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Immigration in the Last 20 Years: Effect on Community Diversity

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Immigration trends in the last 20 years and its effects on population and diversity in communities’


This paper discusses the key importance of immigration, specifically Mexican immigration trends in the last 20 years. The paper discusses how employment and everyday life is effected for immigrants and American citizens. The author also discusses implications and recommendations for this issue, and also has key importance of immigration from experts who are knowledgeable in this topic.

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Immigration trends in the last 20 years has effected the growth of population and the diversity of communities’ in many ways. Mexican immigration has effected government laws and the school environments which has led to laws being imposed to help those immigrants live an American life. There have also been recent laws that have paused the process for DACA. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, immigration is “the action of immigrating; entrance into a country for the purpose of settling there” (Oxford).  In the last 20 years, Mexican immigrant population legal and illegal has continuously risen over time. In the year 2010, immigrant population reached the highest in the nation’s history and doubled in numbers since 1990 (Camarota).

In 2002, there was an enhanced mandate on visa entry-exit data system. In 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allowed young adults from ages 15-30 who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to apply for temporary permits.  About three-fourths of the immigrants here in this country are legal, which leaves the rest of the immigrants to be undocumented (Camarota). Lastly, in 2014 the DACA program was expanded allowing the immigrant parents who have lived in the US for 5 years and have children who are US citizens to be allowed to apply for deportation relief and 3-year work permits and any unauthorized immigrant who entered the US was granted eligibility for this program as well (Cohn). In June 2012, President Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy by executive action, which thus allowed immigrants who are undocumented to be permitted to obtain work permits, Social Security numbers, and a drivers license(ACE).

Immigration is an important topic to study due to the effect it has on the American population. It effects all aspects of everyday life, including the diversity in schools, employment, economy, and politics. In order to study immigration, it takes a certain level of intelligence revolving around the laws that were passed and laws that have been abolished for and against immigration and the understanding of foreign policy.  Although immigrating to the United States has positive effects on the ones who migrate to America, it also has negative effects on the American society and their daily life.

Literature Review

Bier is an expert on visa reform, border security, and from 2013 to 2015. Previously, he worked as the immigration policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and most recently as the director of immigration policy at the Niskanen Center (CATO). Alex Nowrasteh is an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. His popular publications have appeared in popular newspapers and magazines as well (CATO).

In one of their articles, they stated the benefits that immigration had on the American Society. They mentioned five reasons as to how immigration has helped the United States and the first reason is that the immigrant’s attributes such as being risk takers, having motivation and good work ethics has benefited the nation. The second reason is that coming into the United States has had a huge net contribution to the Social Security programs. Immigration has also filled niches in the labor market, where the demand is highest relative to supply, complementing the American workers. Fourthly, their strong skill levels bring a high desire to work in the United States. Lastly, children who have immigrated or whose parents are immigrants tend to reach high levels of achievement in American schools and in the society (CATO).

These experts who support immigration have shown evidence on how it has a positive effect on the American Society. Bier and Nowrasteh have the knowledge and expertise to understand how immigration helps the United States. Their articles and evidence has shown reasoning behind supporting immigration and their idea of how immigration should not be banned or laws should not be imposed against immigrants. Their research and studies are for immigration and therefore, they may be biased on anti-immigration laws but they do have the expertise to display their reasoning on supporting immigration.

On the other hand, immigration also has its negative effects on the American Society. For example, Mark Krikorian is nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995 (Center for Immigration Studies). In one of Krikorian’s article, he is discussing about Donald Trump’s statement on immigration and how he supports Trump’s immigration ban. He states, “This isn’t the policy about how we’re going to screen people coming from countries where there are active jihad terror groups” (PRI). Krikorian supports this ban because he believes that this will not be a permanent ban and it is buying time in the meantime to further analyze if the screening is appropriate (PRI).

Donald Trump is the current President of the United States and has knowledge of immigration because of the interaction he has with the laws as well as the immigration authority. Some of his plans on immigration include building a wall, ending birthright citizenship and DACA, hiring native workers first and refugee programs for American children (CATO). Trump is against immigration and he supports this claim with how it is affecting Americans in their daily life. Immigrant who receive their green cards are taking the jobs of native workers which puts them on food stamps or on unemployment (CATO).

Krikorian and Trump both agree on continuing with banning Muslims to enter the United States. Their claims to support these statements makes sense because it is to help out the American Society. Trump could also be biased because of his views on immigration and his mindset that he carries with immigration. These experts both have knowledge on immigration and how it has negatively affected the American society. Immigration has stopped native workers from being employed because they have taken their jobs or they have had an increase in the population with affects the economy.

To begin with, immigration has impacted the American Population and has been at its highest in the last few decades. Research shows statistics that in 2010, about 40 million was the nation’s immigrant population, including both legal and illegal, and it is the highest in the nation’s history. It has been increasing since 1970 and the numbers has doubled and quadrupled since. One of the main reasons for the high number of immigrants is due to “the high levels of legal immigration” (Center of Immigration Studies). 58% of those who are immigrating come from Latin America and this could be due to the resources that can be found in the United States for these people. Many of the Latin American countries are extremely poor and therefore, people cannot live day to day in those conditions. Bigger states carry more resources and therefore, immigrants have migrated to the larger or popular states for the most part: California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts (Center of Immigration Studies).

Immigration in the last twenty years has influenced the government and the laws they have imposed. For example, September 11, 2001, has had an effect on the entire nation and security laws were strictly imposed to preventing another event like this to happen. The “Homeland Security Act transfers all functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to the new Department of Homeland Security which includes U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US. Citizenship and Migration Services” (Pew Research Center). The Homeland Security Act has helped the United States protect their citizens from being attacked again or from having outside countries destroy the U.S. territory.

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According to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, “the Office of Immigration Statistics has a responsibility to carry out two statutory requirements: 1) to collect and disseminate to Congress and 2) to establish standards of reliability and validity for immigration statistics collected by the Department’s operational components” (Homeland Security Act of 2002). This office has the right to present the information about how the American Society has been effected by immigration. Although immigration has its negative effects, the Homeland Security Act was imposed to protect its people and placing laws that are strict on those who come into and out of the United States.

There was the Immigration Act of 1990 which was “Public Law 101-649 (Act of November 29, 1990), increased the limits on lawful immigration to the United States, revised all grounds for exclusion and deportation, authorized temporary protected status to aliens of designated countries, revised and established new nonimmigrant admission categories, revised and extended the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, and revised naturalization authority and requirements” (Homeland Security Act of 2002). This Act was imposed in the 1990’s and immigration was still not as high modern day. Due to the high increase of the immigrant population, there has been recent debates on how to proceed with immigration today. Immigration has affected the United States socially, economically, environmentally, and through the policies in the government.

Due to Mexican immigration, there have also been other laws imposed. For example, DACA and Dreamers has been effective on the minority groups because it has given them a change to succeed in different ways. DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which is the policy that former President Obama established. This Act was to allow “undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States at a young age to become eligible for a work permit, a Social Security card, a driver’s license, and deferred deportation” (ACE). This Act has proven to help many immigrant children and statistics support this statement. According to the American Council on Education, 45% of the DACA recipients are enrolled in school or college. This is evidence to show how effective DACA has been and the positive results it has given to those Mexican immigrant children who have opportunities to fulfill their education needs.

Dreamers stands for Development, relief, and education for alien minors. This legislation was first introduced to congress in 2001 to grant a pathway to citizenship to young people who were brought to the United States as a child without documentation. They are American since they were raised here but they do not have the legal papers to prove it (Americas Voice). Dick Durbin, who is the senator for Illinois has been supporting the Dreamers because he has seen the positive effect it has had on those children. Durbin states, “The DREAM Act, which I first introduced in 2001, would allow a select group of immigrant students with great potential to contribute more fully to America. These young people, known as Dreamers, were brought to the U.S. as children and have overcome great obstacles to succeed. The DREAM Act would give these students a chance to earn citizenship by attending college or serving in the military” (Durbin).


Immigration is important to the public because it affects the entire nation. According to the Census Bureau, the United States had nearly 14 million new immigrants settle in the country from 2000 to 2010. Americans who reside in the States have to realize that this has an impact on various areas such as jobs. One of the reasons for why foreigners immigrate into the United States is for the employment opportunities. From 1990 to 2000, there was a job growth and those who immigrate, look for jobs to sustain themselves and their family (Center for Immigration Studies). This is important for American Citizens because this can potentially harm them in the future if they are ever looking for jobs. There are some Americans who believe that Mexican immigrants are taking over or crowding into the United States for their selfish reasons but immigrants have had a positive impact on the economy. Although, many Mexican immigrants find jobs where they get paid minimum wage and jobs like these are not as wanted by American citizens (Friedberg).

Mexican immigrants have impacted employment in the United States by applying their skills in construction, agriculture, fast food services, and cleaning positions. By having Mexican immigrants apply their skills to the real-world situations, being undocumented allows room for laws to be created to protect undocumented immigrants. This can lead to a change in America’s economy. Due to fewer Mexican employees working, this will increase a higher cost for companies to come up with to get the job done. For example, a company needs a certain number of workers to build their companies buildings. Since, the majority of the time these workers are Mexican immigrants, if they are thus deported back to their country, that leaves fewer employees working on the site. By having fewer employees, this creates a shortage which then forces the company to spend more money to get the site done. This scenario creates an aspect of why Mexican immigrants are important to the American society Immigrants provide company’s a pathway to spending less money to get a job done for a lesser cost.


Imposing immigration laws that support and help immigrants is important because it has shown positive effect on the United States itself and their economy. In 2013, there was report research that showed “that creating a path for undocumented immigrant to earn legal status and citizenship, it will lead to substantial wage gains for these workers. In turn, these wage gains will help spur the American economy and lead to significant increases in gross domestic product, tax revenue, and jobs in coming years (Center for American Progress).  Many of these immigrants tend to have to stop attending school to seek employment to provide for their families. A recommendation to this issue, would be creating schools, or having schools to teach how this culture can survive in America as an undocumented alien.  Another option, would be to offer resources to these students and be willing to work with their schedules, so in the long run these students or young people can receive better jobs, which thus creates more job openings for American citizens. These statements show that with the increase of immigrants in the workplace, it will help increase the wages as well as the gross domestic products. There have been some negative outcomes from legalizing immigration, but the positive outcomes have helped American citizens as well.


Overall, Mexican immigration in the last 20 years has effected the growth of population and the diversity of communities’ in many ways. Immigration created safety laws due to a previous attack that took place on September 11, 2001. This safety law has been imposed, the Homeland Security Act, which has provided protection for the nation. Immigration has had an effect on governmental policies that have created pathways for immigrants as well as children from immigrant parents. These pathways have positively impacted their educational careers, where they have been given the opportunity to go to school or college. Immigration has also imposed laws such as DACA, that have helped DREAMers gain citizenship. Due to the increase of immigrants, it has increased the population which has had a positive effect on wages. The increase of jobs has spurred the American economy. Although immigration has shown to have negative consequences on the American society, the positive outcomes overpower the negative.


  • Bier, D., & Nowrasteh, A. (n.d.). IMMIGRATION. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from            https://www.cato.org/research/immigration
  • Birnbaum, S. (2017, January 31). Why this think tank director supports Trump’s immigration ban. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-01-31/why-policy-expert-supports-trumps-immigration-ban
  • Camarota, S. A. (n.d.). A Record-Setting Decade of Immigration: 2000-2010. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://cis.org/Report/RecordSetting-Decade-Immigration-20002010
  • Cohn, D. (2015, September 30). How U.S. immigration laws and rules have changed through history. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact tank/2015/09/30/how-u-s-immigration-laws-and-rules-have-changed-through-history/
  • Friedberg, R., & Hunt, J. (1995). The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(2), 23-44. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138165
  • Hildreth, M. (2017, July 20). Immigration 101: What is a Dreamer? Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://americasvoice.org/blog/what-is-a-dreamer/
  • Homeland Security Act of 2002. (2015, September 22). Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-act-2002
  • Madland, D. (2013, March 20). Legal Status for Undocumented Workers Is Good for American   Workers. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2013/03/20/57428/legal-statusfor-undocumented-workers-is-good-for-american-workers-2/
  • Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2017, www.oed.com/
  • WHO ARE THE DREAMERS? (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2017, from http://www.acenet.edu/Pages/Protect-Dreamers-Higher-Education-Coalition.aspx


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