Asians Expand Influence In U.S. Through Increased Immigration

Asians now represent the largest group of immigrants arriving to the US yearly.

In the New York Times article “In a Shift, Biggest Waves of Migrants Is Now Asian”, Kirk Semple discusses the rapidly increasing immigration of Asians to the United States. According to the article, recent statistics have shown that in 2010, Asians outnumbered Hispanics in immigration 36% to 31% respectively where as in 2007, only three years earlier, the statistics were completely reversed. The recent decrease in Hispanic immigration can be attributed to a few different factors – these factors include the declining American economy, the increasing deportation and border control, and the decreasing rate of births in Mexico. In addition, almost 45% of Hispanic immigrants are in the United States illegally, while only 13-15% of Asian immigrants are undocumented. This statistic is fascinating and I think can be ascribed to the close proximity of Mexico being a border country while Asians, being so much further away, have difficulty entering the country without documents and a passport.

Since the California Immigration Semester course has been primarily focusing on Mexican immigrants, I was interested to discover that the trend of Asian immigrants is actually exceeding Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants. Will Asian immigration continue to expand? Will Hispanic immigration continue to decline? How will policies and laws change which groups can enter and stay in the country?

In a study done by the Pew Research Center called “The Rise of Asian-Americans,” Asian-American immigrants were studied over time. Research shows that while a century ago, Asians were most commonly “low-skilled, low-wage laborers crowded into ethnic enclaves and targets of official discrimination,” (similar to what Professor Jan Lin talked to us about) the tide of discrimination has somewhat passed. Today, among all other ethnic groups, Asian-Americans are the most likely to live in culturally diverse neighborhoods and to marry across racial lines.

I think these studies are important, not to argue that Asians or any other groups are superior in any way, but rather to acknowledge that the demographics of immigration are always changing. I am interested to see

what happens over the upcoming years and decades; I think I’ll be much more aware of it now. In 30 years, how will the demographics of the United States be different from 2012?

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