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Copy of Geography Alive! - Ch. 8 Migration to the United States: The Impact on People and Places

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Linda Kainz

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Geography Alive! - Ch. 8 Migration to the United States: The Impact on People and Places

Migration to the United States: The Impact on People and Places Section 8.1 - Introduction Moving away from one's home country is emigrating. Moving away from your home is always hard. They leave behind family and friends. However, millions of people around the world make this decision every year. And many of these people come to the United States. Immigration is moving into a new country. They are entering into a new environment where they need to learn many new things, like learning a whole new language. These changes can be very hard to adjust to. People often bring their culture and traditions from their old country into their new country to make themselves more comfortable. Migration stream is the constant flow of migrants from one country into another. The largest migration stream into the United States today is from Mexico. Section 8.2 - The Geographic Setting Push and pull factors drive people to move out of and move into country's. Push factors encourage people to emigrate (or leave) their home country. Pull factors attract people to move into a new country. Pull factors include factors such as freedom and opportunities for a better life. Push and pull factors have helped drive migrations throughout history... Since 1820, more than 65 million people have come to the United States! This enormous migration came in 3 big waves. The first great wave of immigration began with the founding of the United States. These early immigrants came mostly from northern Europe. Many of these immigrants were escaping from poverty or hunger. Some of these immigrants settled in cities but most found land to farm. In the late 1800's, a second wave of immigrants began to arrive from eastern and southern Europe. Many were refugees fleeing war or persecution because of their religious beliefs. A refugee is someone who seeks safety by going to another country. A third great wave of immigration began in the late 1960's and is still going on today. Between 1970 and 2003, about 24 million people moved to the United States. About 75% of them came from Latin America and Asia. Many Asians found new homes on the West Coast. Most of the Mexican immigrants settled in the Southwest. Most of the Cuban population
immigrated into Florida. New York City attracted people
from other Caribbean islands. Just like earlier immigrants, these newcomers are both adjusting to and changing life in the United States. Section 8.3 - What Push Factors Drive Emigration There are a number of political push factors that drive emigration. Political push factors are things that drive people away from their homeland because of decisions made by the state or government. War is an example of a political push factor. Political refugees may flee a country because they fear its leaders or they may fear persecution. Persecution is the unfair treatment of people because of who they are or what they believe. These political push factors are different in some ways but the thing they all have in common is all of them involve the way a government treats its people. People usually don't leave a country that treats their citizens fairly but a government that rules through fear may create large numbers of political refugees. Cuba is a great example of this rule by fear. In 1959, Fidel Castro took control of the Cuban government and quickly made himself a dictator. If Cubans spoke out against Castro or spoke out against the way he was running the government they could be jailed. Faced with that threat, thousands of Cubans have emmigrated away from Cuba and immigrated into the U.S. Another type of push factor are Environmental Push Factors. Changes in the environment, such as long-term drought, can push people to emigrate. In the 1840s, a devastating plant disease struck Ireland. A fungus destroyed Ireland's most important crop, the potato. Faced with starvation, 1.5 million people left, or emigrated, Ireland! Many of them immigrated into the United States. Other changes in the environment are the result of human activity. In 1986, an explosion rocked the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what is now Ukraine. This accident left a large area of poisoned soil, air, and water around the power plant. Tens of thousand of people were forced to leave their homes and move to safer areas. Section 8.4 - What Pull Factors Draw Immigration There are many different
types of pull factors. One of these pull factors is termed Family Pull Factors. This is the desire to unite divided families. An example... Gordon a 20 year old young man immigrates to another country and finds a job. Then with the money he has earned from his new job, finds a safe and secure place to live. He now feels like he has enough money to send for and support his family. So his family makes the long and difficult journey to join him in this new country. This is a common scenario for many immigrants. Young men are often sent ahead to find a job and a place to live and then they will send for the rest of their family. There are other pull factors that draw immigration such as education. Many families migrate so that their children can attend good schools. One of every 15 students in the United States schools was born in another country! There are also older students who come to attend colleges and universities. Another pull factor is the Quality-of-Life Pull Factor. Most people move to a new country to improve their quality of life. In the U.S. this is called the American Dream. This is the belief that people here can create a better life for themselves and their children in the United States. For many refugees, a better life
begins with a sense of safety. For much of their history Jews have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. However, in the United States, Jewish immigrants found freedom to worship without fear. For other immigrants, a better life usually starts with a better job. Even low-wage jobs in the United States usually pay more than most immigrants could earn back home. With more money, immigrant families can afford better food, housing, and health care. Section 8.5 - How Does Immigration Affect the U.S.? The United States has long depended on immigrants for labor. Early immigrants cleared large tracts of forests for farms. Later immigrants built roads and railroads across the continent. Many have even helped us fight our wars. Some of the immigrants entering the U.S. today arrive with few skills. As a result, they are often limited to low-paying jobs. Some work on farms, they might plant or harvest crops. Others may get other low paying jobs like cab drivers, restaurant workers, or nannies. Not all immigrants take low-paying jobs. Some immigrants are highly educated and skilled and work as doctors, professors, and artists. Some native-born Americans resent having to compete with immigrants for work...they complain that immigrants are taking "our jobs." But the jobs immigrants find are usually ones that native-born workers are not eager to fill. There is an economic impact to immigration as well. Immigrants pay taxes to the government. But they also need services that are paid for with tax money, like language classes for immigrants who don't speak English. Another impact new immigrants have on the United States is through culture. They can introduce Americans to different ways of life from all over the world. This mixing of cultures sometimes leads to conflict but it also makes life more interesting. Newcomers often try to live close to other people from their homeland in immigrant neighborhoods. Many times they have names like Little Italy and Chinatown. Here immigrants can speak their native language, eat in restaurants that serve their native dishes, and hear news from their homeland. Immigrants have introduced new foods and holidays and many other things that have contributed to American society. Section 8.6 - How Does Emigration Affect the Homelands People Leave Behind? Economic Impacts...Brain Drain and Gain When people emigrate they take away all the things that they could contribute to their homeland. When doctors, engineers, and other highly educated people move away from their homeland, the homeland loses out on the training and skills that they could have provided their home country. The loss of these highly educated people through emigration is called brain drain. These payments are called remittances. In many countries, money sent by emigrants to their families is a very important source of income. In Mexico, remittances is the third largest source of income behind sales from tourism and oil! Also the brain drain can also turn into the "brain gain" because some immigrants will return home after getting an education or earning enough money. Emigration can have mixed social impacts. On the down side, when young people leave to find jobs in another country, families are splintered and may remain seperated for years if not forever. On the positive side, the money emigrants send home can have positive effects such as caring for aging parents, sending young children in the family to school, or to make improvements to the overall community. Emigration can also have political impacts on the home country. Many refugees have come to the United States to flee political unrest. Once here, some refugess work hard to bring democracy to their homeland. Section 8.7 - Beginning to Think Globally Since its founding, the United States has attracted migration streams from around the world. Some immigrants have come as refugees. Others have come in search of jobs and schooling. The United States is not the only country with many immigrants. Canada, Spain, Australia, and other countries have also attracted large numbers of emigrants. Section 8.8 - Global Connections Two big push factors that drive migration streams today are poverty and conflict. Both of these factors have come together in Africa. In most of the world, poverty has decreased since 1990. However, in parts of Africa poverty has gotten worse. Africa has also seen a large number of wars since 1990. These conditions have forced many Africans to flee their homelands. Some stay in refugee camps in neighboring countries and others emigrate away from their homeland to other countries. As we have talked about throughout this chapter, migrants generally are attracted to developed regions. Here they can hope to find jobs, schools, health care, and safety. Often emigrants move to the developed region nearest to their homelands. For North Africans, this is Europe.
For Latin Americans, it is Canada or the United States. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7299140n A refugee is someone who seeks safety by going to another country.
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