Asian Indian immigrants had much to do with the American history in the 1980s as well as today with the current President Trump’s administration. The integration of Indians and their children plays a significant role in the American society, economy, and the ever-transforming culture of the United States. By offering various openings for immigrants and their progenies to better themselves and become fully incorporated into American society, the Asian Indian immigrants have embraced American identity and citizenship. In fact, many Asian Indian immigrants are doing well in businesses in United States. Many Indians fill high tech industries positions’ like Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai who are the CEOs of the Google and Microsoft who were born in India and moved to the United States to continue their studies. Despite the historical prejudice faced by immigrants, the majority of Americans are starting to recognize the value of these individuals. In this Article we will discuss about Indian Immigrants to U.S. in 1980s.
Indian Immigrants to U.S. in 1980s: The narrative that the United States is home to over a million immigrants pursuing economic prosperity, escaping political or oppression in their home countries, and are looking for a better life for their families has a significant connection to immigration. However, President Trump’s decision to stop the arrival of immigrants and the issuance of green cards to non-Americans has caused panic among the immigrants.i This is because the government is planning to protect the unemployed Americans who are currently facing hardship to get hired by industries as many Asian Indians are dominating job positions in the United States. The move resembles the race restriction Act that discourage immigrants from working in prestigious positions that were reserved for the natives. Indian immigrants to U.S.
Why Indians Immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s
Why Indian Immigrants came U.S. in 1980s? The United States is one of the countries with the highest number of immigrants in the world, which contributes positively to its economic development. The movement of foreign nationals to the US dates back to the nineteenth century in which the majority of the immigrants were of low skill. Hence, they could only work as laborers on farms owned by the whites. Following the termination of mass immigration after the year 1924, the number of immigrants reduced in the country, hitting below ten million in 1970. However, with the abolishment of the race restriction act, the population of foreign-born surged dramatically and currently stands at forty million.ii America has witnessed a significant rise in the number of Indians in the country in the past years. The first bunch migrated into the United States in early 1820 as unskilled workers, who rendered their services on the whites’ farm.
The second group came between the Second World War and 1980, and mostly they were professionals in various technological fields. This played a substantial role in the economic development of the country, as most of these Indian immigrants were employed in different commercial sectors. Equally, the educational framework of the United States was much better and contributed to quality education. This led to a mass movement of some of the best and brightest Indian students to immigrate from India to the United States, and others getting employed in the country.iii The increase of the Asian Indian population in the USA is attributed to the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act that abolished and developed employment-based immigration avenues, allowing more foreign nationals in the country. This made Asian Indian immigrants be the second-largest minority group after Mexicans representing six percent of the foreign-born immigrants.
The integration of the Indian immigrants to U.S. in 1980s and nationality act played a significant role in the United States’ economic development since it led to the formation of employment-based immigration avenues. This caused a significant rise in the number of immigrants in the country, with the primary beneficiaries being the Indians because their country was a Britain colony. Studies articulate that by the end of 1960, the population of Asian Indian immigrants stood at 12,000, which was a fifth of the general immigrant populace.
The figure increased between the years 1965 and 1990 due to a series of legislative transformations that eradicated national-origin quotas, introduced employment-based permanent visas, and created temporal skilled job programs.iv Notably, investigations postulate that today, most of the Asian Indian migrants are youths who are highly educated and they are well conversant and fluent in the English language. This has made the majority to offer their services in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sectors.
Indian Immigrants to U.S. in 1980s: However, the arrival of Asian Indian immigrants in the United States has also negatively affected the country. For instance, the mass influx of low skilled Indian immigrants during the 1980s contributed to the low wages in the country, which has substantially affected the domestic salary for the unskilled natives as well as causing a strain on federal resources. Since the present Indian immigrants are highly educated with a good command of English, they are likely to be recruited in high paying jobs. This has caused competition for the limited positions, with the majority of the learned natives losing job opportunities to the Asian Indians because they demand higher salaries than the immigrants do.
Furthermore, many Asian Indians get hired easily from high tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple because they are well educated. In fact, today two worldwide leading companies like Microsoft and Google are ran by two Asian Indians, Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai. They were born in India and travelled to the United States to continue their studies and later hired by the U.S high tech companies. As Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai, many other Asian Indian students or professional workers come to the United States to achieve their goals which is almost difficult to be achieved in their home country. Finally, another problem caused by flooding of Indian migrants into the United States is a surge in the population of undocumented migrants, which is a threat to the country’s security.
Why President Trump wants to Stop Indians
A late-night tweet post on April 20, 2020 by President Donald Trump on his intention to suspend the provision of green cards and halt immigration into the country to contain coronavirus had a significant impact on the Asian Indian immigrants. Asian Indian migrants are considered the second-largest minority group after Mexicans, and their availability is beneficial to the country’s economic growth and development since most are highly educated. In the wake of Covid-19, the majority of Asian Indian migrants believes that Trump’s administration will invest in the highly skilled American workforce to offer essential services, and this will deny the migrants’ job opportunities.
Indeed, Mr. Khural who works in software sector in the United States said that he was afraid about his family because there is the possibility of his family get separated and he also mentioned that, “This is not really about a job. It is about dreams”.vi Same as Mr. Khural also Ms. Ponnada lives in U.S and she is a doctor who fight Covid-19, and she pointed out that unlike permanent residents, if dr. Ponnada will get sick it implies to her Visa status and furthermore she added “Once we’re disabled, we can’t work; then, we can’t live in the country”vii. Equally, the mass arrival of Indians in the US has undermined wages and has also strained federal resources. Countries like Canada and Australia employs a merit-based immigration approach that is both beneficial to the migrants and the nation, which enables the country to experience faster growth.
This insinuates that a person can get green cards when they are deemed capable of contributing positively to the economic advancement of the country, as shown by their level of education and expertise. Indeed, ten million green cards offered annually; only one million are for the skilled workforce, while the rest are of chain migration. As such, President Trump wants to limit the movement of Asian Indians into the US to prevent cases of chain migration.viii Notably, President Trump’s handling of the current immigration policy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic reflects those promoted by the race restriction act that denied immigrants the opportunity to work in prestigious positions. Like the race restriction rule, Trump’s latest proposals to change immigration policies is a tactical move to protect the interest of Americans in terms of employment and remunerations.
The economic development of the United States is attributed to the high number of immigrants who provide cheap labor and expertise in various fields. Notably, Indian migrants are considered the second largest group after Mexicans, and their arrival in the US can be traced back to 1820. Studies indicate that Asian Indians who migrated to the USA in the early 1960s came as unskilled laborers who worked on farms. Additionally, the need to further their studies as well as increased demand for professionals and the desire to better one’s life dramatically contributed to the mass exodus of Asian Indian migrants into the United States.
However, the emergence of coronavirus saw President Trump suspending the issuance of green cards and banning immigration in the country to stop the spread of the virus. This has significantly affected Asian Indians like Singh Khural and Dr. Ponnada who have been living in the United States for years, and as most of immigrants cannot move to the United States, hence, reducing competition for the available jobs. Equally, the move aims to safeguard Americans from unemployment by restricting immigration only to skilled people.
iv Zong, Jie, and Jeanne, Batalova. 2017. “Indian Immigrants in the United States.” Migrationpolicy.Org. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/indian-immigrants-united-states.
v Abramitzky, Ran, and Leah, Boustan. 2017. “Immigration in American Economic history.” Journal of Economic Literature 55, no. 4: 1311-45.
vi Kai, and Yasir. 2020. “For Indian Diaspora.
vii “International Doctors Can Help the US Fight COVID-19. But Can They Get Here?” Public Radio International. https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-04-03/international-doctors-can-help-us-fight-covid-19-can-they-get-here.
viii Duttagupta, Ishani. 2018. “Indian Professionals Are Happy with the Contours of Donald Trump’s Latest Immigration Policy.” The Economic Times. https://m.economictimes.com/nri/working-abroad/indian-professionals-are-happy-with-the-contours-of-donald-trumps-latest-immigration-policy/articleshow/62772436.cms.
Abramitzky, Ran, and Leah Boustan. 2017. “Immigration in American Economic History.” Journal of economic literature 55, no. 4: 1311-45.
Chakravorty, Sanjoy, Devesh Kapur, and Nirvikar Singh. 2016. The other one percent: Indians in America. Oxford University Press.
Duttagupta, Ishani. 2018. “Indian Professionals Are Happy with The Contours of Donald Trump’s Latest Immigration Policy.” The Economic Times. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://m.economictimes.com/nri/working-abroad/indian-professionals-are-happy-with-the-contours-of-donald-trumps-latest-immigration-policy/articleshow/62772436.cms.
Hirschman, Charles. 2014. “Immigration to the United States: Recent Trends and Future Prospects.” Malaysian journal of economic studies: journal of the Malaysian Economic Association and the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya 51, no. 1: 69.
“International Doctors Can Help the US Fight COVID-19. But Can They Get Here?” Public Radio International. Accessed May 2, 2020. https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-04-03/international-doctors-can-help-us-fight-covid-19-can-they-get-here.
Schultz, Kai, and Sameer, Yasir. 2020. “For Indian Diaspora, Panic and Anger over Trump’s Immigration Plans”. Nytimes.Com. Accessed April 30, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/world/asia/india-immigration-trump-coronavirus.html
Zong, Jie, and Jeanne, Batalova. 2017. “Indian Immigrants in the United States.” Migrationpolicy.Org. Accessed April 24, 2020. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/indian-immigrants-united-states