IMMIGRANTS AND THE UNITED STATES
The Americans now are concerning about migration as well as the nation’s economy. The concern is whether the immigrants will contribute to the prosperity of the America society or they just create more problems and difficulties for our society. People also worry about the budget that the nation has to provide for new immigrants. Do we, as a nation of immigrants, still have the capacity to absorb newcomers? Historian David Kennedy in his article “Can We Still Afford to Be a Nation of Immigrants?” discusses about immigration in the United States, and he states that we still have the capacity to absorb new immigrants. The author supports his idea successfully by using historical evidences from history of immigration and evidences from recent studies.
In the introductory of his article Kennedy writes about a new source of immigrants that comes to the America in the nineteenth century. Those immigrants come from the nine none European countries called “the third world or less developed countries.” He then compares the America’s population growth with the Latin America’s population growth, and he says that our population growth still 4 times less than the Latin America’s population growth. He also says that the America now still has a very small number of immigrant, he says: “I mentioned their relatively small numbers in the American population,” and “we still have a lot of absorptive capacity” to accept new wave of immigrants. He says that the percentage of foreign born person now only half of those in 1910 in which our nation was not well develop as we are now. So we can see that as our economy becomes more developed, we still have more capacity to absorb new arrivals.
Kennedy also emphasize the important of the variety group of immigration and their contributions to the American cultural aspect. He says “we are in the presence of something for which we as a country have very little historical precedent.” He compares the Mexican immigration with the European immigration to the United States, and he says those Mexican immigration now are “very heavily composed of immigration from a single, culturally unified, linguistically homogeneous source.” Those immigration from Mexico are often concentrated in a specific geographical regions. He gives us some historical data in which “the population of Mexico” is “40 percent Hispanic, Texas is a little better than 25 percent, Colorado 12 percent, California 24 percent.” He then tell us that those Mexican immigration group contribute to great culture development of the United State as well as economic development.
Kennedy also stresses the important of the contributions of the immigrants to the America economic development. He says “one of the things that underwrote the relative tranquility of immigration in the last century was economic growth. It allowed this society to avoid questions of redistribution.” Kennedy also emphasizes the closed relationship between immigration and economic growth. Immigration provides the labors and helps develop the economy. He uses the results of many studies that focusing on southern California in which their conclusions come up with ” immigration measurably added to the economic vitality of southern California.” He also says that America now needs a new source of labor because we are now using up the labor forces include women. He gives us a finding by the economist Clark Reynolds of Stanford University, “for the United States to grow its economy at a compound annual rate of three percent between now and the year 2000…, we would need to find about 15 million more workers.” Also with our low birth rate, we cannot provide enough worker for ourselves, and we need to have the labor force from the immigration.
In his conclusion, Kennedy one more time emphasizes the necessity to absorb new immigrants for the condition of America economic development from now to the year 2000. By using specific up-dated data and historical facts from recent studies and researches, he explains and proves that we still have the ability to welcome a new wave of immigrants. We still need more immigrants due to the small number of immigrants that we have now compare to those in the past, and we also need more immigrant to develop our cultural aspect and economic growth. He gives us a good look inside the major concern of Americans and let us know the benefit of immigration to our country developments.