Take a tour through America's immigrant heritage — at its most and least welcoming
American politicians, and Americans themselves, love to call themselves "a nation of immigrants": a place where everyone's family has, at some point, chosen to come to seek freedom or a better life. America has managed to maintain that self-image through the forced migration of millions of African slaves, restrictive immigration laws based on fears of "inferior" races, and nativist movements that encouraged immigrants to assimilate or simply leave.
But while the reality of America's immigrant heritage is more complicated than the myth, it's still a fundamental truth of the country's history. It's impossible to understand the country today without knowing who's been kept out, who's been let in, and how they've been treated once they arrive.
"If you think the United States is every immigrant's dream, reconsider. Sure, in absolute numbers, the U.S. is home to the most foreign-born people — 45.7 million in 2013. But relatively, it's upper-mid-pack as an immigrant nation. It ranks 65th worldwide in terms of percentage of population that is foreign-born, according to the U.N. report 'Trends in International Migrant Stock.' Whether tax havens and worker-hungry Gulf states, refugee sanctuaries or diverse, thriving economies, a host of nations are more immigrant-dense than the famed American melting pot. Immigrants make up more than a fourth (27.7 percent) of the land Down Under; two other settler nations, New Zealand and Canada, weigh in with 25.1 and 20.7 percent foreign-born, respectively. That's compared to 14.3 percent in the United States."
Tags: migration, population, USA, Australia, Oceania.
"Henry Monterroso is a foreigner in his own country. Raised in California from the age of 5, he was deported to Mexico in 2011 and found himself in a land he barely knew. But the 34-year-old now supervises five employees amid rows of small cubicles who spend eight hours a day dialing numbers across the United States. He is among thousands of deported Mexicans who are finding refuge in call centers in Tijuana and other border cities. In perfect English — some hardly speak Spanish — they converse with American consumers who buy gadgets, have questions about warrantees or complain about overdue deliveries."
Where are the world's biggest Chinese and Indian immigrant communities? MORE Chinese people live outside mainland China than French people live in France, with some to be found in almost every country.
The two most populous countries in the world, India and China, are mentioned frequently when teaching population geography. However, it is typical in the United States to pass over these countries when discussing migration; this graphic shows the diasporas are quite extensive and highly influential.
In several previous posts we have looked at specific migration channels connecting Mexico to the USA: From Morelos to Minnesota; case study of a migrant...
This is an excellent way to show examples of chain migration and the gravity model...students will understand the concepts with concretes examples. These interactive maps have crisp geo-visualizations of the migratory flows.
More than 10 million Americans moved from one county to another during 2008. The map below visualizes those moves. Click on any county to see comings and goings: black lines indicate net inward movement, red lines net outward movement.
The financially troubled island now says it is unable to pay an estimated $72 billion debt, casting a pall on bond markets and pension funds. On the surface, Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is one of run-away spending on public welfare, with a diminishing small tax and economic base to support it. However, the island’s troubles are also tied to its commonwealth status: Puerto Rico is part of the United States but it lacks the local autonomy afforded to other U.S. states and electoral representation in Congress.
It is finally time for Puerto Rico to break free. Independence would allow Puerto Ricans to directly address their economic woes, but, perhaps more important, it will grant the island’s 3.5 million inhabitants the right to determine their own destiny. On July 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that Puerto Rico couldn’t restructure its own debt. Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory bars the island from requesting bailout funds from other development banks. Independence, nationalists argue, would allow the commonwealth to make these and other autonomous choices.
In China's Second Continent, Howard French explores the Chinese presence in 15 African countries. The relationship goes beyond economics: more than a million Chinese citizens have migrated to Africa.
He says there's a debate about the long-term consequences of China's push into the African continent: Will it create development and prosperity, or will it lead to exploitation reminiscent of 19th-century European colonialism?
More people left Phoenix in 2009 than came. The map above visualizes moves to and from Phoenix; counties that took more migrants than they sent are linked with red lines. Counties that sent more migrants than they took are linked with blue lines.
I've sent this link out before, but Forbes now has four articles attached to interactive mapping tool that analyze the data (including one by geographer Michael Conzen). Also the new data has been added and the visualization has also been improved...very cool features with tremendous amounts of teaching applications.
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.
Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places. This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly. Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.
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