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History of Immigration

History of Immigration in the USA

Immigration in the United States details the movement of people in the United States which started around 1600 with the first European settlements and it was around the same time when the British and other Europeans were settling specifically at the east coast. Immigration was intense in the first part of the 19th century, in the colonial era. The largest waves of immigration into the US came from Europe and sometimes immigrants paid the transoceanic transportation by agreeing to work as laborer’s after arrival.

Africans were later taken to the US as slaves between the 17th and 19th centuries and after slavery ended they continued to live in the country. Many immigrants came to the US in such of greater economic opportunity while other such as the Pilgrims came in such of religious freedom. Today the majority of the immigrants come from Latin America and Asia.

US Immigration Statistics

• Before 2014, the percentage number of the immigrants was 13.3 per cent of the total U.S. population which is more than 42 million. The percentage of who are not born in the U.S. increased by 2.5 which is about a million.

• Later, the number of foreign immigrants increased by 11 per cent with the Indians leading with 147,500 people arriving followed by China which had 131,800, Mexico which had 130,000, Canada with about 41,000 and the Philippines with 40,000.

• In 1860 to 1920 the population of immigrants ranged from 13 to 15 per cent of the whole countries population and the pick was in 1890 when the population of the immigrants reached 14.8 per cent which was as a result of the high number of Europeans moving into the country. The population lowered in the 1930s and 1970s up to 5 per cent in 1970 which is approximately 9.6 million, because of the restrictive immigration legislation coupled with the Great Depression and World War II. After the Congress abolished the national-origin admission quotas in 1965, the number of immigrants has raised fast to up to 42.4 million compared to 9.6 million in 1970 mainly due to massive immigration from Asia and Latin America.

Another massive migration into the U.S. was around 1815 to 1865 with the majority being people from Northern and Western Europe and one-third of them came from Ireland. At that time there was a great drought in Ireland and by 1840s a very large number of the immigrants, about a half, were Irish immigrants. In the 19th century, a lot of Germans migrated to the United States and bought farms in the present-day Midwest or assembled in cities such as Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee. Gold rush news lured a number of Asians and Chinese to migrate to the U.S. by 1850. There followed a period of civil war were some native groups were resisting migration as they saw the new arrivals as unnecessary completion for jobs.

Immigration in the United States is not a thing of the past and people from all over the world continue migrating to the U.S. with the ambition and hope of making a great life. There were over 4 million applicants who were on the waiting list in 2015 and the number is still as high today. It was reported by DOS that the number of people waiting for green cards was about 4.6 million which is proof enough that immigration is still up and high.


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