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Immigration

Asians Surpass Latinos in Immigration to United States

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Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 8:04 AM

click to enlarge AGENTAKIT
  • AgentAkit
Asians have, since 2009, surpassed Latinos in immigration to the United States, according to a new Pew study. So all you immigrant haters out there have a new group to target!

Asians outpaced Latinos in sending folks stateside (36 percent of new immigrants in 2010 were Asian, compared to 31 percent who were Latino) -- and as much as 15 percent of the Asian immigrant population in America is "unauthorized," aka illegal. (For Latinos, that number is more like 45 percent. Ay, caramba!)

The Pew Research Center report, "The Rise of Asian Americans," says an Asian immigrant is a quality immigrant:

Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.

The study found that 3 out of 4 Asian American adults were born abroad, 6 in 10 of Asian newcomers have at least a bachelor's degree, and Asian immigrants are three times as likely as other immigrants to get their green cards through work sponsorship (as opposed to, say, family status).

Nearly half of all Asian Americans (49 percent) have a college degree (compared to 28 percent of all American adults), and they have an average household income of $66,000 versus $49,800 for all Americans.

That's progress. According to Pew:

A century ago, most Asian Americans were low-skilled, low-wage laborers crowded into ethnic enclaves and targets of official discrimination.

Sounds like they were the original Mexicans.

Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Indian Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans and Japanese Americans comprise 83 percent of the United States' population with Asian heritage.

You sometimes hear from Asian immigrants that things are better, economically, back home in places like Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo. But the Asian immigrants surveyed here say it ain't so:

Just 12% say that if they had to do it all over again, they would remain in their country of origin. And by lopsided margins, Asian Americans say the U.S. is preferable to their country of origin in such realms as providing economic opportunity, political and religious freedoms, and good conditions for raising children.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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