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It is necessary to agree to Walter Lippmann’s (1921) assertion that “the great social adventure of America is no longer the conquest of the wilderness, but the absorption of fifty different people” (Hromic, 2002), because of the following assertions. Ellis Island acted as a gateway for American immigrants during that time. However, it is currently a century, and Lipmann’s assertions still apply. In this regard, it can be argued that America is a melting point, and it remains to be so since it receives different immigrants from various parts of the world.
The current composition of the United States’ immigrants is totally different from that of the last century, because many immigrants originated from Europe, especially at the beginning of that century. The United States received 75% European immigrants in 1960 (Hromic, 2002). However, the situation is different today since only 15% of new immigrants originate from European countries (Hromic, 2002). Today, the Latin American and Asian immigrants into the United States have increased significantly. As a result, the United States’ projected population in the year 2050 indicates a 5.2% increase (Hromic, 2002). This significant rise in population is contributed by immigrants from Asia and Pacific Island. Moreover, Hispanic population has doubled while the Caucasians have dropped marginally from a high of 69.2% to a low of 52.8% (Hromic, 2002).
Immigration to the United States and internal migration patterns revealed that there were lawful or unlawful cases experienced. Lawful migration refers to authorized movement across boarders, with valid passage documents. Unlawful migration, on the other hand, is the passage of people from one country to the other without following the due process, thus the term illegal. Therefore, illegal immigration means unauthorized movement of people from one country to another.
The major contributor of illegal movement is the economic nature of different countries or states. Therefore, it is found that people mostly move places of low economy to those of higher economy. The driving force behind this exodus is the hope for finding better living conditions that come with good jobs, housing and educational facilities among others. Illegal movement of people has very severe consequences, especially in the host country. The recipient nation has to put up additional structures to cater for the inflows, these could include setting aside funds to for feeding the illegal immigrants, more pressure is put on the available resources like houses, schools, hospitals and public transport system. Despite the cons leveled against illegal movement of people, there are also positive outcomes when people from different regions interact. There is an exchange of cultural values. People from diverse origins come together and share their opinions on several matters.
Immigration can occur for one when he or she has parents or siblings that reside permanently in the US or are citizens in that country. Such people with relatives in the US may have their siblings request the American government to grant them green cards so that they join the family members and reside permanently in America. Though, this is a legal means of moving to the United States, other people may use dubious means, they make fake relatives, forge green cards and these are the people who may pose as legal migrants when they are actually illegal. If they are detected then they face the American law through prosecution or they may go free if not detected.
Raven Molloy, Christopher Smith and Abigail Wozniak reported the following on the US internal migration, which could be used to support the above Walter Lippmann’s statement (1921).
“The number of people who change residences within the country each year is large: roughly 1½ percent of the population moves to a different Census region annually, and about the same number of individuals move to a different state within the same region. In addition, roughly 3 percent move across counties within the same state. All together, in each year between 5 and 6 percent of the population moves across a county boundary, a long-enough distance to make a meaningful difference in their local housing and labor market environment. These flows are roughly one-third the size of annual flows into or out of employment” (Molloy, Smith & Wozniak, 2010). Focusing on this statement, it is evident that housing and labor factors have contributed to the US internal migration, since different people move across the states. It is necessary to note that this is contrary to earlier migration that led to acculturation and assimilation of indigenous cultures, for instance, Ipiutak Culture, which took place in the 19th century in the North American arctic (Diamond, 1925).
Ipiutak people had developed a homogeneous form of culture. No evidence of pottery, whale hunting implements, stone vessels, combs, oil lamps, boats (kayak) was recovered. Cooking was most probably done with wooden vessels by the stone boiling method. It is important to note that Ipiutak culture has consisted of elaborate implements never been found in any other arctic culture. It was also evident that blades knives and daggers were extensively used (Diamond, 1925). Ipiutak materials illustrate a cultural form that has no similarities with arctic coast pattern. It is probable that the Ipiutak culture is as a result to the arctic coast adaptation and internal migration.
In conclusion, it is clear from the above argument that Walter Lippmann’s (1921) assertion “the great social adventure of America is no longer the conquest of the wilderness, but the absorption of fifty different people is true. The reason for this is that significant statistical findings and historical records/reports on the United States and internal migration patterns support the idea that different people migrate into or within the United States. This immigration can be caused by housing and employment factors.