Pakistani American

Pakistani American Day – March 23, more info


The first wave of immigrants from present-day Pakistan migrated to the United States between 1893 and 1917 and settled in California as contract laborers.

The second wave arrived after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, when the United States opened up immigration quotas for the new South Asian states formed after the end of the British empire in the region.

Despite movement, the numbers remained low, reinforced by national origin quotas in place since the 1920s which limited migration from non-European countries.

The 1965 U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act introduced a new immigration scheme based on employment preferences.

As a result, the wave of Pakistani immigrants after 1965 overwhelmingly included physicians, engineers, and other professionals.

Later in the 1980s, more Pakistanis entered the country through family-sponsored preferences.

Over 75% of Pakistani migration to the United States since 1965 occurred between 1990 and 2009, facilitated by establishment of the U.S. Diversity Program in 1990.


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