The biggest increase in immigration to the United States since before the recession is being seen as a result of the country’s improving economy. There are a growing number of Hispanic newcomers; however, the increase is being largely driven by Asian arrivals. The amount of people in the US who were born overseas increased by 523,400 in 2013, the Census Bureau says, which is the biggest jump since 2006. The figures do not distinguish between legal and undocumented immigrants.
Many of the gains were fueled by Asian immigrants, including highly-skilled Indian workers and Chinese students. There has also been a rebound among employers for US visas for highly-skilled overseas workers, with businesses reaching the cap on applications in 2014 in under a week.
Hispanic immigration is also starting to pick up after weak home construction and job markets saw it slow to a trickle in the past few years. 27% of the new immigrants in 2013 were Hispanic, compared to just 10% in 2012 and under 1% in 2011, according to census figures. Last year more Mexicans arrived in the United States than left, which was a big change after several years of the opposite taking place.
The numbers this year are likely to be skewed further upwards by the thousands of Central American undocumented immigrant minors entering the country during the spring and summer, although this surge has now subsided.