Introduction: In the year 1883, Emma Lazarus, wrote the following lines in "the New Colossus" which best portrayed the large-scale immigration taking place to America, during that period. "The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!…
been affected by these immigrations This essay shall envisage finding the answer to these questions, and shall compare the trends as described in three articles by Portes and Rumbaut (1996), Reed Ueda (1994), George J. Sanchez (1993) as a part of the analysis. It shall be argued that, there are clear differences in the emerging immigration patterns of present day, from the early immigrations in the nineteenth century; and discuss briefly, some of the factors like 1) Economic 2) Opportunities/aspirations 3) Cultural and Educational Background of immigrants, with a special mention on the Mexican immigration, shall conclude with a note on the shortcomings as well as the significance of such analysis.
The 'old' and the 'new' immigration: Portes and Rumbaut (1996) have given one of the best classifications of immigrant patterns. Classified as 'old inflow' and 'new inflow' immigration, the former has taken place in the late nineteenth century and the latter in early twentieth century-the "contemporary immigration". There are unmistakable differences in the pattern and people, between the two. The "old immigration overwhelmingly European and white, but the present inflow is to a large extent non-white and comes from the countries of the Third World" (Portes and Rumbaut, 1996:404). The authors have given four classifications of immigrants: 1) Labor Immigrants: who were largely low-skilled, low literacy and who willingly accepted low-paid jobs, and were in great demand in the industrial, manufacture-oriented America. Coming in from Mexico, Jamaica, and the Caribbean etc. this group of immigrants constituted both legal and illegal. The employers had to pay far less wages to this diverse, non-white ethnic groups, and for the employee the approximate earning of $4.25 per hour was six times higher then the wages in Mexico and other such 'sending countries' (Portes and Rumbaut, 1996:406-9). 2) Professional Immigrants: This group is the opposite of the former. The immigrants of this group were highly educated and brainy; "labeled as the 'brain-drain' in the countries of their origin" this group did not take up menial jobs in the U.S. (Portes and Rumbaut, 1996:412-13). They were particularly of Asian Origin, with Chinese, Philippinos, Indians, and Taiwanese, and significantly large numbers. The one exception was the British, who also were a part of this group. After the passing of new provisions under the Immigration Act of 1990, in the year 1992, the number of Visas granted to this group tripled (Portes and Rumbaut, 1996:411). It is significant that this group opted for immigration probably because of the better opportunities available to them in their host country, which they perceived to be in proportion to their education levels. The earnings, especially of the Indians, were among the highest in 1990. They were perceived in a positive light, generally, since they rarely were considered a problematic community or manifested any signs of "tightly-knit ethnic community" (Portes and Rumbaut, 1996:411-12). 3) Entrepreneurial Immigrants: Immigrants from Korea, Cuba, Jews and Japanese belong to this group, predominantly. They enter with small entrepreneurship businesses and as their business expands they bring in others of their community to man their expanding set-up. Thus, their concentration as a strongly-knit ethnic ...
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