The pending immigration overhaul could usher in a new wave of highly skilled immigrants from China and India. Over time, this immigration influx from Asia could result in a huge transformation of the racial and ethnic fabric of our country.
As the debate over comprehensive immigration reform legislation occurs on the Senate floor, there is a current proposal to provide 110,000 visas to people skilled in math and science. Currently, the cap for highly skilled visas, known as H1-B, is at 65,000. This new bill almost doubles the current limits. Large corporations such as Google, IBM, and Microsoft have rallied around this bill. They compete for foreign talent and understand that they will need to have greater access to highly skilled foreign-born workers in order to compete more effectively in a global economy.
Most of these highly skilled visas go to Asians. According to the Department of Homeland Security, natives of India were issued the largest number of H1-B visas followed by those born in China. In addition, Asians have currently surpassed Latinos as the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. If Congress approves the bill to increase HI-B visas, the U.S. is poised to experience its next demographic transformation.