Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The “Second Great Wave” of Immigration? Growth of the Foreign-Born Population Since 1970


The U.S. Census Bureau posted a report ("The “Second Great Wave” of Immigration: Growth of the Foreign-Born Population Since 1970" by Elizabeth M. Grieco)  on its official blog that anti-immigration reform advocates, including Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) in a recent speech commemorating the Tea Party's fifth anniversary, are using the report in attacking the current reform proposal on the table.

According to the report,

"Less than 5 percent of the total population in 1970 – or less than one in 20 people – were foreign-born.

However, over the last four decades, the United States has experienced what many are calling the “second great wave” of immigration. Since 1970, the foreign-born population has continuously increased in size and as a percentage of the total U.S. population. The foreign-born population quadrupled after 1970, reaching 40.0 million by 2010, and about 13 percent of the total population – or one in eight – were foreign-born.

Once again, the country is approaching a percentage of foreign-born not seen since the late 1800s and early 1900s. Will this proportion continue to increase, perhaps exceeding the high of nearly 15 percent achieved in both 1890 and 1910?

At the moment, it is too early to tell. . . ."


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