Summer 2013 Bulletin

Dædalus Examines "Immigration & the Future of America"

Summer 2013 Dædalus
“Immigration & the Future of America”

Douglas S. Massey (Princeton University): America’s Immigration Policy Fiasco: Learning from Past Mistakes

Nancy Foner (Hunter College, City University of New York): Immigration Past and Present

Charles Hirschman (University of Washington): The Contributions of Immigrants to American Culture

Marta Tienda (Princeton University) & Susana M. Sánchez (Pennsylvania State University): Latin American Immigration to the United States

Victor Nee (Cornell University) & Hilary Holbrow (Cornell University): Why Asian Americans are Becoming Mainstream

Audrey Singer (Brookings Institution): Contemporary Immigrant Gateways in Historical Perspective

Mary C. Waters (Harvard University) & Philip Kasinitz (Graduate Center, City University of New York): Immigrants in New York: Reaping the Benefits of Continuous Immigration

Helen B. Marrow (Tufts University): Assimilation in New Destinations

Frank D. Bean (University of California, Irvine), Jennifer Lee (University of California, Irvine) & James D. Bachmeier (Temple University): Immigration and the Color Line at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Rubén G. Rumbaut (University of California, Irvine) and Douglas S. Massey (Princeton University): Immigration and Language Diversity in the United States

Richard Alba (Graduate Center, City University of New York): Schools and the Diversity Transition

Alejandro Portes (Princeton University) & Adrienne Celaya (University of Miami): Modernization for Emigration: Determinants and Consequences of the Brain Drain

Michael Jones-Correa (Cornell University) & Els de Graauw (Baruch College, City University of New York): The Illegality Trap: The Politics of Immigration and the Lens of Illegality

Karen Manges Douglas (Sam Houston State University) & Rogelio Sáenz (University of Texas at San Antonio): The Criminalization of Immigrants and the Immigration-Industrial Complex

Cristina M. Rodríguez (Yale Law School): Immigration, Civil Rights, and the Evolution of the People

Despite America’s history and reputation as a “melting pot,” immigration continues to polarize policy-makers. The Summer 2013 issue of Dædalus examines the origins and characteristics of new immigrants and considers their reception in the United States, with regard to both public policies and private behavior. The issue is guest edited by Academy Fellow Douglas S. Massey (Princeton University), a leading expert in the sociology of immigration.

Whereas immigration to the United States during the half-century from 1915 to 1965 was small by historical standards, the four decades from 1970 to 2010 witnessed a remarkable revival of population flows from abroad. By 2010, the percentage of foreigners in the United States had rebounded to nearly 13 percent, much closer to its historical peak of 14.7 percent in 1910. Most of the new entrants hailed from Asia and Latin America.

Unlike past immigrants, many foreigners living in the United States today are present without authorization. According to estimates, roughly one-third of these individuals are undocumented, and although Hispanics and Asians now account for around 20 percent of the total population, they make up nearly a third of all births. Thus, the future of the United States is very much tied to the status and welfare of immigrants and their children.

Guest editor Douglas Massey notes in his essay, America’s Immigration Policy Fiasco, that mass illegality is now the greatest barrier to the successful integration of Latinos; a pathway to legalization represents a critical policy challenge. If U.S. policy-makers wish to avoid the failures of the past, he argues, they must shift from a goal of immigration suppression to one of immigration management within an increasingly integrated North American market.

“Immigration policies implemented in 1965 and thereafter were not founded on any rational, evidence-based understanding of international migration. Instead, they were enacted for domestic political purposes and reveal more about America’s hopes and aspirations–and its fears and apprehensions–than anything having to do with immigrants or immigration per se.”

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