For may years, America has been welcoming the tired, the poor, and those huddled masses to its shores, in hopes that they will find a better life here. And in most cases, that’s exactly what happens. However, there have been numerous circumstances that have affected the flow of immigration through the years, and have brought us to the present day. What were they?
14.53 million people immigrated to the United States between 1901 and 1920, and in fact, between 1820 and 1930, America absorbed about 60% of the world’s immigrants. Immigration exploded at the beginning of the 20th century, fueled by relative prosperity in the U.S., and war and economic turmoil abroad. This accounted for the biggest immigration influx to date.
Though immigration remained strong during the roaring ’20s, it came to a screeching halt during the Great Depression in the 1930s. An America scarce in wealth and jobs looked much less appealing to potential immigrants. At the same time, the U.S. also enacted stricter rules regarding immigration quotas. Still, 4.6 million people immigrated to the country during this period.
Immigration rose slightly during World War II, but did not reach pre-Depression levels. The Cold War of the ’50s also helped to keep the immigration rates low, just 3.55 million over these two decades.
Two decades of strong job growth in the United states was enough to boost the immigration rate to 7.8 million, once again reaching pre-Depression levels.
In 1980, there were 14.1 million foreign-born individuals in the United States. By 2000, that number had risen to 31.1 million, or 11.1% of the total U.S. population.
However, since then, the United States has seen the highest decade of immigration in American history. Between 2000 and 2010, 14 million new immigrants settled in the country, both legally and illegally. This was despite a major terrorist attack early in the decade, and a resulting economic downturn and shortage of jobs.
Today, immigrants comprise upwards of 13% of the population. The majority of immigrants are female, and their median age is greater than the native-born American average. Most immigrants today are Mexican, but the fastest-growing immigrant group is of Asian origin.
If you have immigrated to America, and find yourself facing deportation, or green card complications, you need a good immigration lawyer. The best immigration lawyers are well-versed in the various immigration laws, and specialize in both family based immigration and business immigration. Before you start to panic about being deported, contact your local immigration lawyers. Immigration lawyers are very familiar with these kinds of cases, and will be able to provide the legal assistance you need.