Critics question poll on Asian-Americans

June 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., June 25 (UPI) -- Critics of a study that calls Asian-Americans the most successful immigrants in the United States said it is a "monolithic portrayal" of the group.

A Pew Research Center Study published this month concluded Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing and best educated racial group in the country.

"At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, Asians have become the largest stream of new immigrants to the U.S. -- and, thus, the latest leading actors in this great American drama," said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.

Representatives of Asian-American organizations questioned whether the poll of 3,500 people took into account diversity within the racial group, the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., reported Monday.

"Our greatest concern with the study was in its kind of monolithic portrayal of Asian-Americans," said Dan Ichinose, director of the demographic unit of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles. "We're constantly facing this perception of our community as the model minority, but what we know through research is that there's significant diversity."

Sonny Le, who helped direct outreach in the Bay Area for the 2010 U.S. census, said he didn't think the survey accurately reflected reality for recently immigrated Asian-Americans.

"We thought ourselves middle-class then, for whatever reason," he said, referring to his family's over-crowded apartment when they immigrated from Vietnam decades ago. "You're not going to find any newly arrived immigrant telling you they're poor or lower-class. We don't do that."

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