U.S soldiers in Vietnam come to the U.S with their families. They based this only on the child’s appearance. About 23,000 Amerasians and 67,000 of their relatives entered the United States under this act. It was controversial since it didn’t apply to the kids of U.S soldiers in other countries.
In 1952 Irishman Michael Patrick O’Brien was trapped on a boat between Hong Kong and Macao for 11 months. He didn’t have the papers to get off at either end of the trip and no one would issue them to him.
Anthony Rossi who founded Tropicana Products in 1945 was an Italian immigrant who arrived in the US with $25 and did not know English. He developed an orange juice pasteurization process to allow transport from the factory in Florida to as far away as New York starting in 1970.
In 1913, 15 young men from Japan set sail on a fishing boat across the Pacific hoping to settle in America. After a 2 month journey they landed in Northern California and were fed and helped by a Native American tribe. A few days later they were caught by immigration officers and deported.
In 1979, two families escaped East Germany in a homemade hot air balloon. They flew for 28 minutes at −8 °C (18 °F) with no shelter as the gondola was just a clothesline railing. They landed just 10km (6.2 mi) from the border. The escape was planned out over 1 and 1/2 years and took 3 attempts.
The owner and only resident of this ghost town Lucin, Utah is a former Prague University engineering student who at 24 escaped the Iron Curtain in 1984 using his DIY glider powered with a 600cc Trabant engine, and landed undetected at Vienna International Airport.
Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago with a population of 3 000, is the only visa-free zone in the world meaning that anybody may live and work there indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship.
A Dutch church performed services continuously for 96 days, to stop the government from expelling an Armenian family. They relied on a medieval law that says authorities can’t enter a church while a religious service is being performed. The government let the family stay.
The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard which is roughly the size of Ireland is an entirely visa-free zone, meaning anyone may live and work on Svalbard indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship.
Orestes Lorenzo, a Cuban fighter pilot, defected to the US. He flew to Florida in a MiG-23 and requested his family join him, when his family were banned from leaving Cuba he raised money to buy a plane. He then flew back to Cuba, landed on a highway an bought his family back himself.