Caring from Afar: Asian H1B Migrant Workers and Aging Parents
With the growth in engineering/technology industries, the United States has seen an increase in the arrival of highly skilled temporary migrant workers on H1B visas from various Asian countries. Limited research exists on how these groups maintain family ties from afar including caring for aging parents. This study explores the experiences and challenges that Asian H1B workers face when providing care from a distance. A total of 21 Chinese/Taiwanese, Korean, and Indian H1B workers participated in in-depth qualitative interviews. Key findings indicate that despite distance, caring relationships still continue through regular communications, financial remittances, and return visits, at the same time creating emotional, psychological, and financial challenges for the workers. Findings highlight the need for further research in understanding how the decline of aging parent’s health impacts the migrants’ adjustment and health in the United States.
KeywordsAsian H1B migration Care provision Financial/Psychological distress Transnational caregiving
- Ackers, H. L., & Stalford, H. E. (2004). A community for children? Children, citizenship and internal migration in the EU. Adreshot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Amit, V. (Ed.). (2007). Going first class? New approaches to privileged travel and movement. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
- Baldassar, L. (2001). Visits home: Migration experiences between Italy and Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
- Baldassar, L., & Baldock, C. (2000). Linking migration and family studies: Transnational migrants and the care of ageing parents. In B. Agozino (Ed.), Theoretical and methodological issues in migration research: Interdisciplinary and international perspectives (pp. 61–89). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Baldassar, L., & Merla, L. (Eds.) (2014). Transnational families, migration and the circulation of care: understanding mobility and absence in family life, Routledge Transnationalism Series.Google Scholar
- Baldassar, L., & Pyke, J. (2014). Intra-diaspora knowledge transfer and ‘New’ Italian migration. International Migration, 52(4), 128–143.Google Scholar
- Baldassar, L., Baldock, C., & Wilding, R. (2007). Families caring across borders: Migration, ageing and transnational caregiving. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Basch, L., Schiller, G. N., & Blanc Szenton, C. (Eds.). (1994). Nations unbound. Pennsylvania: Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
- Bryceson, D., & Vuorela, U. (Eds.). (2002). The transnational family: New European frontiers and global networks. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
- Chavez, C. (2008). Conceptualizing from the inside: advantages, complications, and demands on insider positionality. The Qualitative Report, 13(3), 474–494.Google Scholar
- Coles, A., & Fechter, A.-M. (Eds.). (2008). Gender and family among transnational professionals. New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Erhenreich, B., & Hochschild, A. (2003). Introduction. In B. Ehrenreich & A. Hochschild (Eds.), Global women: Nannies, maids and sex workers in the new economy (pp. 1–13). London: Granta Books.Google Scholar
- Finch, J., & Groves, D. (1983). A labour of love: women, work, and caring. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Fisher, B., & Tronto, J. (1990). Towards a feminist theory of caring. In E. K. Abel & M. K. Nelson (Eds.), Circles of care: Work and identity in women’s lives (pp. 35–62). New York: New York Press.Google Scholar
- Freeman, G. P., & Hill, D. K. (2006). Disaggregating immigration policy: The politics of skilled labor recruitment in the US. In M. P. Smith & A. Favell (Eds.), The human face of global mobility: International highly skilled migration in Europe, North-America and the Asia-Pacific (pp. 103–129). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
- Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. C. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
- Kurotani, S. (2007). Middle-class Japanese housewives and the experience of transnational mobility. In V. Amit (Ed.), Going first class? New approaches to privileged travel and movement (pp. 15–32). New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
- Lee, Y. S., & Niervera, M. (2009). Transnational families. In W.-C. Chen & G. Yoo (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Asian American issues today (pp. 943–951). San Francisco: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Madianou, M., & Miller, D. (2012). Migration and new media: Transnational families and polymedia. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mashayekhi, M. (2009). Contribution of migrants to development: Trade, investment and development linkages. Geneva: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Retrieved from http://unctad.org/en/docs/emditctncd_01_en.pdf.
- Monger, R. & Barr, M. (2010). Non-immigrant admissions to the United States: 2009, Annual Flow Report, Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ni_fr_2009.pdf.
- Reynolds, T. & Zontini, E. (2006). A comparative study of care and provision across Caribbean and Italian transnational families. Families & Social Capital ESRC Research Group Working Paper, 16, London South Bank University.Google Scholar
- Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2012). Office of Legislative Affairs: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Fiscal year 2012 annual report to congress: Characteristics of H1B specialty occupation workers. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/H-1B/h1b-fy-12-characteristics.pdf.
- U.S. Department of Labor (2014). Wage and Hour Division (WHD), H1B program. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/whd/immigration/h1b.htm
- Waseem, R.E. (2007). Immigration: Legislative issues on nonimmigrant professional specialty (H-1B) workers, CRS Report for Congress. Retrieved from http://migration.ucdavis.edu/wcpsew/files/CRS_5=23=07pdf.pdf.
- Yoo, G. J., & Kim, B. W. (2014). Caring across generations: the linked lives of Korean American families. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar