Pakistani-American Demographics on Eid ul Fitr

Eid-ul-Fitr celebration this year marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with many large prayer congregations across America. Muslims wore colorful outfits.   There were servings of traditional foods and deserts in outdoor melas (fairs) for Muslim families and their friends in all major cities of the United States. Most celebrated on Friday while others waited till Saturday.

Some security fears for American Muslims had arisen after an unfortunate shooting incident in which a US-born Palestinian-American young man killed four marines at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Along with the other Americans, Muslims too mourned for the Chattanooga dead and they prayed for peace for all of America and the world. Fortunately, Eid celebrations have so far passed without an incident.

The Washington Post put the Chattanooga shooting in perspective with a history of several attacks by various groups starting with the anti-war groups during the Vietnam war. The paper cited earlier attacks on US military recruitment offices by Black Panthers, Neo-Nazis and the Japanese Red Army.

President Barack H. Obama offered Eid greetings to all Muslims on the occasion. The President said, "I hope today brings joy to all of your homes, both here in the U.S. and around the world. From my family to yours, Eid Mubarak!" "As Muslim Americans celebrate Eid across America, the holiday is a reminder to every American of the importance of respecting those of all faiths and beliefs."

New York Empire State Building Lit Green on Eid July 17, 2015
My family too joined in the fun as did most of my fellow Pakistani-Americans in Silicon Valley. We made the required charitable donation called fitra and then prayed in the morning along with thousands of Muslims in Silicon Valley hailing from many parts of the world. Then we went to a large fairground where a local Muslim community association had set up food stalls, amusement rides, face painting and balloons  to create a very festive atmosphere. Since Eid fell on Friday, there are many weekend events planned to a make it a true 3-day celebration.

Pakistani-American Demographics. Source: Migration Policy Inst.

Let me take this opportunity to talk about how Pakistani-Americans are doing. There are 453,000 Pakistanis in the United States as of 2013, according to the US Census Bureau. First-generation immigrants account for 273,000, or more than half of the Pakistani-American population with the remaining 180,000 being children of first-generation immigrants. 56% of Pakistanis 25 years or older have college degrees, much higher than the US national average of 31%. 

Median household income of Pakistani-American families is $60,000, higher than the US median household income of $50,000. A third of the Pakistani-American (vs 25% US) households earn over $90,000 while a fifth (vs 10% US households) have incomes exceeding $140,000.

Pakistan-Americans make up only 6% of the total Pakistani diaspora but they sent home 15% ($2.6 billion) in remittances totaling $18.4 billion received by Pakistan in the last fiscal year, according to figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan for 2014-15. It's important to note that the $18.4 billion in remittances helped Pakistan deal with its gaping $22 billion trade deficit in 2014-15.

In addition to outsize remittances, Pakistani diaspora also contributes generously to education, health care, nutrition and other programs run by NGOs in their country of origin.

Pakistani-Americans are a thriving community in America. While some of them have faced some backlash since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the larger community has been relatively unscathed by the fall-out from multiple wars waged in the Middle East by the United States since 911. 


Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan (83,000), #Iraq, #Bangladesh Top #Muslim Nations Receiving Green Cards from #US in 5 years https://shar.es/1Gniaf via @sharethis

Immigrants from Pakistan, Iraq, and Bangladesh received the most green cards from the United States in the past five years when compared to other Muslim-majority nations.

The U.S. granted 83,000 green cards to migrants from Pakistan and another 83,000 to migrants from Iraq between fiscal years 2009 and 2013, according to a chart produced by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest using Department of Homeland Security data.

Migrants from Bangladesh received 75,000 green cards, those from Iran received 73,000, and those from Egypt received 45,000 to round out the top five.

In sum, the U.S. granted 680,000 green cards to immigrants from Muslim-majority nations between 2009 and 2013.

Thousands of green cards went to immigrants from more than three dozen Muslim countries, including: Somalia (31,000), Uzbekistan (24,000), Turkey (22,000), Morocco (22,000), Jordan (20,000), Albania (20,000), Lebanon (16,000), Yemen (16,000), Indonesia (15,000), Syria (14,000), Sudan (13,000), Afghanistan (11,000), Sierra Leone (10,000), Guinea (8,000), Senegal (7,000), Saudi Arabia (7,000), Algeria (7,000), Kazakhstan (7,000), Kuwait (5,000), Gambia (5,000), United Arab Emirates (4,000), Azerbaijan (4,000), Mali (3,000), Burkina Faso (3,000), Kyrgyzstan (3,000), Kosovo (3,000), Mauritania (2,000), Tunisia (2,000), Tajikistan (2,000), Libya (2,000), Turkmenistan (1,000), Qatar (1,000), and Chad (1,000).

The U.S. is expected to issue another 660,000 green cards over the next five years to immigrants from Muslim-majority nations.
Riaz Haq said…
As 7th largest immigrant population, #Pakistanis not eligible for US diversity visa. #Pakistan #America #Immigration

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1147303/7th-largest-immigrants-pakistanis-no-longer-eligible-us-diversity-visa/

According to the US law, diversity laws are only allowed to counties that have low rates of immigrants, said US consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus, during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday. Pakistan had 104,000 immigrants in the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, he said, explaining why Pakistanis are no longer eligible.

The state department has only stopped diversity visas and there are a lot of other options, such as petitions, student, visit and exchange programme visas, which come under the non-immigrant category. “One can always apply for immigrant visa if they have immediate family in the US,” explained US consulate’s Non-Immigrant Visa chief Mary Pellegrini.

She also explained that it takes around one year for spouse and children, two years for parents and, for siblings, the time can vary up to a decade.

Nevertheless, the Pakistanis who have managed to immigrate are doing pretty well. According to a recent survey, an average Pakistani in the US earns $63,000 every year while an average US citizen earns only $51,000 a year, said Asmus.

Asmus dismissed the misconception that fewer Pakistanis are able to get visa for the US. The percentage of applications is increasing every year and the number of Pakistani citizens getting visas has also increased by 20% between 2014 and 2015, and another 20% between 2015 and 2016, he said.

The US Consulate in Karachi only deals in non-immigrant visas while immigrants visas are dealt at the embassy in Islamabad. Last year, the consulate issued a total of 72,000 visas across the country. So far in 2016, the US consulate in Karachi has issued a total of 14,400 visas.

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