Immigration into America has always been a hot-button topic. For every argument for it, you can find at least one against. Without a doubt, allowing people into the United States has benefits for the American people. That isn’t to say that there are no negatives. In this episode of Flash Past, Dan and Lyle talk about the pros and cons of immigration and how they believe it is impacting our culture. Have a listen.
The history of immigration in America can be broken down into four distinct eras: colonial, mid-19th century, early-20th century, and post 1965. During the colonial era, the 17th century, around 400,000 English men, women, and children came to what would become Colonial America, over half of whom were indentured servants. The mid-19th century brought people from northern Europe, and the early 20th century saw an influx predominantly from southern and eastern Europe. Up until this point, most immigrants have been white. This will come in handy when listening to the podcast. Since 1965, however, most immigrants have been coming from Asia and Latin America.
Up until the 1930s, although there were women and children, most immigrants were men. That began to change during WWI and WWII. By the 1990s, women made up just over half of all immigrants.
In modern times, people coming to America tend to be younger. The average age is between 15 and 34. Interestingly, immigrants are more likely to be married than their natural-born American compatriots. A 2007 study done by the Immigration Policy Center estimated that between natural-born American men between 18 and 39 were five times more likely to be incarcerated than their immigrant cohort.
Census Bureau estimates put America’s population at 397 million by 2050, up from 281 million in 2000. If there were no immigration, however, the population would only rise to 328 million.
During the early part of the 20th century, immigrant segregation was on the decline, fostering the idea of America as the “great melting pot.” In the past few decades that segregation has once again been on the rise, making several pots on the stove, rather than the “melting pot” ideal scenario.
Whether the argument centers around crime, racism, finances, or any of a number of other variables, immigration is a highly debated issue. Listen to the show to find out what the guys think.
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