I haven't checked the statistics lately, but what I'm noticing in daily life is that the Latino surge into LA may have peaked, with ridiculously high home prices driving Mexicans to other states. Instead, Southern California is becoming more and more dominated by ... well, I don't know the term for them. They're typically white people from western Asia who have strong small business moneymaking chops, don't mind crowding an extended family into one house, and maybe aren't real enthusiastic about following government regulations and paying taxes: e.g., Iranians, Armenians, Israelis, Lebanese, Syrians, etc.
They often come from exotic ethnic minorities -- for example, my wife used to frequent a shop owned by the mother of Paula Abdul, the judge on American Idol, who is a Jewish Arab of Syrian origin. Other shopkeepers have prominently displayed pictures of the Virgin Mary with Arabic inscriptions. Many of the Iranians are Jewish.
The funny thing is that there isn't even a collective word for them: Asian Caucasians? Men with deep voices? The gold chain nestled in chest hair set? The second coming of the Ottoman Empire?
A reader writes:
"Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a politically correct synonym. I suspect it's because you're trying to aggregate groups who hate each other (Arabs vs. Israelis, Armenians vs. Turks), so there's no political pressure for a particular PC term to identify the group as a whole."
That makes sense. Even though the West Asian immigrants seem quite similar culturally to average Americans like me, back in the Old Country they hate each other too much to form umbrella organizations here. In contrast, the Nixon Administration could group Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans together because, while they didn't particularly like each other, they were too isolated from each other on different islands back home, and in different parts of America, to really hate each other So ambitious activists saw the advantages in political muscle for getting affirmative action handouts of claiming to represent a bigger synthetic umbrella category: Hispanics / Latinos.