In recent years, the United States has experienced a wave of immigration unsurpassed in size since the early 20th century. Discuss how immigration today is similar to and different from that which took place about 100 years ago. Among the factors to consider are: the national orgins and characteristics of the immigrants; the social and political environment acing immigrants upon their arrival; the fit between the job sills of immigrants and available economic opportunities; and the laws governing immigration.
When I first started taking this class I really didn’t understand the concept of immigration and what it all meant… Immigration is the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country. When the semester first begun when I would think of immigration I mostly thought of just illegal Mexicans being here, I never thought of the other nationalities that come here. Taking this immigration class has changed my opinion a lot like I said in my first paper. I know understand why people come here and it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. The motives of people coming to the United States illegally, or legally haven’t really changed over the years. Immigrants come here because they want to work, and the United States seems to have endless amounts of jobs. The amount of immigrants that came to the United States 100 years ago has changed dramatically compared to now, it used to be a wave of immigration and now it said to be a flood.
Immigrants of all nationalities have been coming to the United States for as long as I can remember. The largest nationality as stated in the book on page 330 is the Mexican race. Mexicans have the highest % of immigration into the United States because they face the least problems coming here and it is the most reversible (books says on page 331) they can come here without having to worry about any oceans to cross, which a lot of other immigrants have to figure out a solution to. The book also says that Islam has a high migration flow into the United States as well, I think that a lot of Islam’s that come here help the United States because they are intelligent and take some of our harder jobs. Before 1 965, 95 percent of all immigrants came from European countries made an irrevocable commitment. Large German, Jewish, Irish and Italian communities sprang up in various cities. Immigration today is a different affair - with 36 million immigrants currently in the country, about 10 million of these foreign-born individuals are from Mexico.
Now days the laws that are in place regarding immigration have helped a lot compared to the no laws or the not very great laws form back in the day. Now we can receive permits to come over to the United States to work as the book says on page 367 so that you don’t have to illegally come over here. Although it was easier to get into the United States back then its now possible to become a legal citizen regardless of if you were born here or not. In 1921 and 1924, there were laws set that set quotas that limited the annual number of immigrants allowed from each country, and now those quotas don’t exist. Children of immigrants that are born in the United States are aloud to stay her and are considered citizens. The dream act as been in place in the United States now for a while which is where you can attend college without a Social Security and it helps immigrants be able to get a higher education.
Stressors I think that back in the earlier days immigrants coming to the United States had a bit more stressors then there are for them today. A lot of immigrants faced a lot of mental health, or just health issues back then which was caused by the stress of coming over here. I think that now a days it’s a bit more easier for them to come to the United States as said it the book that immigrants tend to now have higher immune systems then US citizens because they cant go to the doctor for every little thing they have wrong like we can so they build their immune systems up. I mean immigrants coming to the United States still face a lot of stressors don’t get me wrong, but back in the day it seems like it was so much worse. From reading the books it seems like language barriers were more of an issue back in the day then they are now. A lot of immigrants in the United States still speak their home language but know how to speak fluent English, which was not the case back in the earlier years.
In the book it says that you typically don’t go past the level of education that your parents have, I feel like that was more true based on statistics in back in the earlier times. In the book on page 221 the graph shows that quite a bit of immigrants here have high professional jobs, 50% of them from some orgins. To have high professional jobs a lot of those immigrants had to have college educations, which a lot of their parents did not have. I feel that immigrants coming over to the United States now are trying to be more then they came from, and want to better their lives. I don’t think that statistic is very relevant anymore because a lot of our high professional jobs in the United States are lead by immigrant from other countries. As the book says Indians are some of the highest employed in technology fields. 100 years ago immigrants in the United States couldn’t receive the type of education here as people that were born here could, they had separate schools or were homeschooled. Today you see all immigrants and US citizens in the same classrooms receiving the same education, which is the way it should be.
Jobs The jobs that immigrants who have came to the United States can have now compared to that of those back 100 years ago has completely changed as well. With the biggest thing being that slavery no longer exist here, and that immigrants choose to come here willingly. 100 years ago immigrants were brought in by employees to do the jobs that nobody here wanted to do, like working in the fields or the mines. Immigrants in the United States today hold some extremely high professional jobs. The chart on 221 shows that out of all the Germans who have migrated here, 50% of them hold high professional jobs. On page 235 in the book it says that in the 1970s 1/5 of US physicians were immigrants, and by the mid 80s foreign born students were earning more than half of all doctoral degrees in engineering awards by the US. The book says on page 352 that the Mexican labor forces in the United States has been a huge labor reservoir for us the economy has surpassed 12 trillion which generates a huge labor demand at both ends of the labor market. Immigrants don’t come here from Mexico because of Mexico is extremely poor country they are middle class the book says, but the 7-1 wage gap for manual labor is what is making immigrants from Mexico decide to come to the United States. The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement intensified these forces/(page 352) I think it has become harder for illegal immigrants to receive jobs here in the United States though, because most jobs require you to provide social security although you can find work some places illegally.
Social & politics
Now days compared to the older times I feel like society comes together as a whole more now then ever. Back then as stated in the first book blacks, and other races weren’t even aloud to sit in the same sections of diners, buses, and other common areas. I’ve never been to a place now where there is a section that are section off for different colors or races, which shows we are starting to accept each other as normal people. As we discussed in class the children of immigrants in the United States now have learned to adapt to their environment and are now able to function more with US citizens then immigrants were back in the older days. The book says that immigrants have actually brought advancements to the social areas of the United States because we have to adapt and we have learned to accept others.
100 years ago you wouldn’t have ever expected to be driving along the road and see a church for Muslims or any other religions other then those based from the United States, but now you can drive anywhere and see different types of churches all over for different nationalities. This is one example of how the United States is adapting to immigration. As the book says on page 300 religions has been a big part in the immigration changes as well. Religion is a way for immigrants who have came to the United States to be able to keep some of their heritage and homeland with them, back in the earlier periods immigrants were really aloud to practice their religions in public or talk about them and how they can do that mostly anywhere, provided by the freedom of religion.
Immigrants coming to the United States now compared to years ago have changed a lot, and I'm glad. The way immigrants were treated 100 years ago was a lot worse then how it is today. Sure there are some bad places today, but back in the day it was so much worse. We discussed in class how one time Americans told some immigrants from Mexico that they had found work for them and loaded them all on a train and sent them back to Mexico with no notice that is inhumane I feel because what about the family they had left behind, they had no choice but to go. I’m glad that US citizens and immigrants are learning to integrate and function as one now compared to the older days, this is going to benefit us in the long run I think. This helps promote peace between countries and is going to help our future generations out a lot with diversity and seeing not everyone is equal.
----- Thank you for this semester, I wasn’t sure what I was going into by signing up for this class, but it was honestly opened my eyes a lot and has made me look at immigrations bigger picture rather then just what people say. I have completely changed my views on immigration and am considering taking more courses like this.
Thanks for a Great semester!
- Jamie Heign