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Asians Pass Latinos as Biggest Immigrant Group

Asians are now the fastest-growing immigrant group in America, and as the Boston Herald reports, these new immigrants are generally educated and culturally well-adjusted upon arrival:

In fact, U.S. Asians, who trace their roots to dozens of countries in the Far East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, are arguably the most highly educated immigrant group in U.S. history, the study shows. And although there are significant differences among them by country of origin, on the whole they have found remarkable success in their new land. . . .

More than half of adult Asian Americans say that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in life; 34 percent of all American adults agree. Asian Americans are more likely than American adults in general to be married (59 percent compared to 51 percent) and their newborns are less likely than U.S. infants as a whole to have an unmarried mother (16 percent compared to 41 percent).

Perhaps the most important factor in this shift is the collapse of the American construction industry, which has traditionally welcomed low-skilled workers. As construction work dries up, many immigrants are returning to their countries of origin, and others are deciding not to leave in the first place. Asian migrants, meanwhile, more frequently qualify for the higher paying, higher skilled jobs that are still relatively plentiful.

The immigration shift is also driven by demographic changes in Latin America, and especially in Mexico, where birthrates have fallen dramatically and the number of new workers entering the labor force will soon begin to fall, even as economic growth is creating more and better jobs. Mexicans who twenty years ago would have moved to America in search of opportunity now like their chances at home.

One of the secrets of America’s success has been the global nature of our immigrant pool, which helps prevent the formation of a single immigrant identity that refuses assimilation. More diversity among newcomers to the American melting pot is a good thing and it’s good to see that the old American formula for successful immigration is continuing to work.

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  • Corlyss

    Thank God!

    Asians don’t have those incredibly annoying whiny terminally victimpsyched, perpetually aggrieved poverty-pimps like La Raza.

  • thibaud

    “Biggest” ?

    More shoot-from-the-lip, bush-league writing.

    When will Via Meadia get a copy editor?

  • Luke Lea

    “One of the secrets of America’s success has been the global nature of our immigrant pool, which helps prevent the formation of a single immigrant identity that refuses assimilation.”

    That is an optimistic view of the situation. Whether different races can assimilate remains to be seen.

  • Stephen

    thibaud, the answer is, “When money grows on trees.”

  • Externality

    Asians don’t have those incredibly annoying whiny terminally victim psyched, perpetually aggrieved poverty-pimps like La Raza.

    Not to worry, Asian groups (often funded by the government or large foundations) have taken up the victimization mantra.

    In the groups’ worldview, all White people are responsible, in perpetuity, for the way that WASP railroad owners exploited Chinese-American railroad workers during the 19th century. (Never mind that the WASPs also economically exploited Irish-American and Welsh-American railroad workers, among many others.)

    In their worldview, all White people are responsible for the British Empire sending opium to China, invading China after China banned it, and then ensuring that large sections of Chinese society became addicted. (Never mind that the British also killed immense numbers of Europeans who opposed their empire, sent Irish people to work as slaves in the Caribbean, etc.)

    In their worldview, FDR’s illegally rounding up Japanese-Americans is irrefutable evidence of American racism. (Never mind that FDR also illegally rounded up Americans of German and Italian ancestry, seized the assets of many German-Americans, German citizens, and German companies, and conscripted — via threat of imprisonment – nearly ten million White Americans into the military where over one million of them were killed or wounded. Or that the American people were, with the help of wartime censorship and propaganda, grossly deceived regarding the scope of and reasons for Japanese internment. In 1942, for example, the US Office of War Information put out a film, narrated by Milton Eisenhower, claiming that Japanese-Americans largely volunteered to be relocated away from military infrastructure out of patriotism and so they could do war work in the camps that were set up for them.

  • Lorenz Gude

    Yes, America has avoided the worst excesses of multiculturalism and the way immigration is working out is better than it has in Europe where political correctness has trumped common sense. I have some insight into this new Asian America because an old friend married a well educated Sri Lankan woman. It is a cultural mix that is very different than the old days when black was black and white was white, but still recognizably very American.

  • Prologue

    Interesting. Just more proof of how disconnected the political establishment is from what is really going on.

  • Mitchell Young

    No. They are the ‘fastest growing’ immigrant group, rather than the biggest.

    “One of the secrets of America’s success has been the global nature of our immigrant pool, ”

    Uh, during America’s most successful period, when assimilation really took place, we had a highly restrictive immigration policy which all but excluded Asian immigration.

    And you might want to look up how Indian based companies have become both H1-B mega-users and bridges for sucking technology jobs out of the US, or on the more than a few cases of ethnic Chinese transferring US developed technology to their ‘homeland’.

  • eah

    Some immigrants are certainly more successful than others. But what the vast majority of immigrants today have in common is that they are non-white.

    Simple questions: Do you think America’s demographic heritage as a majority white nation has any value? Do you think it is worth preserving?

  • thibaud

    @ #4 – that was gentle irony. Maybe Mead could edit his posts himself?

  • Juliesa

    In a related tidbit, Houston is now the most diverse US city by one measure. It’s the most evely divided by the four major ethnic groups: black, Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white.

  • Scott

    “Whether different races can assimilate remains to be seen.” Indeed. My African American daughter-in-law, and my Mexican/Guatemalan son-in-law have assimilated quite well within my thoroughly mongrelized extended family. My grandbabies fit right in, too. Who knew?

  • Armando

    eah: Depends on how much other races are intermarrying with whites. In 2008, 26% of hispanics and 31% of asians married outside their race, primarily with whites.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if, in twenty years, hispanics and some asians(!) are classified as white, though, frankly, I’d prefer we get rid of the whole concept of race period.

  • eah


    You win the non-sequitur prize.

    …I’d prefer we get rid of the whole concept of race period.

    Unfortunately for you, it’s not a “concept”. It’s a biological reality.

  • anon

    My grandbabies fit right in, too. Who knew?

    That made me laugh: My half-Chinese children make the other half (Celt and Jew) look pretty good. And the new grandbaby, half-Italian, is adorable.

  • SamC

    Wait until the new Asian-Americans find out what American Born Chinese have learnt, affirmative action in college admissions is design to keep Asians out.

  • Armando

    [em]You win the non-sequitur prize.[/em]

    How exactly? Other ethnic groups weren’t totally assimilated until they started intermarrying with native-born Americans. For crying out loud, in the 1800s, the [em]Irish[/em] weren’t considered white in America.

    “It’s a biological reality.”

    A biological reality that is used to justify divisive and toxic identity politics. As an individualist, I believe we’d be better off marginalizing it.

  • PacRim Jim

    Don’t forget the Canadians, who also tossed Japanese into internment camps (and, not coincidentally, confiscated their fishing boats, etc.).

  • Jim.

    It’s nice to see immigrants coming in from cultures with durable values. Whatever the (formerly?) strong Catholic tradition in Latin America, contact with American culture has largely been with the toxic undercurrents. (See the Fatherlessness rates among Hispanic children born in the US).

    Asians, on the other hand, tend to insist on positive behavior, not only on the part of their own kids, but from the American institutions that purport to serve them– schools, etc.

    No doubt the Left will fight as hard as it can to enforce lowest common denominator assimilation; there is hope, though, that this new wave of immigrants won’t let themselves be cheated like that.

  • Kris

    Armando@13: “It wouldn’t surprise me if, in twenty years, hispanics and some asians(!) are classified as white”

    You may be interested in Asians as “White” and How the Asians Became White.

  • Mick The Reactionary


    “I’d prefer we get rid of the whole concept of race period.”

    As some posters noted sometimes race is a solid biological concept, as in Caucasians and Blacks.

    Sometimes race is a wholly political construct designed by leftist US government bureaucrats to promote multiculturalism.
    As our government masters tell us a “Hispanic” can be of any race. Criteria seems to be a one great-great-great-great grandparent was born in a Spanish speaking country.

    You can ask fauxcahonta Lizzie Warren for exact qualifications and benefits.

  • Akatsukami


    And the connection between the Chinese and Indian cultural spheres is…?

  • tom beebe

    I’ll take Asians as neighbors anytime. Problem is they’ll probably wind up being my boss. oh well, I like violin music.

  • richard40

    Asians dont get affirmative action, and dont often end up on welfare either. As far as immigrant groups go, they are the best we could possibly get. And they often vote repub.

  • teapartydoc

    #6. Lorenz Gude has it about right. And the comments about Asian marital fidelity and relative lack of illegitimacy are spot-on. I think much of the difference is that people who haven’t cheated to get here don’t cheat on their spouses and offer up bad examples for their children. In the Philippines many of non-Chinese ethnicity speak highly of the ethnic Chinese and of their work ethic. Those who wish to be successful there try to emulate them there, but if they make it over here, they do so even more, because there is (or has been historically) more opportunity and fewer bureaucratic barriers to success than in the islands. This is a big deal, and we will profit by it.

  • Kris

    Akatsukami@22: “‘Asians’? And the connection between the Chinese and Indian cultural spheres is…?”

    Well, “East-Asian” confuses people, and “Oriental” is strictly off-limits.

  • thibaud

    “the connection between the Chinese and Indian cultural spheres is…?”

    Not an expert on any Asian culture, to be sure, but from the viewpoint of a colleague, a neighbor and a fellow parent of schoolchildren, the unifying traits that are relevant here are

    1) an extraordinary emphasis on education, defined in terms of not just mastery of basic skills but also cultural attainment that leads to higher social status a la (pardon my ignorance) the “mandarin” or the “brahmin”

    2) a very high savings rate – far higher than the US average

    3) deference toward parents and ancestors

    4) an intense focus on social ties, networking, family bonds etc – as opposed to the extreme individualism of American life.

    All of the above are good and necessary counterbalances, IMHO, to the dominant American cultural tendencies toward a deracinated social life characterized by instant gratification.

  • thibaud

    We desperately need more Chinese and more Indian immigrants with advanced skills, the more the better.

  • eah


    I asked two very specific questions that I wanted the author of this post to answer. What you wrote has nothing to do with the answer to those questions.

    And I’m still waiting for the answers.

    Sometimes race is a wholly political construct…

    Yes, like when the government lumps Hispanics (who are significantly more criminal) with Whites when compiling crime data.

    People who don’t believe Asians benefit from affirmative action are naive, and don’t know of all the sources of these benefits. For example, like any other visible minority, Aisans are eligible for subsidize business loans. As anyone who travels has seen, many hotels are now owned by Indian immigrants. Why do you think that is? Because they brought their own capital?

  • thibaud

    eah – most of the Indian immigrant hoteliers here and in other countries are Gujaratis, who are well known across India for their expertise in managing hotels.

    Try again, with less bigotry next time…

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