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Pew Research says number of new immigrants from Asia exceeds Hispanic immigration

A report released Tuesday says that new immigration from Asian countries now outnumber the immigration of Hispanics. The Pew Research Center also says that recent Asian immigrants are three times more likely than any other foreign nationals to get permanent resident status through employment based visa processes rather than family sponsorship in immigration law.

The recently released findings say that roughly 430,000 Asians arrived in the United States in 2010. That represents 36 percent of all new immigrants to the country in that year. The Pew Research findings say that about 370,000 Hispanic immigrants came to America in 2010, or roughly 31 percent of all new immigration that year.

Sources say that the apparent shift in immigration reflects changes in immigration policy dating back to the 1990s. Many of the immigrants from India China and South Korea entered the country on specialty work visas aimed to attract skilled workers to America. However, the shift is also partially attributed to the EB-5 visa program.

The investor visa program has gained increased attention in recent years as the U.S. economy has struggled. Wealthy investors can find a pathway to permanent residency under the EB-5 investment visa program, which commentators say is gaining in popularity among immigrants from China and India. This blog has discussed the EB-5 investor visa program on a number of occasions.

Commentators suggest that the recent doldrums in the American economy is not the only reason the EB-5 investor visas have gained new found popularity-commentators note that the specialty employment based visa programs for skilled workers are subject to caps that create waiting lists for skilled foreign nationals.

U.S. businesses have asked Congress to pass employment based immigration reform measures to reduce the backlog in immigration cases. However, political bickering has stalled most efforts to pass immigration reform in Congress.

The recent Pew Research findings indicate that in 2000, roughly 1.2 million Hispanics came to the United States. That number has dropped in recent years. In 2007, 540,000 Hispanic immigrants came to America, while roughly 390,000 new immigrants hailed from Asian countries.

Sources:

  • Bradenton Herald, "New Asian immigrants to US now surpass Hispanics," Hope Yen-Associated Press, June 19, 2012
  • Philadelphia Inquirer, "Asians now lead Latinos in annual immigration," Michael Matza, June 20, 2012

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