#FactsMatter - Define American


Follow along and find out why "getting in line" isn't that simple.

Guide to Difficult Conversations

What is "chain migration"?

And why do I keep hearing about it?

We live in a globally interconnected society. Our immigration laws have not kept pace with the larger forces that cause migration.

The production of an iPhone, for example, is the result of hundreds of components sourced from over 40 countries, assembled internationally and bought in the United States by millions of people.

Source:  lifewire.com / financesonline.com

While Americans take iPhones for granted, it is not acknowledged that these same forces, trade and technology, push people to move, and make moving easier than ever.

The “right way” to immigrate was – at one time in our nation’s history – simply just showing up. That changed with The Immigration Act of 1924, which required that visitors obtain immigration visas, which were limited by race and nationality.

Source:  American Immigration Council

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was intended to rectify racial restrictions on immigration. In effect, it also established numerical limits on legal immigration at the southern border, where none had previously existed. This caused the number of immigrants considered to be “unauthorized” to skyrocket.

Source: Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University and Mexican Migration Project / The Washington Post

More than eight million U.S. citizens live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

Children make up the majority of these U.S. citizens; almost six million citizen children under the age of 18 live with a parent or family member who is undocumented.  Consequently, immigration enforcement actions—and the ongoing threats associated with them—have significant physical, emotional, developmental, and economic repercussions on the children left behind.

Source: American Immigration Council

2/3 of all undocumented adults have lived in the United States for at least a decade.

About two-thirds (66%) of unauthorized immigrant adults in 2016 had been in the U.S. more than 10 years, compared with 41% in 2007.

Source: Pew Research Center

White immigrants did not universally “assimilate” and not all had papers.

22% of adult white immigrants did not speak English in 1910. 38% of adult white immigrants did not have papers in 1920.

Source: 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census of Population and Housing, 1920 U.S. Census Volume II, Sections 10 & 15

The majority of undocumented immigrants coming today are arriving via airplane, not across a land border.

 In 2014, 42% of all undocumented Americans in the U.S. were “overstays.” Of those who arrived or joined the undocumented population in 2014, 66 percent were overstays. This trend is expected to continue.

Source: Center for Migration Studies of New York