Chinese and Indian immigrants, many with work or student US visas, have now surpassed Mexicans as the biggest groups coming to the United States, US Census Bureau data has revealed. Although Mexicans still make up the overall majority of immigrants in the country, accounting for over one-quarter of all people born overseas, 147,000 of the 1.2 million legal and illegal immigrants who came to the United States in 2013 were from China, with 129,000 from India and 125,000 from Mexico.
“We’re not likely to see Asians overtake Latin Americans anytime soon (in overall immigration population),” acknowledges the Migration Policy Institute’s US Immigration Policy Program deputy director Marc Rosenblum. “But we are sort of at the leading edge of this transition where Asians will represent a larger and larger share of the US foreign-born population.”
Experts say that unless immigration policy undergoes notable revisions, any changes to the overall population of immigrants in the United States will be slow. This is partly because twice as many Mexicans become legal residents than their Chinese and Indian counterparts, according to the president of the Migration Policy Institute, Michael Fix; however, Fix says more and more Chinese and Indians will become permanent residents, with around 50% of Asians in the country on work US visas doing just this.
The US Census Bureau believes that the number of immigrants in the United States will continue to steadily rise, with over one million expected to enter the country next year.