For four hundred years, immigrants have been coming to the United States for whatever reason, whether it be job opportunities, conflicts in their native country, or to give their children the chance to grow up in a free nation. The first U.S. Census, taken in 1790, the population was around four million and this country still has thousands of foreigners relocating to the states. The immigrant population has increased ever since; therefore, America can still be labeled as a melting pot.
From 2000 to 2007, the U.S. experienced the biggest influx of immigrants in its history over a seven-year period with 10.3 million immigrants (legal and illegal) making their way into the Land of Opportunity. In 2007, the Census Bureau estimated that out of the 38.1 million aliens currently living in America, 54% of that number were Latin American, 27% were from Asia, 13% were of European descent, and four percent came from Africa. About one in eight people living in the country today are immigrants. The highest ten nationalities of those immigrants are, in order, Mexican; Chinese; Philippine; Indian; Salvadorian; Vietnamese; South Korean; Cuban; Canadian; and Dominican. These people most likely came to America for the broader job opportunities since discrimination against employees is illegal and pretty much because you can find one way or another of making money. We have a lot of cheap labor, especially since a lot of bigger companies have their products made outside of the U.S. by groups of foreigners; by moving to the country, they can have safer living conditions, better food quality, and the chance at higher wages for their labor as well as many other prospects.
The first “great wave” of newcomers was in the first decade of the 20th century (1900 to 1910) and 9 million people made the U.S. their home. From 1921 to 1970, immigration numbers averaged only about 195,000 a year. In the Depression years (1930 to 1941), only about 500,000 migrated here. The numbers gradually increased from 1940 to 1980, but the numbers in the 80s compared to the numbers in the 90s grew by about 4.5 million. Twelve million more immigrants arrived from 1991 to 2000 and a projected 13 million more will migrate here from the years of 2001 to 2010. So obviously, there are definitely still people coming to America and we are still, and continue to be, a melting pot.
Immigrants come to this country because of jobs, education, to escape poverty and oppression, and to practice their religion freely. The Migration Policy Institute reported that despite the all the new arrivals, the majority of the number (60%) are status adjusters; they have to change their registration standing from “temporary” to “permanent.” Status adjusters account for about 632,000 of the immigrant population each year. Some obtain an immigrant Visa citing a temporary period of stay, but neglect to change their status or renew their visa after that time has expired; they become an unauthorized...