August 21, 2012

"Immigrants make up roughly the same share of the U.S. population today as they did a century ago."

"But changes in the global economy, and in U.S. immigration law, have dramatically shifted where U.S. immigrants are coming from."

2 graphs.

26 comments:

Peter said...

Assuming the 2010 graph includes illegal immigrants, can we assume that the census does not undercount them?

ricpic said...

Yo soy Mejicano. YO NO SOY AMERICANO!!!

bagoh20 said...

I'd like to see a comparison of the level of public assistance going to immigrants then and now. I love me those immigrants, but we used to just offer them jobs and freedom, now I think we offer too much dependence. I'd love to be proven wrong. Show me the numbers.

Joe said...

Out of genuine curiosity, what percentage see the immigration as temporary with the goal of returning to their country of origin?

This isn't new. In the rocky mountains, many immigrant coal miners came for the work with no intention of staying. White a few of those eventually returned to their country of origin. (I have a vague recollection that Slavs especially didn't stick around.)

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...

Related: Here is a short concise analysis of the fiscal effect of immigration on the U.S. which argues that the effects are relatively small, and in net, the good and bad about cancel out.

analysisonline.org

edutcher said...

Back then, we insisted everybody Americanize.

Now the Lefties want to Balkanize the country as much as possible - divide and rule.

WV "notedHo" Heidi Fleiss.

David said...

Bags--there was no public assistance then. My immigrant grandparents settled near cousins who had come before. The assistance was all from family, as was elder care. I have recently learned of a number of ancestors who lived into their 90's. All were taken in by relatives with one exception. My great grandfather, who was a prisoner at Andersonville during the Civil War, had many issues as a result of that experience. He died in 1924, having lived 20 of the previous 24 years in Civil War soldiers homes.

It makes sense to me that the fiscal effects of immigration are at least neutral. In the long run immigration has always been a plus for the nation.

On the other hand, if we train people in dependence of government from the time they arrive, the future results are going to vary.

Bill Harshaw said...

Their statistics are wrong. Foreign population was much smaller in 1960 than in either 1910 or 2010.

David said...

We did not insist that people "Americanize" in the past. Wisconsin had many schools that taught in German, for example. That went out of fashion when we fought Germany in WW I. There are many examples of immigrant groups retaining strong linguistic and cultural identify. They eventually "Ameicanized" but of their own volition largely, not because anyone insisted.

For the first 100 years we had no immigration restrictions at all. And by and large non-citizen immigrants were granted the right to vote. So you can argue the policy, but not the history.

Sorun said...

Immigrants used to get homesteads, but they had to be self-reliant in order to keep them.

I don't think immigrants of old were forced to Americanize, but my grandmother felt internally compelled to rid herself of even her Norwegian accent.

Henry said...

As at least one other commenter has pointed out, by far the biggest difference between immigration now and a century ago is public assistance. Reading V.D. Hansen accounts of Central and South American emigrants who now live in California's agricultural areas provides some real insight as to how damaging public assistance is to the country in these circumstances.

bagoh20 said...

Even in 1910, I assume there was some public financial support of immigrants. Even running Ellis Island cost money, and there were probably state and local soup kitchens or some housing help for those who became destitute, but I assume it was nearly nothing compared to today's government who makes it rain when you fill out a few forms.

The Drill SGT said...
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The Drill SGT said...

As a Native Californian, I get suicidal when I read VDH. I'l give you some of his factoids burned into my brain.

- Over the last 20 years, California added 10 million residents, and 7 million Medicaid enrollees

- it added around 150,000 taxpayers in gaining 10 million people, but added nearly as many prison cells

- where California used to have the best schools in the nation, now its teachers are the best paid, and there are double the number from 10 years ago, but the schools now rank somewere around 47th.

- 1/3 of the welfare claimants in the nation, now live in CA

- it has huge numbers of environmental laws, but no zoning laws (at least not enforced in the central valley)

- the taxes are the highest, the benefits the highest, and

- California is still gaining population, but losing citizens.

ugh

The Godfather said...

There were plenty of people a hundred years ago who found the Irish and Italian and Polish, etc. immigrants just as foreign and undesirable as some people today find the immigrants from Mexico and Asia and South America.

Illegality is a difference, of course, and so is the anti-assimilationism promoted by some. We already-here Americans, who tolerate the illegality and in many public schools promote the anti-assimilationism, are more responsible for the problems than the immigrants are.

edutcher said...

David said...

We did not insist that people "Americanize" in the past. Wisconsin had many schools that taught in German, for example. That went out of fashion when we fought Germany in WW I. There are many examples of immigrant groups retaining strong linguistic and cultural identify. They eventually "Ameicanized" but of their own volition largely, not because anyone insisted.

Between the discrimination ("No Irish Need Apply", etc.) and the need to make a buck, those were pretty strong incentives to fit in. The upper Midwest was something of an anomaly.

And take a look at Teddy Roosevelt's Hyphenates speech.

Darrell said...
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Mick said...

Legal or illegal?

Luke Lea said...

Now if we could only have another immigration reform like we did in the 1920's maybe this nation could come together. (Except racial diversity is going to make it harder, don't you think?)

Luke Lea said...

racial diversity = average genetic distance

http://tinyurl.com/9qcfgyq


True or false: the greater the genetic distance between groups the harder they find it to identify with each other?

Calypso Facto said...

But changes in the global economy, and in U.S. immigration law, have dramatically shifted where U.S. immigrants are coming from.

And European birth rates...

Darrell said...

Ted Kennedy's Immigration Act of 1965--not "globalization" or any other trends--changed the whole playing field, intentionally. Cloward–Piven may have been inspired by it. Although it stated that it would not increase the number of immigrants "just make things "fair," Customs and Immigration Services was printing handbooks outlining procedures to handle the exponential increase of workload and lobbying for new employees. It was a plan to destroy the US by replacing the groups that contributed to American success with uneducated, unmotivated, unskilled third-worlders in record time.

And it worked. With 3-4 million people coming every year, you have a completely different nation in forty years especially when combined with lower birth rates for the then European-origin population. Some groups--like the Indians-- did help thwart the Leftist plan by flourishing in American freedom, forestalling the demise. But sadly not all.

The "brain drain"--accomplished Europeans fleeing the Tax Hell of socialist Europe was not America's problem--it was Europe's. There was no need for redress here. Ted Kennedy gets a surveyor's tick mark for future time travelers, whomever they may be, deservingly so. Too bad that will only happen in imaginations.

(Re-posted for typo correction)

John Lynch said...

... and we shut down immigration about 100 years ago. For decades.

Peter said...

We did not insist that people "Americanize" in the past. Wisconsin had many schools that taught in German, for example. That went out of fashion when we fought Germany in WW I. There are many examples of immigrant groups retaining strong linguistic and cultural identity.

Dutch immigrants in the Hudson Valley surely must be the most extreme example. Although Dutch colonial rule ended in 1664, the last people who grew up speaking Dutch as a first language died off around the time of World War II, almost 300 years later.

There may still be a few native French speakers left in Old Mines (originally La Vielle Mine) Missouri, descendants of French miners who settled the area prior to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

Jim S. said...

Hmmm. They say immigrants, but the graphs just refer to people born outside of the USA. My kids were born outside of the USA, but since both their parents are American citizens, they are natural-born American citizens. So they're foreign-born American citizens.