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Immigrants of Asian countries now outnumber those from Mexico

A new report from the Pew Research Center says that immigrants from Asian countries now account for 36 percent, or 430,000, of all new immigrants arriving in the United States. Hispanic immigrants only account for 31 percent, or 370,000. This shift has occurred just in the last five years. Researchers say those numbers reflect the new immigration policies and the demand for high-skilled technology workers.

With the changes to the naturalization and citizenship process and policies that favor wealthy and/or educated workers, most of the Asian immigrants come from India, China and South Korea. There are waiting lists for the fast-track visas for high-tech employees with at least a bachelor's degree.

Approximately 6 in 10 international students now attending universities in the U.S. are from Asian countries. More than a third of all doctorate degrees earned in math, computer and physical sciences are earned by Asian students. Many will be able to live and work in America after graduation.

In fact, the study found that since the supply of low-wage jobs in this country has dwindled, Mexicans are heading back home and the net Mexican migration number is now at zero. The Pew study also attributed the lower Hispanic immigration numbers to the increase in enforcement along the southern border.

There are currently several bills introduced in Congress that aim to eliminate the per-country quotas on employers for employment-based visas and to help stimulate the U.S. real estate market. But most of the immigration debate still focuses on undocumented immigrants in low-skills, low-wage jobs.

Source: New York Post, "New Asian immigrants to US now surpass Hispanics," June 19, 2012

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