Immigrant America: A Portrait

Immigrant America: A Portrait

Immigrant America: A Portrait

Immigrant America: A Portrait

Synopsis

This third edition of the widely acclaimed classic has been thoroughly expanded and updated to reflect current demographic, economic, and political realities. Drawing on recent census data and other primary sources, Portes and Rumbaut have infused the entire text with new information and added a vivid array of new vignettes and illustrations.

Recognized for its superb portrayal of immigration and immigrant lives in the United States, this book probes the dynamics of immigrant politics, examining questions of identity and loyalty among newcomers, and explores the psychological consequences of varying modes of migration and acculturation. The authors look at patterns of settlement in urban America, discuss the problems of English-language acquisition and bilingual education, explain how immigrants incorporate themselves into the American economy, and examine the trajectories of their children from adolescence to early adulthood. With a vital new chapter on religion--and fresh analyses of topics ranging from patterns of incarceration to the mobility of the second generation and the unintended consequences of public policies--this updated edition is indispensable for framing and informing issues that promise to be even more hotly and urgently contested as the subject moves to the center of national debate..

Excerpt

We began to write this book more than twenty years ago—between the Mariel boat lift and the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, at a time of “compassion fatigue” and heightened concern over undocumented immigration from Mexico, in the heyday of Southeast Asian refugee resettlement and of less visible flows of tens of thousands of escapees from murderous wars in Central America who were not deemed bona fide political refugees in the context of the Cold War. Not long before, in 1970, the U.S. Census had found that the foreign-born accounted for only 4.7 percent of the total population—the lowest proportion since 1850, when it first recorded the country of birth of U.S. residents. But in the preface to the first edition, we noted that after a lapse of half a century, this “permanently unfinished” society was being transformed yet again by immigration. We had already been systematically studying the phenomenon for years—indeed, we had lived it—but we could not foresee with precision just how “unfinished” a society it was, or how transformed it would become, or how dramatically the larger world would change. In this third edition, we bring this extraordinary story up-to-date.

Immigration is a transformative force, producing profound and unanticipated social changes in both sending and receiving societies, in . . .

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