Asian American immigrants contribute immensely to economic growth

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The United States of America (USA) has always been considered a land of milk and honey. People from all walks of life dream to migrate to America to improve their living conditions and well-being. Documents and statistics of immigrants to the USA have revealed that the number of immigrants from different countries all over the world have significantly increased through time, especially when the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act apparently removed restrictions of immigrants from Asia, Arab countries, Africa, as well as Eastern and Western Europe (Zong and Batalova). Recent data indicate that “Asian immigrants are projected to comprise a greater share of all immigrants, becoming the largest foreign-born group by 2055, according to Pew Research Center estimates” (Zong and Batalova par. 2). From among the states in America, Asians were reported to be predominantly concentrated in California (Cox). Asian American immigrants are seen to contribute immensely to the economic growth, not only of California, but of the entire nation.

The Pew Research Center defines Asian Americans as “immigrants or their descendants from dozens of countries in the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with a unique history, culture, language and pathway to America” (Pew Research Center 1). This group is characterized and differentiated from other immigrants in terms of being “significantly more educated, more likely to be employed in management occupations, and have higher household incomes” (Zong and Batalova par. 4). Moreover, Asians were also observed to have strong regard for the family. The Pew Research Center adds that “they are more likely to be intermarried with other racial groups, their children are more likely to live in households with two married parents and they place a higher priority than the general public on having a successful marriage” (1). As such, family members serve as strong physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual sources of holistic support in undertaking various endeavors.

Concurrently, statistics also revealed that in California, there are approximately 5.2 million Asians living in the area (Cox). The composition of Asians living in California were reported to include “more Indian subcontinent, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian residents than any other state” (Cox 1). Likewise, reports also disclosed that Chinese is the dominant ethnicity in San Francisco, followed by Filipinos (AARP). With increasing Asian population as immigrants, it was affirmed by in the title of his article in The New York Times that “To Be Great Again, America Needs Immigrants” (Sharma). As expressed, “immigrants make a surprisingly big contribution to population growth. In the United States, immigrants have accounted for a third to nearly a half of population growth for decades… Population growth is increasingly important as an economic force and is increasingly driven by immigration” (Sharma 1). Therefore, immigrants contribute immensely to economic growth.

In addition, data also indicated that there are 509,097 businesses  owned by Asians and located in California, making the cultural group a strong economic force and contributor of growth and development in the state (AARP). Being entrepreneurs and owners of businesses mean that Asians offer jobs and products in the market. Also, businesses pay taxes that are used for various government projects that improve the welfare and well-being of the citizens.

The opening of businesses by immigrants was also reported to actually revitalize the American workforce (Hesson). As stipulated, “from 2006 to 2012, more than two-fifths of the start-up tech companies in Silicon Valley had at least one foreign-born founder, according to the Kauffman Foundation. A report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, which advocates for immigrants in the U.S. workforce, found that they accounted for 28 percent of all new small businesses in 2011” (Hesson par. 3). A study also affirmed that immigrants’ holding jobs in America does not affect employment of citizens in a negative manner. Accordingly, “in a 2012 article published by the Cato Institute, the libertarian (and pro-immigration) think tank, Peri concluded that immigrants boost economic productivity and don’t have a notable impact—either positive or negative—on net job growth for U.S.-born workers. One reason: immigrants and native-born workers gravitate toward different jobs” (Hesson par. 4).

Also, the buying power, defined as “disposable personal income based on data obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis” (AARP 2) identified of Asians in California was projected to have reached “$237 billion and estimated to grow faster than any population segment through 2017” (AARP 2). In fact, the median annual household income of Asian Americans were documented to have reached $66,000, which is significantly higher than the median annual household income of the general public amounting to $49,800 (Pew Research Center). Higher buying power means that Asians have money to purchase other goods and services which also generate taxes in the form of sales and service taxes that are remitted to the government. Moreover, greater spending by Asians in California, as well as in other states, means that this cultural group patronizes the products manufactured by local businesses in the area and additionally contribute to further economic development and growth.

In retrospect, immigrants, including Asian Americans, have evidently contributed to the economic growth of the United States. Equipped with strong faith, values and beliefs, as well as determination and commitment to succeed in America made Asian Americans the fastest growing cultural group in the country. The number of business establishments owned and operated by Asian Americans proved that they are extremely hardworking and that the established business, in turn, helps other Americans through jobs and products offered in the market. Moreover, having the highest income from among other immigrants also attest to higher buying power which make this racial group contributory to greater taxes that are eventually spent by the government for programs and projects that benefit all citizens. Instead of government programs that aim to reduce the net inflow of immigrants, policy makers should evaluate these immigrants’ overall contribution to the economic condition of the nation and learn to optimize the roles that they play to the country’s growth.

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  1. AARP. “Asian Quick Facts: California – San Francisco.” Web. 20 July 2017.
  2. Cox, Wendell. “Asians: America’s Fastest Growing Minority .” 12 January 2015. New Geography. Web. 20 July 2017.
  3. Hesson, Ted. “Why American Cities Are Fighting to Attract Immigrants.” 21 July 2015. The Atlantic. Web. 20 July 2017.
  4. Pew Research Center. “The Rise of Asian Americans.” 2017. Pew Research Center. Web. 20 July 2017.
  5. Sharma, Ruchir. “To Be Great Again, America Needs Immigrants.” 6 May 2017. The New York Times. Web. 20 July 2017.
  6. Zong, J. and J. Batalova. “Asian Immigrants in the United States.” 6 January 2016. Migration Policy Institute. Web. 20 July 2017.
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