Modern immigration to the US is coming
from literally all over the globe. As international
cooperation, trade and contact has grown in the last
half of the 20th century, the movement of peoples has
Are Modern Immigrants?
The Immigration and Naturalization service's
statistics for the 1990's show that the majority of the immigrants
to the US are coming from Latin America (Mexico),
Southeastern Asia (Philippines, Vietnam, China and
Korea) and the Asian Subcontinent (India).
Why Did They
Economic opportunity still
remains the number one reason for immigration to the US.
Many of the immigrants living and working in the US are
sending much of their wages home to help support family
who cannot subsist in their home countries.
Others are allowed in for a wide-variety of reasons.
Many come seeking educational opportunities or are
recruited to fill jobs in the US for which specialized
skills are required (engineering and medicine among
other fields). Others seek political asylum or religious
asylum from autocratic or theocratic governments at
Issues Do They Face?
- Many newly arrived immigrants still
find discrimination and prejudice present in modern
- There is also a increased call for a further
tightening of US immigration law to restrict the
further influx of families and spouses, generally
allowed into the US in order to join family members
already immigrating. Further calls for restrictions
come in reaction to the increase in illegal
immigration (mostly via the US-Mexico border) and
the increasing denial of access and services to illegal
immigrants like those found in California.
Impact Do They Have?
New arrivals continue to
impact American society with new ideas and culture. The
growing influence of immigrants as a political force is
also of note. The increased representation on California
in Congress is a direct result of increased population
due to immigration. Also of note is the fact that 40% of
the voters in southern California are Hispanic or of Hispanic
decent. Recent history has also seen an increase
in activism by and on behalf of growing ethnic groups,
fueled by increased immigration and focused on reducing
discrimination and protecting rights and freedoms of minority