A Grain of Rice

Immigration Stimulation…
February 18, 2009, 11:51 am
Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , ,

With the recent passing of President Obama’s new economic stimulus plan, ideas of how to rejuvenate the economy are floating around. Some people feel the plan should have more money attached to it…others feel it should be directed at more programs.

And according to a recent op-ed article from The New York Times, one guy feels that immigrants are the key to getting our economy back on track.

Columnist Thomas Friedman talked to Shehkar Gupta, an editor at The Indian Express newspaper, who said that by granting more visas to immigrants from places like India, China, and Korea…the immigrants will not only create their own jobs…but jobs for more Americans as well.

And it’s true.

Asian immigrants…basically all immigrants in general…have a huge impact on the U.S. economy. And if we take a look back…we can see that this revelation is not fairly new:

In 2004…the movie, A Day Without a Mexican, was released. The “mockumentary” showed the impact of the Mexican immigrants on California’s economy alone.

A USA Today article published back in 2006…discusses the pivotal role immigrants have on the economy. According to the Center for Immigration Studies…the nation’s immigrant population (both legal and illegal) reached a total of 37.9 million in 2007.

And that number is growing each day.

Arizona is now one of several states across the country with the fastest growing immigrant population.

Then in 2007…a New York Times article discussed a study that found that immigrants were contributing nearly a quarter of New York states’ economic output each year. And a good chunk of those people were in health care and higher education fields. I wonder how many of those were Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders…

The main point is that the immigrant population has become a key player in America’s economy. They are making waves in today’s society and have truly helped build our nation into what it is today.

These immigrants may be Mexican, African, Canadian, European…or even Asian. 

Either way…we can’t deny their impact.

So maybe we should listen to Mr. Gupta from The Indian Express. Maybe by opening up our arms and embracing new immigrants…we’ll not only learn more about our fellow man, but help keep our pockets out of a pinch.


Arizona Asians Unite!
February 11, 2009, 11:07 am
Filed under: Asian Networks | Tags: , , , , , ,

So I was just “surfing” the web…and I happened to stumble upon this site for Asian Americans living in Arizona.

It’s called arizonaasians.com and it’s basically a networking site for Asians within the community to connect. They have a directory for local Asian businesses to post their information along with calendar dates about Asian related events in the community.

According to the site, they currently have over 2,000 members…and growing.

It amazes me to see sites like this because it’s evidence of the sense of disconnect felt within the Asian American community. The fact that someone needs to create a site like this to reach out to others, shows the lack of connection. And apparently thousands of people agree.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the minority of the minority in this state. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, “Asian persons” in Arizona along with “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander” make up about 2.6 percent of the state population.

2.6 percent…of close to 6.2 million people in the state. Think about it. 

This means that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Arizona add up to a little more than 160,000 strong. The entire Asian population in the state could fill the University of Phoenix Stadium two and a half times. 

That’s not a lot…especially when compared to other ethnic groups within the greater community.

The Hispanic population rounds up to about 29.2 percent. That means almost a third of Arizona’s population is made up of Hispanics. They would be able to fill the University of Phoenix Stadium about 28 and a half times!

So, I guess I understand the need for the Asian Americans to find a way to connect with one another. This networking site and others like it, help them find some common ground in this desert in which we live.

ASU Report: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Arizona

Between 1980 to 2006, the growth rate for the Asian American population in Arizona was 599 percent.

This is according to a new report, “The State of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Arizona,” by Arizona State University’s Asian Pacific American Studies Program along with the Asian Pacific Arizona Initiative (APAZI). The study, released in November, discusses key facts about the Asian community and how many admit to sometimes feeling “invisible.”

The report is the first of its kind for the state and takes a look at several major areas including the history of the community and increasing multiracial issues. According to the report, the growth rate for Asians in Arizona is 29 percent and growing.

An article about the study is listed here and it highlights some of the key points made in the report.

It really amazes me as to how much the Asian community has grown in recent years. And yet, there is still so little known about this diverse population.

Asian Americans are often viewed as the “model minority” and so most folks don’t pay much attention to this side of the coin. 

According to the report, Asian Americans visit doctors in lower numbers than the rest of the population. This is usually due to the language barrier many Asian immigrants face. They find it difficult to communicate with the doctor and thus forgo healthcare until it is too late.

Most people lump Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders together. But there are so many more ethnic groups within the larger group. Hopefully this report will open your eyes as it did mine.

The Asian American community is out there.

It always has been.

Hello..Konichiwa..Ahn Young..Ni Hao!
January 28, 2009, 9:45 am
Filed under: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , ,

No matter how you say it or in what language, it all means the same: Hi!

So welcome to A Grain of Rice! This is a blog dedicated to highlighting the Asian American immigrants in Arizona and the community they belong to.

We’ll talk about the economic and social struggles they face, along with the steps they have taken towards achieving a better life.

I am currently working on a documentary about this issue and will be providing links to personal stories I find and any other interesting information about the Asian community that might come my way.

For starters, check out this article I found from The Boston Globe about researchers turning to Asian immigrants for their insight on immigration rights and policy.

And if you know of any other related stories, don’t hesitate to let me know!