A Record 43.7 Million Immigrants is the Highest in 106 Years
Study finds that 1 in 8 American residents are now foreign-born
The United States has a history of welcoming immigrants, one of its Founding Fathers –Alexander Hamilton- hailed from “a forgotten spot in the Caribbean” as the song goes… Hamilton exemplified the American dream, the notion that you could arrive in the country with not much more than the clothes on your back. If you’re willing to work hard, that effort will be rewarded. Today, 43.7 million immigrants boast a record high of people that are weaved into the U.S. culture.
Many have been lured by all the rags-to-riches stories of middle class prosperity, dogs and picket fence included, coming from the “land of opportunity.” From Steve Jobs- the child of a Syrian immigrant- to Cristina Saralegui who came from Cuba at 12. Saralegui quickly rose through the ranks from internships in Vanidades to editor of Cosmpolitan to her very own El Show de Cristina.
A new report from the Center of Immigration Studies shows that while the country experienced an uneven growth trend in immigration during 2016, the country overall hit a record 43.7 million immigrants during that same year, comprising 13.5% of the total population. This percentage of immigrants is the highest in 106 years. These figures indicate that the number of immigrants has increased by half a million since 2015, more to the point, these figures show that one in eight U.S. residents is foreign born. While Mexican immigrants comprise the largest group of foreign-born population in the country the study found that “Middle Eastern, non-Mexico Latin American, Asian, and sub-Saharan African populations grew substantially” during 2016. Interestingly, the Center of Immigration Studies has projected that by 2060, the number of immigrants will have grown from 13.5% to 18.8% or a total of 78.2 million.
The report also points to the U.S. born children of immigrants who have also risen in number now totaling “slightly more than 16.6 million” children for a total of 60.4 million immigrants and their U.S. born children in the country. These numbers show that nearly one in five U.S. residents are made up of an immigrant and his children.
While, these numbers help fuel the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has sparked debate about the return of fascism worldwide, these numbers also show the importance of catering to the ever-changing mosaic of cultures and trends present in audiences around the world and right at home in the U.S.
Reactions to the news vary across the political spectrum, of course.
The comments that follow her post show how polarizing an issue immigration is.
On the other hand, the study also drew positive reactions with cities multicultural and diverse cities like Chicago following this trend and enacting public service programs to welcome immigrants. A recent publication from PEW also shows that while feelings about immigration vary in scope, immigrants are mostly seen as a positive force in the country with around 63% of Americans saying that immigrants “strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents.” Incidentally, PEW also found that public opinion inclines towards decreasing immigration in the future with about 49% of Americans declaring that some control on immigration is necessary. Notwithstanding, the United States is actually the country with the most immigrants around the world, so polarization or not, this is a reality the country needs to come to terms with.
Central and South America are among the regions that show the biggest increase in immigrants entering to the United States. With evidence of immigration being a catalyzer of economic growth and Latino GDP projected to fuel at least a quarter of the U.S. economy by 2020, the potential for growth and the fulfillment of the American dream is huge and still intact, if politics doesn’t derail it that is.