Society and Culture // Analysis

19 december 2012

Will the American Melting Pot Survive?

Andrey Korobkov Professor at Middle Tennessee State University

Photo:
Reuters / Finbarr O'Reilly
Demonstrators wave flags at a May Day rally
promoting rights for illegal immigrants in
New York city
May 1, 2007

Since the United States is viewed as one of the world's largest ”melting pots,” with a long history of attracting migrants from across the globe, it is no surprise that migration-related policies are priorities for both the U.S. political elites and the general public. It is thought that 39.6 million current U.S. residents were born outside the country [1], and about 11–12 million are not legal [2]. Russia could find the American approach to formulating migration policy helpful, as in the past two decades the country has been transformed from an isolated superpower to the world’s second largest immigration hub. Currently, Russia is home to 12.3 million people who were born beyond its borders [3]. Illegal immigration also poses a serious problem, with the number of illegal incomers ranging from three to five million, which in 2009 made 61 percent of all employed migrants.

Facing a mass influx of illegal migrants, both the United States and Russia sense the potential consequences, such as rising social tensions. Demands to halt the process are loud, as many regard the phenomenon as a threat to national security and cultural identity. Migration was a major electoral issue in the United States and even seems to have affected the outcome of the presidential race.

Let us consider the responses given by government and civil society to the migration challenges in the United States.

Immigration in American History

Photo: onpoint.wbur.org
Deported migrants climb a fence at the U.S.-
Mexico border as they prepare for the 6th annual
Marcha Migrante, or Migrant March in Tijuana,
a pilgrimage is organized to raise awareness
on immigration issues.

With a population of above 312 million, the United States is the only industrialized country that continues to gain new residents at a relatively high rate, and is set to reach 438 million by 2050. Annual growth makes about two million plus one million through immigration. The total number of immigrants is estimated at 39.6 million, i.e. one eighth of the population, of which 22 million are employed.

Founded as a colony of settlers, the United States attracted immigrants from all over the world, as a country of political freedom and economic opportunities. The pioneers were predominantly Protestants who came to North America form Western and Northern Europe, often fleeing religious persecution. These immigrants boasted considerable ethnic, cultural and religious affinity, but also frequently displayed xenophobia and group prejudice.

In the 19th century, the structure of immigration flows began to change. Revolutions and the emergence of independent states in Latin America, as well as their movement into the United States’ economic and political orbit (sometimes openly on the basis of the 1823 Monroe Doctrine), the development of transportation and communications infrastructure, and political changes in many parts of the world – all that combined to boost immigration, altering its geographic orientation and ethno-cultural structure.

Whereas the first wave of immigration was Protestant, by the mid-19th century incomers from Catholic countries of the Mediterranean and Ireland had started appearing, making the pioneers anxious about a possible shift in religious and ethnic balance. Demands to impose immigration quotas to prevent a greater Catholic presence were voiced – as many regarded them as the Pope's agents of influence (throughout U.S. history, the country only had one Catholic president: JFK).

Suspicions snowballed in the second half of the 19th century: a time that saw an expanding Asian community, particularly contracted workers from China, and non-Christian expatriates. By 1880, more than 200,000 Chinese people had settled in California constituting almost 10 percent of its population. In response, Congress passed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to impose a 10-year ban on Chinese immigration and naturalization of permanent residents of Chinese origin. The ban was extended in 1892, and became permanent in 1902. This move resulted in a 40-percent drop in the Chinese population during the subsequent 40 years, and the ban was only repealed in 1943. In 1923, the Supreme Court made a similar ruling for Indians, depriving them of white immigrant status and immigration quota [4].

In the 1890s, major immigration flows originated from Central and Eastern Europe including a large number of Jews emigrating to the United States. In total, West Europeans accounted for less than 50 percent against 95-plus percent in the 1860s. The influx dimensions also went up, with more than 12 million immigrants passing through the Ellis Island gateway in New York from 1892 to 1954.

This inflow peaked in the 1900s, when about nine million people arrived, and in 1910 the migrant community made 14.7 percent of the United States’ total population (as compared with 12.7 percent today) [5].

These growing immigration numbers, and changes in its religious and ethnic structure, have often caused public outbursts, with numerous appeals to restrict or suspend access. For example, in 1840 the Know-Nothing Party was set up to stop the admission of Catholics since they were allegedly plotting a coup and readying to massacre the Protestants. Under various pretexts, several similar parties also tried to halt the inflows of Chinese and Jewish people. Among them, the influential Workingmen's Party established by Dennis Kearney in California in 1878 to prohibit the advent of Chinese, the 500,000-member-strong American Protective Association set up by Henry Bowers in 1887, and the American Restriction League formed in 1894 to divide newcomers into two categories: desirable and undesirable. In the 1920s, similar demands came from the Ku Klux Klan, which listed five to nine million members, mostly in the South, and opposed the influx of Jews and Catholics.

Migration Policies Evolve

Photo: blogs.reuters.com
San Diego border with Tijuana

In the early 20th century, the United States adopted a series of tough administrative measures to restrict immigration inflow and regulate its ethnic and regional structure. The Immigration Act of 1917 denied access to several categories of migrants and detailed literacy qualifications. More restrictions were imposed in 1918, 1921 and 1924. The laws of 1921 and especially the Immigration Act of 1924 consolidated the immigration quotas, based on the United States’ ethnic composition as of 1920, in order to stabilize the ethnic balance within the country's broader population. Annual immigration from certain countries and regions was not to exceed "one-sixth of one percent of the population of the continental United States in 1920.".

The scheme denied quotas for Asians and Africans, although later some restrictions for Asians were abolished. At the same time, no limitations were placed on the volume of settlers hailing from the Western Hemisphere. The Great Depression of 1929 was followed by more acts to stem migration of all types, reducing the immigration flow from 280,000 in 1929 to 23,000 in 1933. These limits arguably had tragic consequences for many during the 1920s-1930s as people sought to flee Fascism in Europe.

The migration law was further amended after WW2. The Internal Security Act of 1950 effectively banned the immigration of communists and other leftist subversive elements. The 1952 McCarran-Walter Act confirmed the 1924 quotas that would not cover expatriates from the Western Hemisphere, as well as the spouses and children of U.S. citizens. Although some racial restrictions were rescinded (for example, the Luce-Cellar Act of 1946 expanded quotas for Asians and allowed partial naturalization), in 1950, political restraints built up. For a long time, migrants with certain infectious and hereditary diseases were banned.

Radical change aiming to lift regional and racial restrictions began in the 1960s within the overall process of social liberalization and the civil rights struggle. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 raised the annual immigration ceiling and eliminated regional and ethnic quotas, although the number of expats coming from any one country was limited to 20,000. Priority was given to the reunification of families and the attraction of skilled labor.

These immigrants boasted considerable ethnic, cultural and religious affinity, but also frequently displayed xenophobia and group prejudice.

This new approach and the absence of discriminatory quotas swiftly altered the regional and ethnic structure of this immigration flow, i.e. the European share fell from 90-plus percent pre-1965 to 10 percent 20 years later. As a result, most migrants were coming from developing countries; half of them from Latin America and one quarter from Asia.

Thus, immigration became a mechanism for the rapid transformation of the United States’ ethnic structure, and the Hispanic community grew from 500,000 in 1900 to more than 50 million today [6].

The migration system continued to develop after the adoption of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. In contrast to the previous documents, this Act was intended to deal with the enormous problem of illegal immigrant labor. In fact, it was a compromise to legalize incomers already in-country while simultaneously setting barriers to a further influx in future. Those who could prove permanent residence in the United States since January 1, 1982 were pardoned and legalized with the option of attaining permanent residence. Nevertheless, many illegal migrants would not even try to change their status, as they had no documents testifying to their lengthy stay in the country and feared that some of their family members would be deported. As a result, legalization affected only 2.7 million illegal immigrants out of a total six million.

Since then, employers who knowingly hire illegal settlers could be fined and even imprisoned after repeat violations.

The process by which work permits were issued to foreign workers was also changed dramatically, making it compulsory before they start work. At the same time, refusal to hire legal migrants due to their nationality, religion or race was outlawed and supported by fines and lawsuits.

Interestingly, it was Ronald Reagan, a conservative president, who signed this act, clearly feeling the need to bring illegal migrants out of this gray area and bring them into the United States’ labor market. Reagan had eight years’ experience of running California, a border state, and was well aware that tackling the problem of illegal immigration exclusively by prohibition is a dead end.

A similar reform was enacted in 1990 by the new Immigration Act again raising immigration quotas, especially for family members, in another attempt to cut this illegal inflow and enhance law enforcement.

By the early 21st century, depending on the methodology and political affiliations of researchers, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States was somewhere between five an 20 million. Most estimates suggest it was around 11-12 million, or about four percent of the overall population and 30 percent of the total immigrant population.

Migration Policy Dilemmas

Photo: history.knoji.com
Immigrants filled the Mall for a demonstration
in 2006. The undocumented population seems
to have leveled off since then at about
11.9 million

The relative inefficiency of restrictive measures on immigration comes from the de facto transparency of borders, poor performance by immigration and other authorities limited by stiff constitutional norms, the high incomes available in the United States and the political guarantees set out in law.

Migrants are divided into seven broad categories: low-skilled workers; high-skilled professionals; undergraduates, postgraduates and doctoral candidates; refugees; reunified-family migrants; lottery winners; and illegal incomers.

The United States’ immigration policies and service structure have been significantly affected by the end of the Cold War and 9/11. Reduced barriers for citizens from ex-socialist countries, communists and leftists were accompanied with harsher measures to prevent penetration by terrorists and organized crime, as well as better control of international money flows including wired money sent by migrants.

The 9/11 attack has made the U.S. authorities revise the functions and missions of numerous government bodies, and establish the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that has incorporated 22 federal agencies that were previously independent or part of other departments. Thus, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, set up in 1891 as a division of the Treasury and a unit within the Department of Justice since 1940, on March 1, 2003, was included into the DHS as the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

To eliminate the massive underground economy that exploits cheap labor.

The system of federal immigration courts that can repel or revise virtually any decision made by the executive immigration bodies is also noteworthy.

Despite the overall focus on security, the administrations of Bill Clinton, George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama have been positive about the need for complex reforms to liberalize migration policies and decriminalize the bulk of illegal immigrants.

In early 2004, Bush launched a bill aiming to tackle this problem. With the employer's support, illegal incomers were allowed to receive a three-year work permit and apply for permanent status within this period after the relevant taxes and fines had been paid. Otherwise, they could leave the country legally with all their savings.

The bill’s proponents insisted that the initiative would provide illegal migrants with civil rights, establish proper control, and make them pay taxes, whereas its opponents saw only additional incentives for the influx of illegal aliens.

In 2006, immigration issues were made a priority in Congress but the House bill was much more conservative than the presidential program, since illegal immigrants were to leave the United States and apply for a working visa from their home country. Illegal border crossing was switched became a criminal act, with the overall focus on prohibitive and executive measures, including strengthened border guards, the construction of immigration penitentiaries and the erection of a physical wall along a portion of the Mexico border. However, the more liberal Senate declined the bill.

Immigration generates only 0.1 percent of the total GDP, and that it also creates an excessive burden on the labor market, on the financial, educational and healthcare systems, and also on the states’ social services.

The failed initiative brought specific results at civil society level, as the illegal immigrants united to protest. In March and April 2006, many American cities saw massive demonstrations demanding legalization, for example about 500,000 people took to the streets to express their support for this cause in Los Angeles. On May 1, 2006, the nation-wide Day without Immigrants took place - boycotting businesses and educational establishments.

And they made their point, since U.S. society realized that the immigrant community has become a major economic and political force. However, in response, the opponents of immigration consolidated, forming their own movements. Since 2005, militias really came to life in many border states and began patrolling the frontiers in parallel with the federal authorities in an attempt to check this stream of trespassers. This initiative proved controversial within the general public. Besides, in summer 2006, these border patrols were reinforced by 2,500 national guards under gubernatorial command.

There also were other societal responses. Albeit in a disguised manner, the rightwing opposition perceived immigration, especially from Mexico and Latin America, as a threat to the country’s ethnic, religious and linguistic structure and to American society as a whole. Migrants were also seen as competitors to small business, the bulwark of political conservatism.

To this end, the language factor became something special. As a matter of fact, most Latin American incomers retain their linguistic identity and establish ethno-territorial clusters. It is no accident that many border states are pushing for the immigration regime to be toughened, and for English to be protected as the official state language.

Growing immigrant pressure on socio-economic and educational institutions did not go unnoticed. For a long time, the most radical measure in this field was California Proposition 187, which was put to a state-wide referendum in 1994. Supported by 59 percent of voters, the initiative aimed to restrict the inflow of illegal immigrants into the United States’ most populated state, where 24.1 percent of residents at that time were born abroad.

According to some estimates, illegal migrants make up 48 percent of California’s population, generating immense pressure on social and municipal services. The proposition envisaged depriving all illegal immigrants and their children of the right to use public funds in education, health and social services. The measure was swiftly found to be unconstitutional and blocked by court, but its very emergence illustrates how critical this problem for American society.

Passing migration laws became very popular in state assemblies: in 2007, more than 1,500 of these bills were considered and 244 of them passed, i.e. three times more than in 2006 [7].

Accordingly, politicians opted to play the immigration card in their campaigns. Back in the 1990s, anti-immigrant attitudes were vehemently expressed by conservative Patrick Buchanan who placed the issue at the core of his 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns. Along with the United States’ withdrawal from the GATT, WTO and NAFTA, he insisted on the banning of all forms of immigration for five years and proposed erecting a solid wall or at least a barbed-wire barrier along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration. Interestingly, in 2006 the latter initiative was, in part, implemented.

TV host Lou Dobbs was even more aggressive, launching a massive campaign against Latin American migrants charging them with propagating infectious diseases, including leprosy.

During the 2008 primaries, there were three Republican runners – Tom Tancredo, Dunkin Haunter and Sam Brownback – who built their platforms on hard-hitting anti-immigrant slogans. However, they all failed because the time was not ripe for this issue. However, in 2008 Republican candidate John McCain, who had launched his campaign as a relative liberal on the issue of immigration, toughened his attitudes considerably during the primaries and as a result lost many Hispanic votes.

A new page in immigration history was turned in summer 2007, when the House of Representatives mulled a new bill that was much more liberal than the 2006 initiative. President Bush put his reputation on the line, and appeared in person in Congress to support the initiative. Even that rare gesture did little to boost the compromise bill’s chances, and it was rejected, largely due to the president's political weakness. At the same time, construction of the Mexican border wall resumed at a significantly larger scale.

Hence, the immigration reforms of conservative Bush, who followed Reagan in acknowledging the need for liberal change in this area, was a flop, although in contrast to many other politicians Bush was well aware of the problem thanks to his business background and gubernatorial service in Texas, which shares a border with Mexico.

After Democrat Obama took office in January 2009, immigration reform restored the priority status but it was again amended. Obama had to spend considerable time and political capital dealing with the recession and large-scale healthcare reorganization. As a result, immigration reform came only at the start of the new election campaign when the president's hands were largely tied.

Obama's response was asymmetrical. In June 2012, he bypassed Congress that was in recess and issued an Executive Order on immigration, thus complicating his relationship with Republican lawmakers. Among other things, the order discontinued the deportation of illegal migrants under 30 years of age who had entered the United States when they were under 16, committed no gross violations of law, and either had a high school certificate or had served in the U.S. military [8]. The order provided legalization and work permits for about 800,000 young incomers who had been brought to the United States as children and managed to integrate into American society [9].

To immigration in many ways is largely rooted in worries about changing ethnic structure.

However, complex immigration reforms would still require the passage of presidential proposals through Congress and the absence of judicial objections regarding their relationship to the Constitution. Hence, despite Obama's victory on November 6, a full-scale reform still seems doubtful.

The president's immigration policy outline incorporates both liberal and restrictive elements. Back in his early days in the White House, Obama significantly raised financing for border protection. The program included the erection of a 600-mile-long barrier, the purchase of drones, and doubled the number of border troops along the Mexican frontier. Arrests and deportations also grew visibly. During 2009, his first presidential year, the authorities deported 388,000 illegal immigrants, which is 50 percent more than during the final year of the Bush presidency. Obama also wants harsher sanctions against entrepreneurs employing illegal migrants and the advancement of E-Verify, a system to certify individuals’ employment eligibility.

Obama also proposed the Dream Act, a measure to simplify and speed up the extension of citizenship to children of illegal immigrants who study at universities or serve in the army. The key provisions were used as the basis for the 2012 Executive Order.

The president is aiming to eliminate the massive underground economy that exploits cheap labor exerts a broader downward pressure on wages. One solution is to be found in reforming the visa system, including through liberalizing the system regarding high-skilled labor, investors in the U.S. economy, and farm workers.

At the same time, the Department of Justice bluntly opposed the harsh anti-immigration laws recently adopted by some states (Alabama, Arizona, Utah and South Carolina) and challenged them in court. In this respect, special attention was devoted to Arizona SB 1070 Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act of 2010, which allowed state police to verify the immigration status of “suspicious individuals.” The federal government opposed the act in court. The Supreme Court ruling in June 2012 was a compromise creating a gray area in the division of powers between the federal and state authorities toward migrants and civil rights.

The Republican attitudes to migration vary. In essence, the GOP comprises two key components, i.e. economic and social conservatives, each pursuing different political aims. The former support immigrant labor and want powers for the federal government, whereas the latter are primarily concerned by the cultural, ethnic and racial aspects of immigration, insisting on severe restrictions up to deporting illegal immigrants, limiting their civil rights and denying them social assistance, and also on the recognition of English as the official state language.

Photo: www.gg2.net
2012 Presidential Debate

Hence, Republican nominees must maneuver between the different electoral groupings at different stages of the election. During the primaries, they usually go right to win the support of party activists. But after nomination they move to the center to garner the moderate votes. The Republican position is also complicated by the fast-growing share of Hispanics – which rose from eight percent in 2004 to nine percent in 2008, and 10 percent in 2012. The total aggregate share of racial minorities rose from 26 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2012. Although Hispanics are largely conservative and could support Republican candidates, they are often alienated by the GOP’s anti-immigrant rhetoric in the primaries.

To this end, in his recent campaign, Mitt Romney appeared overly conservative on migration even for the Republican Party and pushed away many Hispanics. As a result, Romney received just 28 percent of their vote, whereas Obama got 71 percent, the second best performance after Bill Clinton who picked 72 percent in 1996.

Immigration Controversies

Photo: Pew Hispanic Center

Immigration in the United States is becoming more and more divisive. On the one hand, it greatly helps population growth and stimulates the economy. Incomers produce a 1.5-trillion-dollar share of the GDP and jointly earn about 350 billion dollars [10].

But on the other hand, estimates of its economic efficiency are dubious. Some maintain that immigration generates only 0.1 percent of the total GDP, and that it also creates an excessive burden on the labor market, on the financial, educational and healthcare systems, and also on the states’ social services.

At the same time, low-skilled and low-paid labor fills jobs that Americans are less keen to do, reducing production costs and prices, first of all in construction, agriculture and services. Massive training of foreign students simplifies the selection of first-class labor and also facilitates the establishment of pro-U.S. groups abroad by individuals who return home boosted with this newfound understanding of the United States’ political culture and ideology. The influx of high-skilled specialists also relieves the burden on the U.S. education system.

This latter point is particularly important because immigration expands American political, economic and cultural influence in the countries of origin. After WW2, there have been several waves of intellectual migration: from Western Europe and Japan, then from South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian and Latin American countries, and later from China, Eastern Europe and the CIS. This process allows for the continuous replenishment of the United States’ intellectual elite. Today, foreign undergraduates and immigrant workers constitute over half the faculty in natural sciences [11], while in Russia this is almost totally absent.

Experts seem very anxious about societal shift from the traditional melting pot model to the salad bowl or mosaic, meaning that society could fall apart into distinct ethnic, religious, cultural and language communities.

Latin American immigration helps economic stabilization in countries to the south of the United States by relieving the pressure on their labor market and creating money transfer to prevent the collapse of the poorest countries in the region (before the latest economic crisis total annual money wires from the United States made 42 billion dollars, 25 billion of the sum going to Mexico).

Labor immigration, both legal and illegal, presents a particular problem. The incomers' readiness to work for low wages with no social guarantees limits growth in pay. Businesses welcome this influx but many Americans radically oppose labor immigration and support restrictions.

Opposition to immigration in many ways is largely rooted in worries about changing ethnic structure. Hispanics already surpass Afro-Americans in numbers, making them the United States’ largest minority. This shift seems vital for the American political system: it may affect election results; redistribute social benefits among different groups of the population and even prompt a shift in foreign policy.

Rapid growth in the Hispanic population is badly perceived by other minorities who fear worsening public benefits [12].

Will the American Melting Pot Survive?

Experts seem very anxious about the United States’ societal shift from the traditional melting pot model to the salad bowl or mosaic, meaning that society could fall apart into distinct ethnic, religious, cultural and language communities. The salad bowl means a population made of Chinese Americans, Mexican Americans, etc, whereas the mosaic means Chinese and Mexicans reside in the United States with their original identity preserved.

In fact this dilemma is largely due to globalization and the technological revolution that help maintain contact between migrants and their homelands.

Opponents of this alarmist approach regard the growing significance of the market and technological revolution as factors motivating immigrants to English learning and assimilate.

According to the U.S. National Research Council, 60 percent of the immigrants that arrived in the 1980s are decent English speakers. A recent survey of 2,500 Latin Americans demonstrated that 90 percent of the group would adapt speedily and efficiently to American culture. However, the same 90 percent consider preserving their ties with their national culture important. On the whole, the polls show that integration of migrants into American society is as successful now as it was 100 years ago.

Recent trends also testify to slowing growth in illegal immigration, primarily from Mexico. In 2005-2010, 1.4 million out of the 12 million Mexicans resident in the United States returned home, i.e. twice as many as in the previous five years [13]. The causes for this are not quite clear and could indicate greater efficiency of American immigration policies, the effect of the economic crisis, as well as changes in Mexico's demographic trends.

Immigration and Globalization

Certain features and problems of U.S. migration politics are similar to those facing Russia. Some political innovations cause contradictions and fuel fears that are reminiscent of the voiced in Russia. In fact, grave reservations are triggered by the possible loss of national unity and budding ethnic conflicts. At the same time, the stated threats include uncontrolled growth of federal control under a pretext of fighting terrorism and illegal immigration.

On the whole, the U.S. experience primarily testifies to the considerable dividends brought by immigration and the government’s ability to receive and integrate large immigrant groups with no threat to the fundamental basis of democracy. New policies are also required, something that is particularly significant because immigration, on the one hand, brings major benefits, but on the other, the illegal inflow of migrants cannot be halted by democratic methods, especially when a relatively problem-free country has poorer neighbors with spare capacity in their workforce. Interestingly, the 5.5-fold per-capita-GDP gap between the United States and Mexico roughly corresponds to the gap between Russia and the average for the five poorest post-Soviet states.

The U.S. experience primarily testifies to the considerable dividends brought by immigration and the government’s ability to receive and integrate large immigrant groups with no threat to the fundamental basis of democracy.

Differences between the migration scenarios in Russia and the United States are obvious. First, America has an influential civil society that can unite both opponents and proponents who can efficiently advance their interests without resorting to the violation of the law or persecution. Second, the strict separation of authorities at a federal level, as well as between the federal, state and local governments makes competition possible and prevents power from being concentrated in the center. Third, distinct differences on immigration between the main political parties help the electorate define its preferences. In Russia, the stances adopted by parliamentary parties on immigration are mostly identical, as are the opportunities for the establishment of civil structures representing group interests, including immigrants. They have limited access to media and scarce recourse to public protest, stimulating interest in fringe politicians with extremist views on immigration.

The global labor market and large-scale labor migration have already become facts of life. American practices, both positive and negative, only confirm the point and indicate that enforcement alone will not work, meaning there is a clear need for dialogue and compromise on the levels of the country’s political elite and within society more broadly.

1. Preston J. Mexican Migration to the US May Be Reversing, Report Says // International Herald Tribune, 04/25/2012.

2. In May 2011, the White House estimated illegal immigrants at 10.8 million. See Building a 21st Century Immigration System. Washington DC: The White House, 2011.

3. The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011. The World Bank. 2nd ed. Washington DC, 2011.

4. Sanjeev Kh., Desai M., Varughese L. Seen, Rich, but Unheard? The Politics of Asian Indians in the United States // Chang G.H. (ed.) Asian Americans and Politics: Perspectives, Experiences, Prospects. Washington DC; Stanford CA: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press, 2001. P. 262–163.

5. Nye J.S. The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone. Oxford; N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002. P. 116; Ford W.F. Immigrationomics: A Discussion of Some Key Issues // Economic Education Bulletin. 2007. Vol. 47. № 10. P. 1; Jordan M. Arizona Seizes Spotlight in U.S. Immigration Debate // The Wall Street Journal, 01.02.2008. P. A12.

6. Although Hispanics are seen as a racial minority, the group includes people of various origins that may be qualified as Latin Americans. Hence, presence in the category indicates a certain culture and regional orientation, covering members of some nations in Europe and other parts of the world, as well as Latin American expats who do not speak Spanish.

7. Jordan M. Arizona Seizes Spotlight In U.S. Immigration Debate // The Wall Street Journal, 02/01/2008. P. A12.

8. Currently, 114,000 U.S. servicemen, i.e. eight percent of the total military force, are individuals born outside the United States. From January 2009 to May 2011, over 20,000 of this number received American citizenship. See: Building a 21st Century Immigration System. Washington D.C.: The White House, May 2011, 2, 9.

9. Crittenden M.R., Schartz A. New Calculations On Immigration After Obama Shift // The Wall Street Journal, 18.06.2012. P. A4.

10. Ford W.F. Immigrationomics: A Discussion of Some Key Issues // Economic Education Bulletin. 2007. Vol. 47. № 10. P. 2, 3, 5.

11. Nevertheless, critics point out that among Green Card holders, skilled professionals account for only 13 percent, whereas over two-thirds of the category are individuals arriving for family reunification. In Canada the share of professionals in the group is 62 percent. See Zakaria F. Broken and Obsolete: An Immigration Deadlock Makes the U.S. a Second-Rate Nation // Time, 06/18/2012. P. 20.

12. In 2011, racial minorities constituted 50.4 percent of newborns and 49.7 percent among American children five years of age, whereas the share of whites in the overall population is 63.4 percent. The minorities total 114 million, making 77.1 percent in the Hawaii and a majority in California, New Mexico, Texas and DC, as well as in 11 percent of counties (348 out of 3143)

13. Preston J. Mexican Migration to the US May Be Reversing, Report Says // International Herald Tribune, 04/25/2012. As of June 2012, the U.S.A. numbered 50.7 million Hispanics, of which 65 percent (33 million) with Mexican roots. The second largest group is Puerto Rican (9.2 percent). On the whole, 10 basic groups incorporate 92 percent of Hispanics, six of them over one million people.

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