Kelli A. Smith
More than any other country the United States is a nation of immigrants. However, immigrants have not always been welcome and their arrivals have often been met with resentment and hostility. In this paper, I want to take a look at the history, immigration policy, the pro and con immigration laws and how immigration affects the economy. Americans are increasingly concerned about immigration. A growing number believe that immigrants are a burden to the country, taking jobs and housing and creating strains on the health care system. Many people also worry about the cultural impact of the expanding number of newcomers in the U.S. Yet the public remains largely divided in its views of the overall effect of immigration. Roughly as many believe that newcomers to the U.S. strengthen American society as say they threaten traditional American values, and over the longer term, positive views of Latin American immigrants, in particular, have improved dramatically. To live in America, then, is to live in the atmosphere of these immaterial standards and values, to possess them in one's own character, and to be possessed by them. This means to live in close, spontaneous, daily contact with genuine Americans. For the native-born American of American ancestry, as already stated, this is natural and automatic. What is it for the foreign immigrant? One thing that makes the United States different from any other country in the world is that all the people who live here are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. The reasons people emigrate from other countries is that the United States offers opportunity and a chance for growth and economic gain. In addition, many were driven by war, famine, economic hardship, persecution and environmental changes.
It reviews the history and patterns of immigration, the causes, and the demographics of new immigrants. Immigration policy and its implementation have played a vital role in the economic, demographic, political, and social evolution of the United States. Since the country's inception, media headlines and political debate have cried for immigration reform, specifically regarding the quantity and country of origin of entering immigrants. In recent years, population movements into and out of the United States have attracted increased scrutiny because immigration is reportedly linked to many social and economic problems. More then one million immigrants enter the Unites States, both legally and illegally every single year. Many argue that this new wave of mass immigration may help sustain the success that our nation is having in regard to the way of living that many American have come accustomed to and yet other believe that although out nation was created by immigrants it is time to “shut down” our borders. Laws passed regarding legal and illegal immigration are discussed, and the impact the immigrant population has on the labor force in the United States is examined. Until the late 19th century, immigration to the United States was unrestricted, and immigrants came freely from all parts of the world. However, the areas of the world contributing the largest share of immigrants have shifted during the course of America’s history. In the 1790s the largest numbers of immigrants came from Great Britain, Ireland, western and central Africa, and the Caribbean. A hundred years later, most immigrants came from southern, eastern, and central Europe. In 1996 they were most likely to come from Mexico, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China—indicating a recent increase in Asian immigration. Mexico is the single largest source of both legal and unauthorized migration to the United States. Mexico is also a transit country for third country nationals who are attempting to enter the United States, as well as a destination country for other migrants. Not all immigrants stay in the United States. Although 46...