Why Donald Trump’s immigration message is so potent — and why it’s a lost cause

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Asians expected to become largest immigrant group in US.

Ethnic minorities are on track to be the majority of the U.S. population by 2055, with Asians projected to rise to the top as the largest immigrant group in the country, according to a report released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

In a major shift in immigration patterns, Asians will surge past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to the US by 2065, according to estimates in a new study. Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew’s director of Hispanic research and the study’s co-author, told the Associated Press that the fertility rate of Hispanic women may be a factor in the decline of immigrants. “There are relatively fewer people who would choose to migrate from Mexico so demographic changes in Mexico have led to a somewhat smaller pool of potential migrants. The surge of immigration that has reshaped the American population over the last half century will transform the country for several decades to come, the projections indicate. The current near-record share of immigrants living in the U.S. rivals levels from the turn of the 20th Century when waves of migrants from European countries drove the nation’s immigrant population to its peak.

At the same time we’ve seen a growing number of immigrants particularly from China or India who are coming for reasons such as pursuing a college degree or coming here to work temporarily in the high-tech sector.” The foreign-born, who made up just 5% of the nation’s population in 1965, when Congress completely rewrote the country’s immigration laws, make up 14% today, the study found. White immigrants to America, 80 percent back in 1965, will hover somewhere between 18 and 20 percent, with black immigrants in the 8 percent to 9 percent range, the study said. But the reforms abolished those existing quotas and opened legal immigration to people from across the globe in a system that focused on family reunification and prioritized high-skilled workers. Hispanics will rise to 24 percent of the total US population, whereas the increasing number of Asian immigrants will raise their total to only 14 percent of the entire US population.

Unlike the Latino population, which mostly shares a common language, Spanish, and many cultural traits, the census category of Asian takes in a vast array of ethnic and language groups, including Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Indians and Pakistanis. Because of an increasing Hispanic population, and the political indifference of Asian-Americans, Democrats are still expected to own the immigrant vote.

Twelve per cent said “illegal”; “overpopulation” was at 5%; “legality (other than illegal)” at 4%; and “jobs”, “deportation”, “Americans” and “work ethic” at 3% each. In 2010, only 31 percent of registered Asian-American voted, below the turnout of other demographic groups such as Hispanics, whites, and African-Americans.

Americans also said immigrants are likely to make the US better, with 45% agreeing with that statement and 37% saying they make the country worse; 18% said they don’t have much of an effect one way or the other. Research blind to demographics has long proved that adults with higher levels of education and greater income are far more likely to vote in US elections.

Forty-nine percent offered general descriptions, and of those 12 percent were positive, 11 percent negative and 26 percent neutral, according to the report. So although the Asian-American electorate seems disillusioned with US politics, some experts say this growing population is up for grabs. “The reason their political identity is important is because an overwhelming number of Asian-Americans are actually not affiliated with any party, and their numbers are growing quickly,” NPR reports. Immigrants from the Middle East fared worse in public opinion, with just 20% saying their effect on the country has been mostly positive, and 39% saying their impact has been mostly negative. He noted that the poll was conducted in the spring, before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sparked national debate with calls for much tougher immigration enforcement and criticism of some Mexican immigrants.

Views were nearly the opposite among Republicans, 53% of whom said immigrants were making American society worse in the long run, and 31% saying they were making things better.

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