Final Exam - Created by Kendall Bagley

What is immigration?

Immigration can be described as a type of relocation diffusion involving a permanent move to a new location.


  • Native Americans: migrated from Asia across the land bridge, known as the Bering Strait
  • Explorers: Columbus from Spain, Vespucci from Italy, Magellan from Portugal
  • Puritans: fled to seek freedom from the Church of England
  • African slaves: were forced to migrate to the Americas
  • Europeans: looking for freedom from political, economic, or oppressing issues


The Immigration Debate


Economic: may involve moving to find work or follow a particular career path.

Social: may involve moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends.
Political: they may be moving to escape political persecution or war.
Environmental: includes natural disasters, famine, war or the opportunity to enhance a persons career.
Push and pull factors are often used to explain why people immigrate:
Push factors are the reasons why people leave an area. Push factors include: lack of services, lack of safety, high crime, crop failure, drought, flooding, poverty and war.
Pull factors are the reasons why people move to a particular area. Pull factors include: higher employment, more wealth, better services, good climate, safer, less crime, political stability, more fertile land, lower risk from natural hazards.

Immigration usually happens as a result of a combination of these factors.


The major flow of international immigrants are from less developed countries to more developed countries, especially from Asia and Latin America to North America and from Asia to Europe.

From the chart below you can see this movement:


The United States is knowns as a land of opportunity. Therefore, America accepts and tolerates people who choose to immigrate here. Today immigrants come to the United States to join other family members, for employment opportunities, or they come as refugees. However, today Americans fear immigration for many reasons. First, it is not fair for American citizens because the immigrants are working jobs for lower wages, forcing Americans to take the same low pay in these jobs. As the illegal immigrants come to the United States to have children, it becomes a burden of cost to those citizens who pay taxes. An example of this would be that most of the parents of these children do not have insurance, leaving the cost of these undocumented children to the average citizen. In the early 1800s, immigrants came to ports such as New York City. As the number of immigrants continued to increased rapidly, the government began to enforce laws to limit immigration. Today, laws are very strict and the issue of illegal immigration is not handled lightly. After 9/11, the U.S. tightented these laws even more. One such law that is now in place requires all citizens to have a passport when traveling in and out of the United States as well as other countries. In order to go to another country, you have to get a passport and go through customs anytime you want to travel. In the past, a legal document such as a birth certificate would have been allowed when traveling. Each year the U.S. sees more and more growth in the number of people wanting to migrate into its borders. If this growth continues at the rate it is now the U.S. will possibly have to consider closing its borders at some point.



As a young college student I would say immigration has only impacted me in a few ways. One big way I have been impacted is by the language. In high school I took Spanish and excelled in the class, but now if I had to have a conversation with someone that only spoke Spanish I would have trouble. I fear as more Spanish speaking people move into Texas I will have to face the reality that I may be a minority when it comes to being able to communicate with these new citizens. The problem is that my generation does not know Spanish very well, therefore, we could face possible struggles in the workforce.

Another way that immigration has affected me is knowing that today's society is very judgmental. I know that with the different groups of ethnicities there are racial issues. People make assumptions about others just by looking at the color of their skin. For example, people think that someone coming from Mexico is not smart or may be poor just because they have not had the same experiences we have had.

One last way that immigration could affect me in the future would be when I graduate from college and begin looking for a job. The workforce is so competitive and with the increase of legal and illegal immigrants in Texas I may have a harder time finding a job.

I know that the world we live in today is ever changing and that it will look very different than it looks today because of the large number of people that continue to migrate into our borders. As I look to the future, I wonder what will this world look like for my children.

Works Cited

SuperNews! : The Immigration Debate: SuperNews!. Film. 9 Dec 2012. <>.

The Center for American Progress Immigration Team, . "The Facts on Immigration Today." Center for American Progress. (2012): n. page. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.

Tindall, George. America- A Narrative History. Volume 1. New York: 2010.