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date: 28 July 2017

Immigration to the United States after 1945

Summary and Keywords

Post-1945 immigration to the United States differed fairly dramatically from America’s earlier 20th- and 19th-century immigration patterns, most notably in the dramatic rise in numbers of immigrants from Asia. Beginning in the late 19th century, the U.S. government took steps to bar immigration from Asia. The establishment of the national origins quota system in the 1924 Immigration Act narrowed the entryway for eastern and central Europeans, making western Europe the dominant source of immigrants. These policies shaped the racial and ethnic profile of the American population before 1945. Signs of change began to occur during and after World War II. The recruitment of temporary agricultural workers from Mexico led to an influx of Mexicans, and the repeal of Asian exclusion laws opened the door for Asian immigrants. Responding to complex international politics during the Cold War, the United States also formulated a series of refugee policies, admitting refugees from Europe, the western hemisphere, and later Southeast Asia. The movement of people to the United States increased drastically after 1965, when immigration reform ended the national origins quota system. The intricate and intriguing history of U.S. immigration after 1945 thus demonstrates how the United States related to a fast-changing world, its less restrictive immigration policies increasing the fluidity of the American population, with a substantial impact on American identity and domestic policy.

Keywords: immigration patterns, bracero program, Asian exclusion, quota system, refugees

Overview

The vast majority of the immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries arrived from Europe, especially western Europe. The enactment of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act ended free immigration. Through legal measures and diplomatic agreements, the government also found ways to exclude Japanese (and Koreans), Indians, and Filipinos. The national origins quota system enacted in 1924 narrowed the entryway for eastern and southern Europeans. Although territorial annexation and the need for Mexican labor for industrial and agricultural developments drove Mexican immigration to the United States since the late 19th century, deportation of Mexican workers had prevented many Mexicans from attaining permanent residency in the United States. After 1945, however, sources of immigration became more diverse. As issues concerning the U.S. economy, World War II, and America’s role in international affairs became increasingly important, government regulations also became less restrictive. The result is that 21st-century trends in U.S. immigration have their roots in the important developments during and after World War II, especially in programs and policies designed to import agricultural workers from Mexico, end Asian exclusion, admit refugees, and abolish the national origins quota system. As streams of newcomers arrived from the western hemisphere, Asia, and Africa, immigration from Europe declined, and many European nations also began to shift from sources of U.S. immigration to destinations of international migration. These changes have affected the American population and American society in profound ways. Today, European immigrants and their descendants represent less than two-thirds of the American population, as the growth of immigrants from the western hemisphere, Asia, and Africa and their U.S.-born descendants has continued.

The Bracero Program

The most important source of U.S. immigration since 1945 is Mexico. Mexico occupies a unique position in U.S. immigration history due to its political and economic ties with the United States and geographical proximity of the two nations. Some Mexicans were longtime residents of the southern and western regions of North America. In the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ending the Mexican-American War, the United States annexed northern Mexico, making some fifty thousand Mexicans living in that region American residents. For several decades after the annexation, residents of both nations crossed the border frequently to join their family members and relatives; the nearly two thousand miles of national border that separates the southwestern states and Mexico made the crossing relatively easy. High demands in southwestern states for low-wage labor provided economic incentives for U.S.-bound migration. Around 1900, the United States began to recruit impoverished rural workers from west-central Mexican states. Recruitment intensified after World War I. After the 1924 immigration law restricted the entry of southern and eastern Europeans, more than six hundred thousand Mexicans arrived in the 1920s.1 But during the Great Depression, the government deported as many as 453,000 Mexicans to reduce domestic unemployment pressure.2

Compared to these early efforts, the recruitment of Mexican farm workers that began in World War II was larger in scale and had a more lasting impact. Immediately after the Pearl Harbor incident, severe shortages of domestic labor compelled the United States to seek labor once again from its next-door neighbor. Initiated in 1942 with the collaboration of the Mexican government, the Bracero Program arranged for the importation of young male Mexicans to southwestern U.S. farms as guest workers (some also contracted to work on the railroad). These workers entered on a temporary immigration status; their six-month visas were renewable upon approval of their employers. Between 1942 and 1964, as many as 4.6 million Mexicans came to work under the Bracero Program; many workers renewed their visas or entered the program multiple times.

By using guest workers, the Bracero Program enabled the U.S. government to solve the problem of labor shortages while maintaining control over immigration. Nevertheless, the program enhanced a mutual dependency between Mexican workers and American growers. To many Mexican peasants, seasonal work in the United States became an economic strategy, as small savings from temporary employment away from home provided a much needed financial supplement. When the demand for manual labor in the United States outstripped the supply, Mexicans moved across the border in increasing numbers without documentation. Some braceros who were dissatisfied with the terms and conditions of their contracts also found employment elsewhere. In 1954, the U.S. Border Patrol launched the “Operation Wetback” program to massively deport undocumented migrants, but the number of undocumented Mexican workers increased again after the Bracero Program ended.

The Bracero Program recruited only male workers and required them to leave after fulfilling their contracts. Some women and children crossed the border without inspection to live with their families; many women lived in bracero camps and worked alongside male workers in the fields. Domestic labor was another form of employment for these immigrant women. Workers with families tended to stay in the United States longer. In the 1950s and early 1960s, some bracero families gained legal status to settle permanently.3 After the program ended in 1964, many former braceros adjusted their legal status and eventually gained citizenship. They played an important role in the growth of Mexican American population.4

The Repeal of Asian Exclusion

The United States has actively engaged in trade and commerce with Asian nations since the mid-19th century. Two years after Great Britain forced China to open its ports for trade in the Treaty of Nanjing (1842) following the Opium War, the United States secured concessions from the Qing government through the Treaty of Wanghia (Wangxia). In 1852, Commodore Matthew C. Perry was dispatched to open the doors of Japan to American trade. His mission was accomplished in the 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa. The United States also took military action against Korea in 1871 and imposed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce on the kingdom in 1882.

Trade and commerce with Asia led to the movement of people. The Chinese started to arrive during the California Gold Rush (1848–1855), along with tens of thousands of migrants from Latin America, Europe, and Australia. The Japanese came next, followed by the Koreans. From the British colony also arrived Asian Indians. Once the United States incorporated the Philippines as a territory after the Spanish-American War, Filipinos could enter freely. The Asian population in the United States, however, remained small (about a quarter million) before World War II. An 1882 law and its amendments, known as the Chinese Exclusion Acts, barred the entry of Chinese laborers for sixty-one years. Diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Japan excluded Japanese laborers in 1907. A 1917 immigration law denied entry to those from the British colony in India. Meanwhile, Asian immigrants were categorized as “alien ineligible for citizenship” by law or court decisions. And finally, the 1924 Immigration Act created an “Asia-Pacific Triangle” to bar immigrants from all Asian countries. Sentiment against Filipino migration played a crucial role in the ideological and moral debate over American empire, leading to the enactment of the 1934 Tydings-McDuffie Act. Granting independence to the Philippines in ten years, the new law changed the status of Filipinos from nationals to aliens and reduced Filipino immigration to fifty per year. These laws prevented Asian immigration and effectively limited the growth of the Asian American population.

Asian exclusion began to end during World War II. The end of Chinese exclusion in 1943 was hardly a genuine measure of immigration reform. Instead, the government used this goodwill gesture to boost China’s resistance against Japanese military aggression in the Pacific. The campaign to abrogate exclusion was led by the Citizen’s Committee to Repeal Chinese Exclusion, organized by a group of “friends of China.” As a political strategy, the Committee kept a distance from Chinese Americans and downplayed the impact of the repeal on Chinese immigration. Endorsed by Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Magnuson Act, named for Representative Warren G. Magnuson (D-WA), repealed all the Chinese exclusion acts, provided an annual quota of 105 for Chinese immigration, and granted Chinese immigrants naturalization rights. Magnuson argued that “the quota system amply puts brakes and complete control over any migrant labor,” and the “purpose of the bill is not in any sense to allow migrant labor, merely to put Chinese, our allies, on equal basis with other countries.”5 Responding to questions from those who feared a Chinese influx, President Roosevelt assured the Congress that the small Chinese quota would prevent that from happening, and that “there can be no reasonable apprehension that any such number of immigrants will cause unemployment or provide competition in the search of jobs.”6

The repeal of Chinese exclusion opened the door for other Asian groups almost immediately. In 1946, the government ended exclusion of Filipinos and Indians, providing the Philippines and India each a quota of one hundred. Pakistan received the same quota after it gained independence in 1947. Because Japan was the wartime enemy, Japanese exclusion continued for several more years, until 1952. The McCarran-Walter Act brought Asian exclusion to an end. Adopting the “Asia-Pacific Triangle” concept, it granted each Asian nation an annual quota of one hundred, with a cap of two thousand for the entire continent. The law also made all Asian immigrants eligible for naturalization.

Some scholars view the McCarran-Walter Act as a product of nativism, because it perpetuated the national origins quota system established in the 1924 Immigration Act. Others, however, see it as progressive. Recognizing the limitations of the legislation, Roger Daniels argues that it was the “liberalizing elements in the 1952 act, part of the Cold War transformation of American immigration policy that helped lay the demographic basis for the multiculturalism that emerged in the United States at the end of the twentieth century.”7

The repeal of exclusion laws indeed laid the demographic basis for the expansion of Asian immigration. Although the number of quota immigrants granted to Asian nations was small, once classified as “admissible,” some Asians were able to come using non-quota status under general immigration laws. Two years after the repeal of Chinese exclusion, the 1945 War Brides Act granted admissions to spouses and children of U.S. military personnel, allowing Chinese American war veterans to bring over their family members. In 1946 this privilege was extended to alien fiancées and fiancés. And in 1946, another act allowed Chinese wives of American citizens to enter as non-quota immigrants. More than seven thousand Chinese women arrived as spouses or fiancées of war veterans, and many of them came with children.8 The 1947 amendment of the War Brides Act removed exclusion restrictions, giving admission to spouses and children of American military personnel regardless of their race and nationality. More Asian women arrived in the 1950s and 1960s under the McCarran-Walter Act, which provided non-quota status for spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens. As a byproduct of the postwar U.S. military presence in Asia, thousands of women from Japan, Korean, and the Philippines gained entry to the United States because of their marriage to U.S. military personnel. For the first time, the majority Asian newcomers were female, which helped balance the sex ratio of Asian populations in the United States. The male-to-female ratio among Chinese Americans, for example, went from 2.9 to 1 in 1940 to 1.9 to 1 in 1950 and 1.3 to 1 in 1960.9

Formulating Refugee Policies

During and after World War II, the United States emerged as the world’s leading power, which required not only its involvement in international affairs but also new directions for domestic and foreign policy. Refugee policies formulated during this period reflected this change. Pressure to accommodate refugees began during the war. In 1940, the government used administrative measures to accept thousands of individuals who escaped from Germany and German-occupied Europe. Established in 1944, the War Refugee Board facilitated the entry of European refugees, the majority of whom were Jewish. Later, the government also developed ways to enable these refugees to become permanent immigrants.10 The number of refugees admitted during the war was relatively small, but the measures and creative ways to accommodate them and the public debate involved had a lasting impact on U.S. immigration policies.

Immediately after the war, the United States was pressured to deal with the over thirty million dislocated Europeans, including a million displaced persons (DPs) who had been forced from their homelands during the war. President Harry S. Truman issued a directive in 1946 to allocate half of the European quotas for refugee admissions. Enacted in 1948 and amended in 1950, the displaced persons acts authorized the admission of 202,000 individuals in two years. These measures were developed within the framework of the existing immigration law by allowing nations to mortgage their future quotas. The DP acts eventually admitted four hundred thousand Europeans; 16 percent of them were Jewish.11 From 1949 to 1952, almost half of the new immigrants were admitted as refugees; most of them had no connections with American citizens. In the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act, refugee policies were incorporated into immigration regulation. Because many of the newcomers had no connections in the United States, assistance was provided through voluntary social service networks (VOLAGS). As this practice continued, the VOLAGS and the religious and ethnic groups involved in them also began to influence American immigration policy.12

International politics during the Cold War led to more lenient immigration policies for those who claimed to be political refugees from communist nations. The increasing pressure to accept more and more political refugees and allow them to adjust their legal status made immigration reform inevitable. The 1953 Refugee Relief Act abandoned the mortgaging practices of the DP acts, admitting 214,000 refugees as non-quota immigrants.13 Most of those entered as political refugees after World War II were from eastern Europe, and a relatively smaller number admitted were from Asia. The 1950s and 1960s saw an influx of Hungarian refugees who rebelled against the communist government and Cuban refugees after communists took over during the Cuban Revolution. Coming from a western hemisphere nation, the Cubans were not subject to quota restrictions. In 1957, Congress defined refugees to be those persons fleeing persecution in communist countries or nations in the Middle East. The 1965 Immigration Act included refugees in the preference system and provided a quota of up to 10,200. Although the 1965 Immigration Act imposed a numerical ceiling for western hemisphere nations, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced an open-door policy for Cuba, promising to admit every refugee from there.

Most successful asylum petitions were filed by individuals from communist countries. In 1987 alone a total of 7,318 of immigrants from the Soviet Union, Poland, and Romania adjusted their status through asylum. In the years since 1990 political asylum was a major means for undocumented individuals or temporary visa holders from China to adjust legal status. A 1989 act provided admissions to three hundred thousand Soviet Jews, Pentecostal Christians, and Armenians. Between 1992 and 2007, more than 131,000 individuals from war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina were granted asylum. Like those who came with refugee status, immigrants who were granted asylum could work and receive government assistance.

Cold War politics also brought the United States into the war in Vietnam in the late 1950s. More than half a million U.S. troops were sent to Vietnam fighting against the Northern communist forces in the 1960s. After the gradual withdrawal of American troops, North Vietnamese forces took control of the country. Thousands of Vietnamese fled with the assistance of the American embassy after the fall of Saigon in April 1975; among them were former South Vietnamese officials, military personnel, and individuals who had close ties with Americans. More individuals left by their own means for other nations. This refugee crisis caught the U.S. government unprepared, for the numerical cap provided in the 1965 Immigration Act was far from adequate. Between 1975 and 1979, Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter used their executive power to create one refugee program after another, allocating more slots each time. Some four hundred thousand refugees were admitted, including not only Vietnamese but also Cambodians and Laotians who fled after communists took power in their countries. The exodus continued throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, as large groups of Southeast Asians crossed the borders to refugee camps in Thailand. Most of those who left after 1978 had little education and could not speak English, and the United States had no choice but to accept most of them. To organize the situation, the 1980 Refugee Act set a cap of fifty thousand refugees each year. Adopting the criteria of the United Nations, the law defined refugees as “any person” who, owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion,” seeks refuge outside of his country.14 The 1987 Amerasian Homecoming Act also admitted children fathered by American soldiers with Asian women as well as these children’s parents and siblings. Among the one million refugees arriving in the 1980s were some 581,000 from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. For the first time after World War II, more than 70 percent of the refugees admitted were from Asia. The Southeast Asia refugee exodus continued into the early years of 1990s, until the normalization of diplomatic relations with Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. By 2000 more than a million Vietnamese had been admitted.

Abolishing National Origins Quotas

The most important piece of immigration legislation, one that would change the pattern of immigration more profoundly than any other measures, was enacted on October 3, 1965. Known as the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (or Hart-Celler Act), the new law abolished the discriminatory national origins quota system established in the 1924 Immigration Act.15 Whereas the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act allocated a quota of 2,990 for Asia, 1,400 for Africa, and 149,667 for Europe, the new legislation provided each nation an equal annual number of twenty thousand slots. The cap for the total quota for the eastern hemisphere was set at 170,000. The law also imposed a ceiling of 120,000 for the western hemisphere, with no limit for individual nations. A new preference system was introduced, as well as a labor certification program.

The new law was applauded for its emphasis on family unification. It gave non-quota status to immediate family members, including spouses, unmarried minor children, and parents of U.S. citizens. A new preference system also reserved 74 percent of the eastern hemisphere quota for four categories of family members and relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, including unmarried children age twenty-one or older of U.S. citizens, spouses and unmarried children age twenty-one or older of permanent residents, married children age 21 or older of U.S. citizens, and siblings of U.S. citizens. Two of the three remaining categories of the preference system included occupations needed in the United States, such as professionals, scientists, or artists of exceptional ability, as well as skilled and unskilled workers. The last preference provided 6 percent of the total quota for refugees. Western hemisphere immigrants, although not limited by the new preference system, were subject to labor clearance.

Although the Hart-Celler bill was endorsed by the majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, some scholars argue that few politicians had anticipated that the new law would change the structure of U.S. immigration. The populations of Asian and African Americans were small in the mid-1960s, which suggested that they would be unlikely to take full advantage of the preference system. In other words, European immigration would continue to be the dominant force.16At the signing ceremony in front of the Statue of Liberty, President Lyndon Johnson reassured the public, announcing, “This bill that we will sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives.” Right after the ceremony, however, the president admitted to his press secretary, Bill Moyers, in private, “If this was not a revolutionary law, what the blank did we go all the way to New York to sign it for?”17

Amendments to the 1965 Immigration Act adjusted the proportion of professionals and family members allowed under the quota. In the late 1970s Congress reduced the number of professionals and other workers. Immigrants admitted in these categories were required to have job offers in hand, and their employers were responsible for filing the application for alien employment certificates. In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act imposed civil and criminal penalties on employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens. The quota number for siblings of citizens was reduced significantly. The Immigration Act of 1990 re-endorsed the family preference system, increased the number of visas for priority workers and professionals with U.S. job offers, and encouraged the immigration of investors. It also created a “diversity visas” program to benefit immigrants from underrepresented countries.18

Post-World War II Immigration

Changes in U.S. immigration policies during and after World War II had a great impact on contemporary immigration. A major shift was the sources of immigration. In the first three decades of the 20th century, 80 percent of the roughly 28 million immigrants originated from Europe. Deportations of Mexican laborers and implementation of Asian exclusion limited the growth of immigrants from the western hemisphere and Asia. The number of immigrants dropped significantly during the Great Depression and World War II. Although Europeans continued to dominate the immigration statistics in the first two decades after the war, a new pattern began to emerge. In the 1950s over half of the total immigrants came from Europe, and the majority of them arrived from western European countries. In the 1960s, however, immigrants from the western hemisphere would replace those from Europe to become a dominant source.

Europe

Western Europeans dominated U.S. immigration statistics until 1890. Although the number of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe began to rise between 1890 and 1920, their entry was limited by the national origins quota system created in the 1924 Immigration Act. The 1952 McCarran-Walter Act reaffirmed this policy, providing large quota allotment to Great Britain (65,000), Germany (26,000), and the Republic of Ireland (18,000) out of the 149,667 total for all European immigrants. In contrast, the numbers allotted for Asia and Africa stood at 2,990 and 1,400, respectively. In addition, a large number of Europeans also came as refugees or displaced persons (Table 1).

Table 1. Sources of Immigration to the United States, 1950–2009. Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Region of Origin

1950–1959

1960–1969

1970–1979

1980–1989

1990–1999

2000–2009

Total (000s)

2,499

3,214

4,248

6,244

9,775

10,229

Europe (%)

56.2

35.3

19.4

10.7

13.8

13.1

Austria

3.3

.5

.3

.2

.2

.2

Belgium

.8

.3

.1

.1

.1

.1

Bosnia-Herzegovina

.3

1.0

Czechoslovakia

.1

.1

.1

.1

.1

.2

Denmark

.4

.3

.1

.1

.1

.1

France

2.0

.5

.6

.5

.4

.4

Germany

23.1

6.5

1.8

1.4

.9

1.2

Greece

1.8

2.3

2.4

.6

.3

.2

Hungary

1.3

.3

.1

.1

.1

.1

Ireland

1.9

1.2

.3

.4

.7

.2

Italy

7.4

6.2

3.5

.9

.8

.3

Netherlands

1.9

1.2

.2

.2

.1

.2

Norway

.9

.5

.1

.1

.1

.0

Poland

.3

1.7

.8

1.0

1.8

1.1

Portugal

.6

2.2

2.5

.7

.3

.1

Romania

.0

.1

.3

.4

.5

.5

Russia1

.0

.1

.7

.5

4.4

1.6

Spain

.3

1.3

1.0

.4

.2

.2

Sweden

.9

.6

.1

.2

.1

.1

Switzerland

.7

.6

.2

.1

.1

.1

Ukraine

1.3

1.5

United Kingdom

7.8

6.9

3.1

2.5

1.6

1.7

Yugoslavia2

.3

.6

.8

.3

.6

1.3

Others

.5

.2

.1

.1

.0

.3

Asia(%)

5.4

11.2

33.1

38.3

29.3

33.7

Bangladesh

.1

.2

.6

1.0

Cambodia

.1

1.8

.2

.3

China

.4

.4

.4

2.7

3.5

5.7

Hong Kong

.6

2.1

2.8

1.8

1.2

.6

India

.1

.6

3.5

3.7

3.6

5.7

Iran

.1

.3

.8

1.6

.8

.7

Israel

.9

1.0

.9

.7

.4

.5

Japan

1.6

1.3

1.2

.7

.7

.8

Jordan

.2

.3

.6

.5

.4

.5

Korea, South

.2

.8

5.7

5.2

1.8

2.0

Laos

.2

2.4

.5

.2

Pakistan

.6

.9

1.2

1.5

Philippines

.7

2.2

7.9

8.0

5.5

5.3

Syria

.0

.1

.2

.2

.2

.3

Taiwan

.0

.5

2.0

1.9

1.4

.9

Thailand

.9

1.0

.5

.6

Turkey

.1

.3

.3

.3

.4

.5

Vietnam

.0

.1

2.9

3.2

2.8

2.8

Others

.6

1.3

2.1

1.4

3.3

3.6

West Hemisphere (%)

36.9

52.1

44.8

43.2

52.6

43.1

Argentina

.7

1.5

.7

.4

.3

.5

Brazil

.5

.9

.4

.4

.5

1.1

Canada

14.1

13.5

4.2

2.5

2.0

2.3

Colombia

.6

2.1

1.7

1.7

1.4

2.3

Cuba

2.9

6.3

6.0

2.1

1.6

2.6

Dominican Republic

.4

2.6

3.3

3.5

3.7

2.8

Ecuador

.3

1.1

1.1

.8

.8

1.0

El Salvador

.2

.4

.7

2.2

2.8

2.4

Guatemala

.2

.4

.6

.9

1.3

1.5

Guyana

.0

.1

.9

1.4

.8

.7

Haiti

.2

.9

1.3

1.9

1.8

2.0

Honduras

.2

.5

.4

.6

.7

.6

Jamaica

.3

1.9

3.1

3.1

1.8

2.0

Mexico

11.0

13.7

14.6

16.2

28.2

16.5

Nicaragua

.3

.3

.3

.5

.8

.7

Peru

.2

.6

.6

.8

1.1

1.3

Venezuela

.4

.6

.3

.4

.4

.8

Others

2.4

.7

.0

.0

.0

.0

Africa (%)

.5

.7

1.7

2.3

3.5

7.4

Egypt

.1

.2

.6

.4

.5

.8

Ethiopia

.0

.0

.1

.2

.4

.8

Liberia

.0

.0

.1

.1

.1

.2

Morocco

.1

.1

.0

.1

.2

.4

South Africa

.1

.1

.2

.2

.2

.3

Others

.2

.3

.7

1.2

2.2

4.8

Oceania (%)

.5

.7

.9

.7

.6

.6

Australia

.3

.5

.4

.3

.2

.3

Fiji

.1

.1

.1

.1

New Zealand

.1

.1

.1

.1

.1

.1

Others

.1

.2

.3

.2

.1

.1

(1.) Data between 1950 and 1990 refer to the Soviet Union. From 1991 to 1999, data refer to Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Beginning in 2000, data refer to Russia only.

(2.) Data include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, and Serbia and Montenegro.

The dominance of western European immigration ended in the 1960s when the number of immigrants from other regions began to rise. By the time the 1965 Immigration Act became effective, several southern European communities in the U.S. were large enough to utilize the new law for family unification. Greek and Italian populations in the United States grew rapidly, followed by the Portuguese and other groups. During the Cold War era, many eastern Europeans, especially those from Hungary, the Soviet Union, Poland, and Romania, gained admissions as refugees (Table 1). At the same time, economic recovery in western European countries provided local opportunities, giving less incentive for people to migrate. Moreover, as the pace of economic growth quickened, Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands also became destinations of international migration, attracting large numbers of immigrants from southern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, and Asia. These changes significantly changed the pattern of U.S. immigration.

Most contemporary European immigrants arrived through family unification. A large number of them, especially eastern European immigrants, also came as professionals. Some students who came to seek advanced degrees were able to adjust their legal status upon graduation and receiving U.S.-based job offers. An increasing number of well-educated European professionals came with job-sponsored visas, but many others also came for agricultural and manual work. Poverty rates are high among several eastern European immigrant groups, especially those from Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, and Yugoslavia.19

Since the late 20th century, European immigration to the United States has been heavily affected by the pace of globalization. The development of the European Union in the 1990s, with the creation of European citizenship, enabled free movements of goods, services, and capital, as well as people. This means that Europeans have many options if they want to relocate. Migrants who gained entry to one European country could also relocate to another. The United States is still attracting European immigrants, especially those with family connections and marketable skills. European workers seeking better employment opportunities, however, could find alternatives in closer destinations, especially when demand for manual labor and agricultural workers increased in Germany, Italy, and Spain. Western Europe itself has become a magnet for immigration.

Table 2. Top Ten Sources of U.S. Immigration, 1950–2009. Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

1950–1959

1960–1969

1970–1979

1980–1989

1990–1999

2000–2009

Germany

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico

Canada

Canada

Philippines

Philippines

Philippines

China

Mexico

UK

Cuba

South Korea

Russia

India

UK

Germany

Korea

India

Dominican Rep.

Philippines

Italy

Cuba

Canada

Dominican Rep.

India

Dominican Rep.

Austria

Italy

Italy

Vietnam

China

Vietnam

Cuba

Dominican Rep.

India

Jamaica

Vietnam

Cuba

France

Greece

Dominican Rep.

China

El Salvador

El Salvador

Ireland

Philippines

UK

Canada

Canada

Colombia

Netherlands

Portugal

Jamaica

UK

South Korea

Canada

Western Hemisphere

Historical and geographical ties with the United States shaped some of the unique features of western hemisphere immigration. The Monroe Doctrine of 1820 declared the United States had a special interest of in the Americas. Although during the 1930s Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy seemed to suggest that the United States might stay out of Latin American affairs, this policy was reversed during the Cold War. Interventions by the United States the in affairs of Latin American countries played an important role in shaping immigration policies toward these countries. Demand for low-wage labor in the United States and poverty at home created economic incentives for U.S.-bound migration from Latin American countries, especially in times of war, civil unrest, and violence. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a total of fifty-four million Hispanics lived in the United States in 2013, representing 17 percent of the population. More than half of the Hispanic population was Mexicans (64 percent). As Table 1 and Table 2 indicate, immigration from western hemisphere nations grew at a fast pace in the second half of the 20th century, and since the 1960s Mexico has been the most important source of U.S. immigration.

Canada was a major western hemisphere source of immigration in the 1950s, but it could not hold its place a decade later, as an increasing number of the immigrants also began to return to their homeland. The 1960s also witnessed a significant increase of immigrants from other western hemisphere nations, including some 200,000 Cubans, 100,000 Dominicans, and 70,000 Colombians. As indicated in Figure 1, immigrants from the western hemisphere replaced those from Europe to become the driving force of U.S. immigration in the 1960s.

Immigration to the United States after 1945Click to view larger

Figure 1. Percentage of Total Immigrants to the United States by Region, 1950–2009. Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The importance of Mexico in U.S. immigration reflects the close relationship between the two nations. The Bracero Program initiated in 1942 recruited 4.6 million Mexican agricultural workers over a period of twenty-two years. Although the program required the workers to return to Mexico after their contracts ended, some bracero wives and children found ways to come and eventually adjusted their legal status. Many of those remaining in the United States in 1964 also became permanent U.S. residents and later were eligible to send for their families and relatives. Without quota limitation, the number of Mexican immigrants rose quickly, from 61,000 in the 1940s to 300,000 in the 1950s, and to 454,000 during the 1960s. After a ceiling of 120,000 entries per year for western hemisphere immigration was imposed by legislation in 1965, no national quota limit was set. This allowed Mexican immigrants to take a large share of the hemisphere quota. A 1976 law provided each western hemisphere country with an annual quota of 20,000 and established a preference system.20 In 1978, a new law set a worldwide ceiling of 290,000 and established a universal preference system.21 Because immediate family members of U.S. citizens are not counted, some 680,000 Mexicans gained entry in the 1970s. In the 1990s, Mexico’s share of immigration was 28.2 percent, slightly smaller than the share from all Asian nations (29.3 percent) but significantly larger than that of all European nations (13.8 percent).

Since the Bracero Program, the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico has increased, as many migrants adopted a pattern of back-and-forth movement across the border. The dependence of American growers on the supply of low-wage labor from Mexico also bounded the countries together. In the 1980s, a record high of three million Mexicans gained entry, including 2.3 million undocumented individuals under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). The new law also tightened border patrols and imposed penalties for hiring undocumented immigrants, but several million more still arrived between 1990 and 2010. Of an estimated 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the United States in 2012, about 59 percent were from Mexico.

The Cuban exodus to the United States reflected deteriorating relations between the two countries. From 1959 and the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, more than one hundred thousand refugees were admitted to the United States; many of them were educated or had professional skills. Those that came between 1965 and 1973 were more numerous but less well-to-do. In the chaotic exodus of the Mariel boatlift in 1980, which lasted for 162 days, the United States Coast Guard assisted more than one thousand vessels carrying refugees from the small fishing port of Mariel west of Havana to South Florida, bringing 125,000 individuals, including a large number of blacks and unskilled workers. That year alone, some 350,000 Cubans gained entry, which was more than the annual total allotted for all immigrants. Although there were no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, the United States reached an agreement with Cuba in 1996 and granted the country an annual quota of 20,000.22 By 2000, some 900,000 Cubans were admitted as refugees. An annual average of more than 30,000 individuals gained entry since then. A program administered by the Department of Homeland Security in 2006 also brought six thousand medical professionals from Cuba. Cuban immigrants built a large ethnic community in Miami, which became the most desirable destination for newcomers.

Increasing numbers of immigrants also arrived from several other western hemisphere nations. The Dominican Republic, which had a historical tie with the United States (U.S troops occupied the island nation for eight years from 1916 to 1924), began to send large numbers in the 1960s. In the years after 1970, an annual average of twenty-five thousand Dominicans have been admitted, and those who came as tourists and overstayed their visas or who arrived in the United States via Puerto Rico were largely uncounted. Many Dominican immigrants could enjoy dual citizenship after 1994, which further encouraged migration. War, violence, poverty, and natural disasters also encouraged immigration from Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other Central American nations. The Nicaraguans began to arrive in large numbers in the 1960s and joined Cuban immigrants in Florida, especially Miami. Most immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador were from rural backgrounds. In 1997, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act granted amnesty to tens of thousands of Central Americans (Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, etc.) who had arrived by that year. Asylum was rarely granted for undocumented immigrants who arrived after 1997. South America, especially Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Venezuela, began to send large numbers of immigrants in the 1970s. From that continent about one half million migrants arrived in the 1990s, and an average of seventy-five thousand arrived annually in the first decade of the 21st century.

Jamaica and Haiti are two major Caribbean sending nations. Jamaica was the tenth largest source of immigration in the 1970s and climbed to seventh in the following decade. Although most Haitians came as refugees, the United States did not treat them the same as they did Cubans. Several thousand Haitians fled from the increasingly authoritarian government before 1960. Most of the ninety thousand Haitians who came between 1961 and 1980 were poor and had little education; they left to escape poverty, violence, and political turmoil. After 1980, more Haitians landing on American soil were undocumented. Fleeing from right-wing tyrants instead of communism, Haitians were often classified as economic migrants rather than political refugees, which led to frequent rejection of their petitions for asylum. Those who arrived before 1982 were eligible for amnesty under IRCA. In 1990, the Haitian Fairness Refugee Act provided a means for over twenty thousand individuals to adjust their legal status. As many Haitians became American citizens, they could sponsor family members, but undocumented immigrants continued to arrive. As members of the poorest immigrant group, many Haitians could not find decent jobs due to their limited education levels, lack of English proficiency, and in some cases poor health.

Asia

After several decades of exclusion, the Asian American population began to grow slowly in the postwar years. The majority of the early immigrants from Asian were male in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The repeal of exclusion laws, though with a small quota for each country, made it possible for women and children to gain admission outside the quota system. After World War II, family-centered Asian American communities began to develop.

The 1965 Immigration Act had a profound impact on Asian immigration. For the first time, Asian countries were placed on the same basis as European countries. The law increased the quota for each Asian country more than one hundredfold, making large-scale immigration from the continent possible. The new law also opened the door for professional labor, allowing Asians with occupational qualifications to come.

Whereas the 1965 Immigration Act opened the door wide to Asian immigration, not all countries took the full quota allotment. Most Asian countries did not have large population base in the United States at the time. Among the five established Asian American communities—Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Indian, only three were able to benefit from the new law within a relatively short time. Filipino Americans took the lead. By then, there was a large population of Filipinos living in the United States. Political instability and economic problems in Philippines were the major incentives for emigration. Due to the U.S. colonization of the Philippines in the first half of the 20th century (1900–1946), Filipinos were quite familiar with American culture and society. Educated in an American-style school system, most young Filipinos could speak English, which made the United States the most desirable destination for prospective migrants. Those trained in the medical profession, especially nurses, were welcomed by American hospitals. With established family networks in this country and marketable skills, it was relatively easy for Filipino immigrants to adjust their lives in America. In the decade of the 1960s, the Philippines emerged as one of the top ten immigrant-sending countries. It ranked second, behind Mexico, for the three decades between 1970 and 2000 (see Table 2).

The Korean immigrant population in the United States was relatively small before 1945. After the Korean War, however, many Korean wives of American servicemen gained entry under the McCarran-Walter Act as wives of U.S. citizens. Small groups of students also gained entry during this period. These military brides and some established students were among the first to sponsor their family members and relatives after 1965. In the 1960s and 1970s the South Korean government encouraged emigration to reduce the pressure of its growing population. By then, the presence of American troops in Korea after the Korean War and frequent exchanges between the two nations had exposed South Koreans to the material advantages of American way of life. Streams of emigration to the United States began almost immediately after the 1965 Immigration Act became effective. Regardless of their skills and educational background, many Korean immigrants became self-employed, because it was difficult for them to find employment. During the three decades between 1970 and 1999, Korea was one of the top ten immigrant-sending countries.

The South Asian immigrant population was small before 1945. In the two decades after World War II, some Indian students came to study science, engineering, medicine, and business. Once these students settled in the United States, they became the core node of the immigration network for family unification. Since 1970, India has made the list of the top ten sending nations every decade. In addition to family members and students, Indian immigration to the United States was facilitated by the employment-based preference. In the 2014 fiscal year, Indians accounted for 70 percent of the 316,000 H1-B petitions.23 As indicated in Table 1, the Indian share of total immigrants increased steadily from 3.5 percent in the years 1970–1979 to 5.7 percent in 2000–2009. The partition of Pakistan from India in 1948 and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 also affected the immigration from South Asia. Once they were independent, the two nations received separate quotas. Pakistani immigrants began to increase significantly in the 1980s. After a slow start, Bangladesh also emerged as an important source of immigration in the 21st century.

The Japanese and Chinese were the two largest Asian immigrant groups in 1960, but neither Japan nor China was a major source of immigration in the 1960s and 1970s. After World War II, Japan built close ties with the United States. In addition to the existing ethnic Japanese population, thousands of Japanese women arrived as wives of U.S. servicemen. Like the Koreans, citizens of Japan were familiar with American culture and society. But unlike in the postwar years, by the late 1960s, Japan had emerged as an industrial country, and its economy was able to provide good employment opportunities to its own citizens. Enjoying a relatively high standard of living during the economic boom, the Japanese had little incentive to move abroad. As a result, Japan has not filled the immigration quota provided by the 1965 law.

Immigration from China has been shaped by contemporary Chinese history and U.S.-China relations. Although the Chinese re the second largest Asian immigrant group in 1960, most Chinese living in the United States could not sponsor their family members or relatives in China from 1949 to 1979 because of the lack of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Most of the Chinese who came in the 1960s and 1970s were from either Taiwan or Hong Kong; the latter was then a British colony. Most of those from Taiwan in the 1960s and 1970s were students, and they later were able to sponsor their family members. Not until 1979, when the United States normalized diplomatic relationship with the People’s Republic of China, did the number of Chinese admitted begin to rise. Many of those sponsored by their relatives in the United States were from China’s southern coastal province of Guangdong. Beginning in the 1980s, China also sent large numbers of students each year; many of them later settled in the United States. During the first decade of the 21st century, China replaced Philippines as the second largest source of immigration after Mexico. Immigration from Taiwan also continued, as the United State granted it the same quota numbers as China. In the mid-1990s, the United States also set aside sixty thousand annual slots for Hong Kong immigrants, before the British returned the colony to China in 1997. These slots were not filled, however, for relatively few in Hong Kong took the opportunity. The combined sources of immigrants from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, along with those from the Chinese diaspora, have made the Chinese the largest Asian American population group in the United States.

Asian immigration expanded significantly after 1975, when streams of refugees from Southeast Asia began to arrive. Before 1945, the United States showed little interest in Southeast Asia. Even after the United States entered the war in Vietnam, the presence of Southeast Asians in this country was very small. Only 335 Vietnamese entered in the 1950s, and some 4,300 more came in the 1960s. The collapse of the U.S.-backed governments in Southeast Asia triggered an international refugee crisis. Because of its two-decade-long military involvement in Indochina and for political and humanitarian reasons, the United States had to take the lead in admitting and accommodating these refugees. In the 1980s, Vietnam suddenly became a major source of immigration, ahead of China. By the time the United States normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in the 1990s, most newcomers from Southeast Asia came under the family unification system. By 2000, 1.1 million Vietnamese have been admitted, along with 170,000 Cambodians and 340,000 Laotians. About half of the refugees and immigrants from Laos are ethnic Hmong.

The expansion of Asian immigration after 1945 added a new dimension to U.S. immigration history. In the 1950s, Asia’s share of immigration was rather insignificant compared to that of Europe. As European immigration declined, Asian immigration rose. In the 1970s, immigrants from Asia surpassed those from Europe. By the 1980s, the vast majority of immigrants to the United States were from Asian and western hemisphere countries (see Figure 1).

Africa

For almost a century after the slave trade, Africa sent relatively few immigrants to the United States. In the 1950s and 1960s, the number of arrivals from Africa accounted for less than 1 percent of all immigrants. Africa’s share of immigrants increased consistently every decade since then, however. The 2000 census counted one million African-born persons in the United States. Beginning in 2008, more Africans have been admitted than Europeans every single year (Table 3) This change indicates a new trend in U.S. immigration.

Table 3. Sources of Immigration to the United States, 2001–2013 (in thousands). Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security.

Region of Origin

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2001–2013

Total

1,059

1,059

703

958

1,122

1,266

1,052

1,107

1,131

1,043

1,062

1,031

991

13,585

Europe

166

164

94

125

165

146

107

104

105

89

84

82

87

1,517

Germany

9.8

8.9

5.1

7.1

9.3

8.4

7.6

7.1

7.6

6.9

6.1

5.8

6.0

96

Poland

11.8

12.7

10.5

14.3

15.4

17.1

10.4

8.4

8.8

7.6

6.9

6.3

6.4

136

Russia

20.3

20.8

13.9

17.4

18.1

13.2

9.4

11.7

8.2

6.7

7.9

10.0

9.8

167

Ukraine

20.9

21.2

11.6

14.2

22.7

17.1

11.0

10.8

11.2

8.5

8.3

7.6

8.2

173

U.K.

18.3

16.3

9.5

14.9

19.8

17.2

14.5

14.3

15.7

12.8

11.6

12.0

13.0

190

Others

84.4

84.4

43.2

57.0

79.8

73.3

53.7

51.5

53.9

46.3

43.1

39.9

43.2

754

Asia

357

350

250

343

412

440

398

399

413

422

452

430

401

5,066

China

56.3

61.1

40.6

55.5

69.9

87.3

76.7

80.3

64.2

70.9

87.0

81.8

71.8

903

India

70.0

70.8

50.2

70.2

84.7

61.4

65.4

63.4

57.3

69.2

69.0

66.4

68.5

866

Korea, South

20.5

20.7

12.4

19.8

26.6

24.4

22.4

26.7

25.9

22.2

22.8

20.8

23.2

288

Philippines

53.0

51.0

45.3

57.8

60.7

74.6

72.6

54.0

60.0

58.2

57.0

57.3

54.4

756

Vietnam

35.4

33.6

22.1

31.5

32.8

30.7

28.7

31.5

29.2

30.6

31.2

28.3

27.1

396

Others

122.0

112.5

79.9

108.1

137.0

162.0

132.1

143.2

176.6

171.0

181.6

174.9

155.6

1,857

West Hemisphere

474

477

305

414

449

552

446

492

478

424

420

407

397

5,734

Cuba

27.5

28.2

9.3

20.5

36.3

45.6

29.1

49.5

39.0

33.6

36.5

32.8

32.2

420

Dominican Rep.

21.2

22.5

26.2

30.5

27.5

38.1

28.0

31.9

49.4

53.9

46.1

41.6

41.3

458

El Salvador

31.1

31.1

28.2

29.8

21.4

31.8

21.2

19.7

19.9

18.8

18.7

16.3

18.3

306

Colombia

16.6

18.8

14.7

18.8

25.6

43.1

33.2

30.2

27.8

22.4

22.6

20.9

21.1

316

Mexico

205.6

218.8

115.6

175

161.4

173.7

148.6

190.0

164.9

139.1

143.4

146.4

135.0

2,118

Others

172.2

157.8

111.0

139.4

179.5

219.6

185.7

170.5

177.0

156.0

152.7

149.2

148.7

2,116

Africa

54

60

49

66

85

117

95

106

127

101

100

107

98

1,166

Egypt

5.2

4.9

3.3

5.5

7.9

10.5

9.3

8.7

8.8

9.0

7.8

9.0

10.3

100.1

Ethiopia

5.1

7.6

6.6

8.3

10.6

16.2

12.8

12.9

15.5

14.3

13.8

14.5

13.1

151.2

Liberia

2.3

2.9

1.8

2.8

4.9

6.9

4.1

7.2

7.6

4.8

4.2

4.1

3.3

56.8

Morocco

5.0

3.4

3.1

4.1

4.4

4.9

4.5

4.4

5.4

5.0

4.4

3.7

3.3

55.8

South Africa

4.1

3.9

2.2

3.4

4.5

3.2

3.0

2.7

3.2

2.8

2.6

2.8

2.6

41.0

Others

32.2

37.6

31.5

42.4

52.8

75.7

61.1

69.9

86.5

65.5

67.6

73.2

65.6

761.5

Oceania

6

6

4

6

7

7

6

5

6

5

5

5

5

73

Egypt was the largest sending country in Africa until the end of the 20th century, followed by Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa, and Liberia. Ethiopia began to take the lead in 2002, followed by Egypt, Liberia, Morocco, and South Africa. Other than South Africa, sub-Saharan African countries had not sent many people to the United States. Wars, violence, poverty, natural disasters, and lack of adequate education and health care were responsible for an African exodus to Europe and the United States. Some Africans left their homeland because they rejected the apartheid policies of South Africa. Although the majority of African immigrants were black, a significant number of them were white and Asian. The latter group included descendants of Indian laborers who came to Africa in the 19th century for railroad construction.

Students from Africa often adjusted their status after the completion of their programs. The number of African-born professors, doctors, and engineers has increased significantly since the late 20th century. Among the new immigrants were well-educated professionals and people with special skills. Female African immigrants with medical training often found work in hospitals.

Immigration to the United States after 1945Click to view larger

Figure 2. Percentage of Total Immigrants to the United States, 2001–2013. Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security.

The arrival of immigrants from the western hemisphere, Asia, and Africa changed U.S. immigration history in profound ways. Countries in the western hemisphere emerged as a leading source in the 1960s, whereas Europeans and Asians reversed their positions in immigration statistics: Between 1950 and 1959, more than half (56.2 percent) of the immigrants admitted were Europeans, and only a fraction (5.4 percent) were Asians. Two decades later, between 1970 and 1979, only 19.4 percent of the immigrants came from Europe, when Asian immigrants increased to 33.1 percent. The gap has widened in recent decades, as Europe’s share of all immigrants declined further, to 13.1 percent from 2000 to 2009. Meanwhile, African immigrants began rising: once amounting to less than 1 percent of the statistics, they represented more than 7 percent of all immigrants during the first decades of the 21st century. More recent immigration statistics provided yet another sharp contrast. Beginning in 2008, as the actual number of Europeans admitted continued to decline, more Africans arrived every single year (Figure 2). This trend would continue in the years to come.

Immigrant Nation

Diverse sources of immigration have changed the face of America. Of the 312 million Americans in 2011, about 13 percent were foreign-born. About 67.2 percent of Asian Americans were foreign-born, followed by 36.2 percent among Hispanics. In comparison, only 3.9 percent of white Americans were foreign-born, which was lower than that of black Americans (8.2 percent) and other American population groups (9.1 percent).

New immigrants have changed the nation’s urban landscape. Mexican immigrants, who first arrived in the west and southwest, gradually moved to every region of the nation in pursuit of employment opportunities. Their Asian counterparts first settled in California and other Pacific states, but now they have dispersed to every state. The immigrants built communities in urban areas, expanding ethnic networks throughout the country with businesses and markets. Providing shelter, assistance, and employment opportunities to newcomers, these communities have served as magnets for new immigrants. The availability of new immigrant labor also facilitated the growth of ethnic economies. There are large Mexican communities in Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, and New York, as well as communities of Cubans in Miami, Chinese in New York and Los Angeles, Koreans in Los Angles, and Vietnamese in Orange County. Professional immigrants, such as engineers and technicians from India and doctors, nurses, and domestic care providers from the Philippines have been able to find employment in different regions throughout the country. Although the Indian and Filipino ethnic economies are not as big as those established by the Mexicans, Cubans, Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, their U.S.-bound immigration set examples for later arrivals.24

Jobs provided by ethnic enclaves are especially important to newcomers without marketable skills, English proficiency, or work permits. Relatively few immigrant women could afford the luxury of staying at home; many worked in the garment industry, restaurants, domestic care, and other service industries. Three-generation households are common among Latino and Asian immigrants, with grandparents providing childcare. Mutual support from extended family members, relatives, and fellow immigrants are crucial for newcomers to adjust to their new lives in the United States.

The influx of new immigrants from different parts of the world also led to heated debate on issues concerning acculturation and assimilation. Although foreign-born immigrants were under the pressure to learn English and abandon their native languages, more and more immigrants were able to preserve their linguistic and cultural heritage. Whereas ESL (English as a second language) courses are offered in schools and colleges, there is also an increasing demand for Spanish- and Asian-language classes in high school and college. In large cities bilingual or multilingual business signs can be seen everywhere. Several metropolitan areas are home to Spanish- or Asian-language television networks, entertaining newcomers with films, soap opera, and music programs produced in Latin America or Asia.

The presence of a large immigrant population has had a great impact on American domestic politics. As was the case before World War II, policies concerning immigration and border control are of great importance in state and national politics. In addition to more relaxed admission policies, the federal government provided comprehensive assistances to Cuban, Southeast Asian, and other refugee groups with temporary cash assistance, food distribution, medical care, English classes, and job training. The American attitude toward most ethnic groups has also become more tolerate, increasing the effectiveness of assistance through religious charities and other organizations.

This does not mean anti-immigration sentiment has disappeared. A growing foreign presence can cause discomfort among the general public, and opponents of immigration continue to try to instill fear in the native population of the foreign invasion. Immigration has become a central theme in local and national politics. After the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, immigration policy was often debated in the context of national security. Muslim immigrants were immediately under harsh scrutiny. More significant was the creation of a new immigration enforcement machinery to screen individuals and place immigrant agencies under the direction of the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003. With highly effective tools and sophisticated databases, the government could also track, apprehend, and remove unauthorized immigrants who posed no security threat.25 The government also tied border patrol to national security, adding traffic checkpoints along the borders. The number of deportations has gone up. Between 2008 and 2010, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the DHS conducted a national campaign against undocumented immigrants. In 2009 alone, nearly four hundred thousands undocumented workers, including families and U.S.-born children, were forced to leave.26 The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, seem to have provided critics of immigration with another opportunity to tie immigration issues to national security.

At the same time, however, Hispanic Americans and Asian American citizens are registering to vote in increasing numbers, making anti-immigration measures more difficult to enforce. California’s Proposition 187, for example, led to a massive political mobilization of the Hispanic population, which made it far more difficult for the Republican Party to win statewide elections.27 In 2011, the federal government reformed the campaign against undocumented immigrants, limiting deportation enforcement to those who have been “convicted of serious crimes” and are “threats to public safety.” The vast majority of undocumented immigrants would be entitled to a certain degree of protection to remain in the United States.28 Many states also created scholarship programs to assist undocumented students obtain a college education.

The United States in International Migration

The scope of this essay does not allow a lengthy analysis of every sending nation, but it is a safe bet that future sources of immigration will be more diverse. The Immigration Act of 1990 mandated fifty-five thousand “diversity visas” to promote immigration from underrepresented countries. Individuals from eligible countries not related to citizens or permanent residents in the United States could obtain a diversity visa through a lottery. This program boosted immigration from many underrepresented countries, including some of the world’s most populous countries, such as Brazil, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Although no longer eligible, each of these countries was able to use the program to establish a large population base in the United States to take advantage of the family preference system. Immigrants from these countries will increase in the years to come. Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, is still underrepresented, but it has the potential to send more immigrants. Other more populous nations, such as Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are among the heaviest users of the lottery; their shares of immigration numbers are likely to increase in the near future.

The United States has been the leading destination of international migration since the 1970s and will probably continue to hold this position for many years to come. More relaxed immigration policies played an important role in shaping the patterns of immigration, but government policy alone is not sufficient to control the flows of immigration completely. The 1965 Immigration Act, which opened the door to migrants from different parts of the world, had relatively little impact on western European countries and Japan. Many underdeveloped countries were not affected by the law because of their lack of contact with the United States. The United States also failed to prevent the growth of undocumented immigration. Since the late 20th century large streams of immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere have found ways to bypass border checkpoints despite of tough border enforcement. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act allowed 3.3 million undocumented individuals to legalize but could not solve the problem. There is no indication that the inflow of unauthorized immigrants will diminish soon. Although exclusion acts and the 1924 Immigration Act did reduce immigration from Asia and East Europe, the impact of these laws was rather limited compared to that of the two world wars, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. As indicated in Table 4, the top destinations of international migration have changed from time to time. More important than the economic development, immigration policies, and foreign relations of the United States are events that took place elsewhere, as war, revolution, and economic developments around the world all play a big part in international migration.

Table 4. Top Ten Destinations of International Migration, 1960–2013. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2013 Revision–Migrants by Destination and Origin (United Nations database).

1960–1970

1970–1980

1980–1990

1990–2000

2000–2010

2010–2013

France

US

US

US

US

US

UK

W. Germany

Iran

Germany

UAE

Italy

US

Somalia

Saudi Arabia

UAE

Spain

UK

W. Germany

Saudi Arabia

Pakistan

UK

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Australia

Nigeria

Australia

Canada

Italy

UAE

Malaysia

France

Malawi

Spain

UK

Thailand

Canada

UAE

Ethiopia

Jordan

Thailand

Australia

Cote d’Ivoire

Canada

Netherlands

Serbia

Australia

South Africa

DR Congo

Kuwait

Canada

Thailand

Canada

Canada

Italy

Iran

Sudan

Italy

South Africa

South Korea

As the world’s largest economy, the United States will continue to be a leading receiving country as long as the demand for newcomers to fill low-paying jobs exists. This also means that the inflow of immigration will fluctuate based on the strength of the U.S. economy in the years to come. In addition to wage-earning workers, a stable economy has attracted investors. An increasing number of immigrants who arrived in recent decades came with capital. In 1990, Congress created the Immigration Investor Program to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Known as the EB-5 program, it required individual applicants to invest one million dollars in new commercial enterprises that would create at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. citizens.29 Although the number of individuals admitted through the EB-5 program is relatively small, they indicated a new immigration pattern in U.S. immigration history.

Provisions in the 1965 Immigration Act provided opportunities for professionals to immigrate, causing “brain drain” in the countries of origin. As the world’s leader in higher education and high-tech industry, the United States has been the most important destination for students seeking advanced degrees. It has also been the most important destination for well-educated professionals to seek research and employment opportunities.30 Highly trained medical professionals from the Philippines, for example, can be found in hospitals throughout the United States. The H-1B visa program, initiated in the 1990 Immigration Act, enabled U.S. employers to sponsor professional immigrants. In most years in the 21st century, the H-1B program admitted more than a quarter million immigrants.31 Since the late 20th century, the number of international students enrolled in U.S. institutions has also increased substantially. Whereas 48,486 international students were enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities in 1960, the number climbed to 819,644 in 2012.32

A wide range of developments in countries around the world has made the subject of migration far more complex than it was before. Many European countries, for example, were sources of U.S. immigration not too long ago, but they have become destinations of worldwide migration. The European Union, with its lengthy land and sea borders involving so many countries, provides opportunities for border crossing from multiple directions. Whereas large numbers of migrants from Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan crossed the Mediterranean to Italy and Greece, those from Asia and Africa reached the continent via land through Turkey. Many migrants also crossed borders through Bulgaria, Hungary, and Russia. It is relatively easy for the migrants to move around and resettle within the European Union. Several European countries, such as Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Sweden have become destinations for both European migrants and international migrants.

Moreover, migration means different things to different people. Developing countries that exported large numbers of laborers seeking higher wages abroad may also attract professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors for more ambitious projects. This has become more evident as the world has grown more and more integrated. In the context of international migration, Figure 3 shows that the United States has become one of many destinations for migrants. In the 1990s, 57 out of every 100 international migrants came to the United States, but fewer than 15 did between 2010 and 2013.

Immigration to the United States after 1945Click to view larger

Figure 3: U.S. Share of International Migrant Population, 1960–2013. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2013), Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2013 Revision–Migrants by Destination and Origin (United Nations database).

Unlike most post–World War II immigrants who came to the United States with one-way tickets, an increasing number of permanent residents and U.S. citizens have returned to their ancestral homeland or resettled to other countries in more recent decades. Studies on Mexican immigration, which utilized data from both the United States and Mexico, offer a deeper understanding of human migration involving borders and borderlands. In Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico, published nein 1987, Douglas Massey, Rafael Alarcón, Jorge Durand, and Humberto González highlighted a complex historical process that fostered the interdependence between western Mexico and the southwestern United States and the people who lived on both sides of the borders and moved back and forth.33 Mexican immigrants are most numerous, but the Pew Research Center reported that the movement of Mexicans went in both directions. Between 2005 and 2010, Mexico sent a total of 1.4 million immigrants to the United States. In the same period, an equal number of immigrants returned to Mexico, including three hundred thousand U.S.-born children.34 From 2009 to 2014, one million Mexicans returned to their country of origin, but the number of Mexicans admitted during the same period was significantly smaller, at 879,000. The economic recession and its slow recovery may have made the United States less attractive to prospective migrants. Opportunities in their country of origin may become attractive to those who have left. Deportation is another factor, although only about 14 percent of the returning migrants were deported.35 Whereas U.S. immigration statistics provide the most reliable data on arrivals, migrants who left for other destinations are difficult to track. Besides Mexico, we know very little about migration outflow from the United States.

As different parts of the world experience rapid economic growth, ideas, capital, and goods move across national borders frequently. More and more migrants have been participants in a wide range of transnational activities, especially those with the means to do so, and they have preserved ties to their country of origin. The advancement of telecommunication and transportation, the expanded volume of international trade and transnational business transactions, and the emergence of international corporations have all worked to blur national borders, posing new challenges to migration studies. Many male braceros and Asian immigrants could not see their wives and children for months and years (if not decades) due to immigration restrictions in the past. Today, many families and individuals maintain residences in more than one location but still stay close to one another using telecommunication and modern transportation. Residing in multiple locations, the family can enjoy benefits offered by more than one country. Studies of dual citizenship or flexible citizenship reveal the complex characteristics of contemporary migrants, but U.S. immigration statistics have not provided ways to measure the size of these international commuters. Understanding the magnitude and trend of migration flows requires not only statistics from the United States but also data compiled in related countries.

Discussion of the Literature

Several books provide general accounts of immigration after 1945, including David M Reimers, Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America; Leonard Dinnerstein and David M. Reimers, The World Comes to America: Immigration to the United States Since 1945; and Susan A. Martin, A Nation of Immigrants. Roger Daniels’s Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigration since 1882 provides an overview of immigration policy since 1882.36

The fourth edition of Immigrant America: A Portrait by Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut addresses important questions concerning ethnicity, assimilation, education, religion, and politics.37 It helps explain the formulation of various public policies that helped immigrants to adjust to life in the United States.

Tracing the origins of undocumented immigrants, Mae M. Ngai’s Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America shows how the categories of “legal” and “illegal” immigrant were constructed by the government to render Mexicans and Asians as perpetual aliens. Most of the discussions on pre-1965 policies are still relevant to contemporary immigration issues.38

For European immigration, see Leo Lucassen, The Immigrant Threat: The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe Since 1850. Martin A. Schain’s The Politics of Immigration in France, Britain, and the United States offers a comparative perspective. Several studies focus on specific groups of European immigrants, including Linda Almeida, Irish Immigrants in New York City, 1945–1995; Annelise Orleck, The Soviet Jewish Americans; Helena Zaiecka Lopata, Polish Americans; Carl J. Bon Tempo, Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War; and Beth B. Cohen, Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America.39

For general accounts of Asian immigration, see Sucheng Chan, Asian Americans: An Interpretive History; Uma A Segal, A Framework for Immigration: Asians in the United States; Erika Lee, The Making of Asian America: A History; and John S. Park, Elusive Citizenship: Immigration, Asian Americans, and the Paradox of Civil Rights. There are many books on specific Asian immigrant groups: Xiaojian Zhao, Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family and Community, 1940–1965 and The New Chinese America: Class, Economy, and Social Hierarchy; Barbara Posada, Filipino Americans; Ji-Yeon Yuh, Beyond the Shadow of Camptown: Korean Military Brides in America; Nancy Abelmann and John Lie, Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots; Madhullika S. Khandelwal, Becoming American, Being India; Min Zhou and Carl Bankston, Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States; and Sucheng Chan, Survivors: Cambodian Refugees in the United States.40

Mary Waters’s Black Identities: West Indian Immigrant Dreams and American Realities and John A. Arthur’s Invisible Sojourners: African Immigrant Diaspora in the United States provide valuable information on the patterns and characteristics of African immigrant communities in the United States. Anny Bakalian and Mehdi Bozorgmehr’s Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond provides general information on Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans.41

There is a relatively large body of literature on Latino immigrants. For general accounts and statistical analyses, see Roberto Suro, Strangers Among Us: How Latino Immigration Is Transforming America, and Laird W. Bergad and Herbert S. Klein, Hispanics in the United States: A Demographic, Social, and Economic History, 1980–2005. Scholars on Mexican immigration often take transnational approaches, considering circumstances in both sending and receiving countries. They are also successful in utilizing statistics and other primary sources compiled outside the United States. Deborah Colen’s Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico is a good example. Douglas Massey, Rafael Alarcón, Jorge Durand, and Humberto González, Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico, has become a classic. Also see Douglas Massey, Jorge Durant, and Noland J. Malone, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration. For accounts on other Latino immigration, see Maria Cristina Garcia, Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959–1994; Silvia Pedraza, Political Disaffection in Cuba’s Revolution and Exodus; Leon Fink, The Maya of Morgantown: Work and Community in the Nuevo New South; Maxine L. Margolis: Little Brazil: An Ethnography of Brazilian Immigrants in New York City; Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York After 1950; and Sherri Grasmuck and Patricia R. Pessar, Between Two Islands: Dominican International Migration.42

Primary Sources

Annual immigration statistics compiled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, 2003–) and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS, 1933–2003) are the most important primary source for the study of immigration after 1945. The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, published annually by the Department of Homeland Security, is available online, and hard copies of INS publications are available in most public and research university libraries. Special reports published by the DHS and INS provide additional details and interpretations. The U.S. census, which provides information regarding the racial, ethnic, and national origins of the U.S. population, is another important source. Released U.S. Census data as well as publications of the Census Bureau could be found in government document section of research libraries, and also at the U.S. Census Bureau's website. Several Internet sites also provide immigration data, including the Center for Immigration Studies, the Pew Hispanic Center, and the American Community Survey. The Migration Information Source, an online journal of the Migration Policy Institute, is also useful for sources on recent immigrants.

Further Reading

Daniels, Roger. Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigration Since 1882. New York: Hill and & Wang, 2004.Find this resource:

Massey, Douglas S. “The New Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States.” Population and Development Review 21.3 (September 1995): 631–652.Find this resource:

Motel, Seth, and Eileen Pattern. “Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 2011.” Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, January 29, 2013.Find this resource:

Passel, Jeffrey S., D’vera Cohn, and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera. “Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less.” Pew Research Center, April 23, 2012.Find this resource:

Reimers, David M.Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.Find this resource:

Robila, Mihaela. “Characteristics of Eastern European Immigration in the United States.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 39.4 (2008): 545–556.Find this resource:

Notes:

(1.) Lawrence Cardoso, Mexican Emigration to the United States, 1897–1931 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1980).

(2.) Abraham Hoffman, Unwanted Mexican Americans in the Great Depression: Repatriation Pressures, 1929–1939 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1974).

(3.) Douglas Massey, Rafael Alarcón, Jorge Durand, and Humberto González, Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press 1987), pp. 55–76; and Rachael Frances DeLaCruz, “Bracero Families: Mexican Women and Children in the United States, 1942–64,” M.A. thesis, Old Dominion University, 2014.

(4.) Douglas S. Massey and Kathleen M. Schnabel, “Recent Trends in Hispanic Immigration to the United States,” International Migration Review 17.2 (1983): 212–244.

(5.) Warren G. Magnuson to William Green, September 28, 1943, Magnuson Papers, University of Washington Libraries.

(6.) Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Message to Congress on Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion,” October 11, 1943, available online at The American Presidency Project.

(7.) Roger Daniels, Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882 (New York: Hill & Wang, 2005), p. 113.

(8.) Xiaojian Zhao, Remaking Chinese America: Immigration, Family, and Community, 1940–1965 (New Brunswick, NJ: University of Rutgers Press, 2002), pp. 78–93.

(9.) U.S. Census Bureau publications.

(10.) Daniels, Guarding the Golden Door, pp. 84–85.

(11.) Daniels, Guarding the Golden Door, pp. 110–112.

(12.) David M. Reimers, Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), p. 12.

(13.) 57 Stat. 600, Act of July 19, 1953.

(14.) 94 Stat. 102.

(15.) 79 Stat. 911.

(16.) Reimers, Still the Golden Door, pp. 63–90.

(17.) Transcript, Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, 2003, program 3.

(18.) 104 Stat. 4978.

(19.) Mihaela Robila, “Characteristics of Eastern European Immigration in the United States,” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 39.4 (2008): 545–556.

(20.) 90 Stat. 2703, Act of October 20, 1976.

(21.) 90 Stat. 90, Act of October 5, 1978.

(22.) Matias F. Travieso-Diaz, “Immigration Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Transition Cuba,” Berkeley Journal of International Law 16.2 (1998): 234–266.

(23.) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Characters of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Report for Fiscal Year 2014.

(24.) Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut, Immigrant America: A Portrait (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014), 83–106.

(25.) Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron, “Post-9/11 Policies Dramatically Alter the U.S. Immigration Landscape,” Migration Policy Institute, September 8, 2011.

(26.) Portes and Rumbaut, Immigrant America, 33.

(27.) Matt Barreto, “The Prop 187 Effect: How the California GOP Lost Their Way and Implications for 2014 and Beyond,” Latino Decisions (blog), October 17, 2013.

(28.) Marc R. Rosenblum, Understanding the Potential Impact of Executive Action on Immigration Enforcement, Migration Policy Institute, July 2015.

(29.) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “EB-5 Immigrant Investor.”

(30.) Lucie Cheng and Philip Q. Yang, “Global Interaction, Global Inequality, and Migration of the Highly Trained to the United States,” International Migration Review 32.3 (Autumn 1998): 626–653.

(31.) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Characters of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Report for Fiscal Year 2014.

(32.) Data from the Institution of International Education.

(33.) Massey, et al., Return to Aztlan.

(34.) Jeffrey S. Passel, D’vera Cohn, and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less, Pew Research Center, April 23, 2012.

(35.) Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, “More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S,” Pew Research Center, November 19, 2015.

(36.) Reimers, Still the Golden Door; Leonard Dinnerstein and David M. Reimers, The World Comes to America: Immigration to the United States Since 1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014); Susan A. Martin, A Nation of Immigrants (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010); and Daniels, Guarding the Golden Door.

(37.) Portes and Rumbaut Immigrant America.

(38.) Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004).

(39.) Leo Lucassen, The Immigrant Threat: The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe Since 1850 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005); Martin A. Schain, The Politics of Immigration in France, Britain, and the United States (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Linda Almeida, Irish Immigrants in New York City, 1945–1995 (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2001); Annelise Orleck, The Soviet Jewish Americans (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999); Helena Zaiecka Lopata, Polish Americans (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994); Carl J. Bon Tempo, Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008); and Beth B. Cohen, Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007).

(40.) Sucheng Chan, Asian Americans: An Interpretive History (New York: Twayne, 1991); Uma A Segal, A Framework for Immigration: Asians in the United States (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002); Erika Lee, The Making of Asian America: A History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015); John S. Park, Elusive Citizenship: Immigration, Asian Americans, and the Paradox of Civil Rights (New York: New York University Press, 2004); Zhao, Remaking Chinese America; Xiaojian Zhao, The New Chinese America: Class, Economy, and Social Hierarchy (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010); Barbara Posada, Filipino Americans (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999); Ji-Yeon Yuh, Beyond the Shadow of Camptown: Korean Military Brides in America (New York: New York University Press, 2002); Nancy Abelmann and John Lie, Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995); Madhullika S. Khandelwal, Becoming American, Being India (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002); Min Zhou and Carl Bankston, Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States (New York: Russell Sage, 1998); and Sucheng Chan, Survivors: Cambodian Refugees in the United States (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004).

(41.) Mary Waters, Black Identities: West Indian Immigrant Dreams and American Realities (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999); John A. Arthur, Invisible Sojourners: African Immigrant Diaspora in the United States (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000); and Anny Bakalian and Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

(42.) Roberto Suro, Strangers Among Us: How Latino Immigration Is Transforming America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998); Laird W. Bergad and Herbert S. Klein, Hispanics in the United States: A Demographic, Social, and Economic History, 1980–2005 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010); Deborah Colen, Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011); Massey et al., Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987); Douglas Massey, Jorge Durant, and Noland J. Malone, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration (New York: Russell Sage, 2002); Maria Cristina Garcia, Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959–1994 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996); Silvia Pedraza, Political Disaffection in Cuba’s Revolution and Exodus (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Leon Fink, The Maya of Morgantown: Work and Community in the Nuevo New South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003); Maxine L. Margolis, Little Brazil: An Ethnography of Brazilian Immigrants in New York City (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994); Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York After 1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008); and Sherri Grasmuck and Patricia R. Pessar, Between Two Islands: Dominican International Migration (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).