Post-1965 Immigration to the United States: Structural Determinants

Post-1965 Immigration to the United States: Structural Determinants

Post-1965 Immigration to the United States: Structural Determinants

Post-1965 Immigration to the United States: Structural Determinants

Synopsis

Why do countries differ substantially in the size of legal permanent immigration to the United States since 1965, even after the repeal of the discriminatory national origins quota system? The author demonstrates that development theory, world system theory and immigrants' social network theory all contain partial truths, but not one of them captures the entire immigration process. Here cross-national differences in the size of post-1965 immigration are shown as the outcomes of multi-dimensional forces, including the source country's development, U.S. involvement in the country, immigrants' resources, and the interactions of these factors. Scholars and readers interested in immigration, demography, sociology, history, international relations, cross-national analysis and social change will find this book an interesting and useful addition to their list of resources.

Excerpt

A new chapter in the history of contemporary immigration to the United States unfolded in the year 1965. The rescission of the national origins quota system marked the beginning of changes in U.S. immigration policy that have had the most far-reaching impact of any policy changes made in this country to date. What is the 1965 immigration reform and under what circumstances did it take place? What kind of changes in U.S. immigration policy have occurred since the initiation of this reform? Moreover, what are the consequences of the immigration reform movements since 1965? In particular, have these immigration reform movements led to an equalization in the volume of immigration to the United States from different sending countries, and if not, how large have been the cross-national differences in the size of immigration to the United States? Which countries have sent large numbers of immigrants to this countries, and which have not had significant immigration flows to the United States? Do the poorest or least developed countries send the largest volumes of immigration to the United States? Do immigrants mainly come from peripheral countries or from semiperipheral countries? Finally, is it correct that the richest countries do not send significant numbers of immigrants to the United States? Although previous studies have attempted to answer some of these questions, some of the issues, particularly regarding cross-national differences, have not been explored or well understood.

This chapter describes the historical background of, and general trends and cross-national variation in, immigration to the United States since 1965 in comparison to pre-1965 immigration. The major purpose of the chapter is to establish some basic facts, which the following chapters seek to explain. It also serves to dispel some misconceptions of the basic characteristics of post-1965 immigration to the United States.

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