11/28/05 - immigrants

In today's excerpt - the dominant position the US maintains in international migration, a position that inevitably creates considerable internal controversy and political dissension, despite the fact that large scale in-migration is always correlated with high economic growth and achievement:

"... the USA ... has always absorbed the lion's share of the world's immigrants. In fact, the state of California by itself takes in more permanent immigrants than any other ...  in the world. Between 1980 and 1989, the USA received roughly a third of all the world's international migrants. ...

"As of 1990, the USA had 19.8 million foreign-born residents, comprising 8 per cent of its total population, compared with Canada's 4.2 million foreign born residents representing 16 per cent of its population. The foreign-born persentage has been increasing in both countries in recent decades as a result of a sharp upsurge in immigration that began in the mid-1960s. By the end of the 1980s, immigration into North America had come to exceed the record levels observed during the first decades of the century. For example, the average number of permanent immigrants admitted to the USA each year rose from 385,000 during the period 1970-4 to 603,000 during 1985-9. By 1991, it was running at 1.4 million per year, owing in part to the implementation of a legalization programme for undocumented migrants."


Douglas S. Massey et. al.


Worlds in Motion: Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millenium


Oxford University Press


Copyright 1998 by IUSSP


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