Immigrants in America

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The United States is one of the world’s most diverse nations and many immigrants come from all over the globe to live here. As a result of this, people that move to the USA report that there is little or no culture shock when they arrive. This is mainly due to the fact that the vast majority of Americans are ethnically diverse and most can speak at least some English, if not fluently.

In addition, the quality of life in America is usually high and people are provided with a good standard of living. They have access to good food, clean water, healthcare and more. However, it is important to note that these standards can differ between states.

Immigrants are a key part of the American population and have played a fundamental role in shaping and reshaping the nation’s economic, social, and political fabric over centuries. They have been a driving force in the country’s major transformations during four peak periods of immigration: westward expansion and transition to an agricultural economy at the turn of the 19th century, urbanization and industrialization in the late 1800s, the rise of manufacturing at the end of the 20th century, and most recently the growth of the service sector and the emergence of Silicon Valley.

Today, the foreign-born share of the population has declined from its peak of 14.8 percent in 1890 and is close to historic lows compared with other developed countries. The decline reflects both the aging of native-born populations and restrictive laws that restricted permanent immigration to a limited number of countries and regions in 1860s and 1920s.

As the country faces a growing shortage of skilled workers, the need to fill many jobs remains a significant factor in immigration flows. In addition, global crises like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, and a mix of authoritarian government and collapsing economies in Mexico and other Latin American countries have fueled recent unauthorized migration to the United States.

Many of these new arrivals are asylum seekers, not migrants, who travel to another country for work and do not intend to stay permanently. Their well-founded fear of persecution in their home countries often allows them to quickly gain legal status in the United States. Asylum cases can be filed defensively in immigration court or affirmatively with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The top source countries of asylum seekers have shifted from Mexico and China to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Regardless of the reason, all immigrants contribute mightily to the U.S. economy, paying billions in annual taxes and filling low-wage jobs that keep domestic industry competitive. Social scientists find that on balance, they provide far more in benefits than they cost in public services. (January 6, 1992).