A new study released by the Pew Research Center determined that Asian Americans are the nation’s fastest growing racial group. In the last few years they have overtaken Latinos as the largest group of immigrants to the U.S. Asian Americans earn the highest income of all racial groups in the United States, and are the best educated. This new position in the racial makeup of the United States will inevitably bring cultural implications. While this influx of skilled Asian immigrants can be a good thing for the economy, will our society react with resentment?
Understanding immigration is a part of deciphering race relations in America. An influx of a certain group can bring stereotypes fueled by economics. Non-immigrants want to preserve their class status, and often perceive immigrants as a threat. The Pew Study’s statistics state that the median household income of Asian Americans is 33% higher than that of the general public. While this rise in Asian immigrants can ultimately help the American economy – they’re often taking highly skilled jobs in positions that usually aren’t filled – their class status and education could bring resentment in certain parts of their local communities.
Much of the immigration conversation surrounds low skilled immigrants, but new demographics change this situation. Channel Nine St. Louis PBS has recently released a documentary on immigration in America and deals directly with a Korean immigrant who is conducting AIDS research. The documentary portrays her struggle with the immigration system and the eclectic interpretations of policy experts. The information presented in Homeland: Immigration in America discusses the cultural backlash to immigration, how inhumane the system can be, as well as the economic implications of several different examples of immigration.
The latest episode of the documentary entitled “Jobs” is now streaming online at http://www.pbs.org/programs/
Alex Phillips has published short stories and poetry in publications on campus at Grinnell College. He is preparing to get his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in the next year. Alex now works as a writer for web content at PBS Channel 9 in St. Louis. You can contact him at [email protected].
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