Immigration Disguises Severity of Poverty Among Asians in U.S.

Jul. 21, 2013 / By

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New America Media, News Report, Asha DuMonthier

The influx of highly skilled, highly educated workers on H1-B visas from Asian countries in the last decade has skewed poverty statistics, according to a new report by the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD).

In 2011 alone, “there were over 90,000 H1-B visas issued to people coming from Asia.” These highly skilled, high-income immigrants have increased the pool of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and caused the AAPI poverty rate to stay stable even though the actual number of AAPIs living in poverty has grown dramatically.

Between 2000 and 2011 the official AAPI poverty rate only increased by .3 percent. Yet during the same period, according to the report, the actual number of AAPIs living in poverty increased by 50 percent, which means there are roughly half a million more AAPIs living in poverty today than there were ten years ago.

“AAPI poor are one of the fastest growing poverty populations in the wake of the Recession,” states the report.

Nevertheless, it’s a population largely overlooked by a public that has typecast AAPIs as a so-called model minority.

So who are the AAPI poor?

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New America Media is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 3,000 ethnic news organizations. Over 57 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media outlets, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C., and partnerships with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media.