America Experiencing an Unprecedented Flow of Asian Immigrants

Asians are America's new immigrant group sensation. (Image: Thomas via flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)
Asians are America's new immigrant group sensation. (Image: Thomas via flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

Asians remain the largest growing ethnic group in the United States. The Asian population in the U.S. is 21 million, and their numbers continue to grow. Asians have only become the largest growing population in the U.S. since 2000, when they surpassed Mexicans.

Considering how far Asia is from the U.S. and how close Mexico, Canada, and other countries in the Americas are makes this a long and worthwhile journey for all the new Asian migrants with exploding populations in the United States.

The country with the most people coming to America to immigrate is China. China replaced Mexico in 2013 for having the highest number of immigrants to the United States.

Most of those Chinese and Asian immigrants end up in California, which not only has the largest population of Asians in the U.S., but also has the largest population of most ethnic groups that live in the U.S. New York State has the most black people, while Hawaii has the most native Hawaiians.

Immigration from Asia grew by an astounding 2,597 percent from 1960 to 2014. The Asians who have come tend to do fairly well.

Usually, they do better financially, hold a higher percentage of management positions, and are more educated than other immigrant groups, and even do better than the native U.S. population. They usually end up settling legally in the United States through family ties, employment situations, or because they are refugees who have suffered under communist rule in China.

An interesting fact is that not only are Chinese now immigrating in larger numbers than other nationalities, they were the first Asian immigrants to the United States back in the 1850s, when Asians started coming in. They first came to America to work in gold mines and on the railroad system.

By 1868, The United States set up the Burlingame Treaty, which encouraged Chinese immigration, but did not permit Chinese to become full U.S. citizens.

Following that, Chinese immigration slowed due to further anti-immigration legislation, so other Asian immigrant groups started to flow in instead, but that was also slowed. People in America even formed the Asian Exclusion League for the purpose of combating immigration from Asian countries.

Japan supported those efforts, since a large number of people were leaving the country to work in the United States, and the Japanese government wanted to keep them in Japan.

During World War II, the United States introduced legislation that made it easier for Asians serving in the U.S. military to gain citizenship. This allowed the U.S. some strategic advantage in ways that could help it benefit during the war while helping people find a way to immigrate.

Only since 1965 were policies designed to limit people by country preference neutralized. The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act was the manifestation of a fairer immigration policy.

Currently, after the United States, the top destinations for Chinese immigrants in order of popularity are Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Singapore, according to a 2013 United Nations report.

The reasons Chinese move to the United States vary. Some come for education, business opportunities, and real estate investment.

Others come because there is less population density and more opportunity. Still others come seeking more freedom.

Immigrants often come to enjoy a society where the government doesn’t hold as much control over the personal lives of individuals.

Many rich Chinese also see the United States as an attractive place to settle. Even top-ranking Chinese politicians keep their families in the United States for safety reasons.

Political feuds and factions in China are so intense that the families of politicians may also suffer consequences in a type of political battleground hard to imagine in free countries.

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