The Growing Asian Immigrant Population

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryBack in 2008, when my wife took the oath of U.S. citizenship, the majority of those who were also taking the oath of citizenship came from India and Pakistan. The second largest number taking to oath of citizenship came from Eastern Europe, and the third largest largest group came from Latin America and elsewhere. What surprised my wife and me was the fact that the majority of those becoming U.S. citizens came from Asia rather than Latin America. According to U.S. immigration statistics from 2010, the number of Asian immigrants coming to the United States surpassed the number of immigrants coming from Latin America for the first time. The number of Asian immigrants coming to the United States was 36 percent compared to 31 percent of immigrants coming from Latin America.

There are a number of factors contributing to this. First, the number of immigrants from Latin America has slowed down. Many employers want high skilled and highly trained workers in a number of technical fields such as computer technology, engineering, the medical arts, and electronics. Second, the number of those with skills like those needed by employers are trained in Asia. In fact, the sheer number of those trained in these fields is far larger in Asia than anywhere else in the world. Finally, the sheer number of people living in Asia determines that this will in the long-run be the largest immigration group to America. The main reason why Latin American immigrants have come to the United States in greater numbers is the close proximity to this country. This factor still aids those who want to immigrate from Latin America to this country.

However, the number of skilled workers and experts come from Asia. No other continent has so many people trained in the technical fields compared to that continent. For that matter, no other continent has as many people as Asia. These factors alone will eventually tip the balance of U.S. immigration in the years to come. Of course, this will not change the fact that many immigrants come from Latin America who will still come to this country. Immigration from Latin America will remain a significant factor in the mosaic that is immigrant America.

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