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Shifts in immigration trends

Although communities close to California's southern border with may see significant levels of immigration from Mexico, much of the United States' immigration traffic is now coming from Asian countries. Statistics indicate that immigration from Mexico hit its peak in the mid-2000s. By 2014, California's numbers had decreased by approximately 66 percent from 2005 figures. Meanwhile, the state's number of immigrants from China tripled during the same time frame.

Some of the reasons for decreasing Mexican immigration include smaller families, better access to education, and lower unemployment levels in Mexico. Meanwhile, those typically immigrating from Asian countries like China and India are often coming to study. Statistics show that approximately 60,000 students came from those destinations between 2014 and 2015. Additionally, visa programs make it possible for student immigrants to remain in the country as they find employment upon graduating. At least 66 percent of the H-1B visas in 2014 were given to Indian immigrants. Nearly 90 percent of EB-5 visas during this time frame were given to Chinese investors because of their potential to create jobs in the U.S. economy. Under the L-1 visa program for skilled employees, these two nationalities together represented 33 percent of the visas assigned in 2014.

Trends have affected some states in the U.S. more than others. Further, Asia is not the only area from which immigration levels have increased. Cuban immigration into Florida more than doubled between 2005 and 2014, and Venezuelan immigration to the state also increased dramatically. One of the most prevalent characteristics with the majority of new immigrants to the U.S. today is the possession of a college degree.

Because there are many different visa programs for those interested in relocating to the U.S., it may be important to have reliable legal support in identifying the options that are available. A lawyer may also be helpful for advising an individual who is at risk of losing a visa because of a potential job loss.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber