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Changing face of immigration

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Many Maryland residents mistakingly believe that the majority of immigrants, both legal and illegal, come from Mexico. The reality is that immigration from Mexico has dropped substantially since its peak in 2007. Instead, more immigrants are arriving from India and China, and many new arrivals from both countries are highly educated.

During the housing boom, many unskilled laborers immigrated from Mexico to work in the construction industry. When the recession occurred, immigration from that country greatly tapered off because of a lack of construction jobs. In the past decade, enforcement along the border with Mexico has also tightened, and the combination of factors has led to a significant drop of new arrivals as a result.

Many of the immigrants coming from China and India are highly skilled workers who are coming to the country legally. Of those holding HB-1 visas, 160,000 in 2014 were immigrants from India, which was two-thirds of the total number for the year. Investors from China were holders of 87 percent of the 8,800 EB-5 visas, a type of visa granted to foreigners who create jobs in the U.S. Of those with L-1 visas for managerial and skilled staff, many were immigrants from either China or India.

The U.S. economy depends on the availability of highly skilled employees. For that reason, employment-based immigration visas are allowed. Businesses who want to learn about how to get these types of visas in order to attract potential employees may want to talk to an immigration law attorney about the type of documentation that is required to be prepared and submitted to the federal government.

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