The US Immigration success story
Many of the headlines in recent weeks have been dominated by opposition by many in the Republican Party to President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms which are mainly aimed at helping the millions of undocumented Hispanic migrants in the US. Obama’s reforms should mean that these migrants will more easily be able to integrate into US society.
In the last fifty years the Hispanic population in the US has grown from 3 million to 53 million. Despite the large numbers of undocumented migrants, included in these figures, many argue that Hispanic migration to the US has been a success. Simon Rosenberg, president of the pro-immigration group NDN/New Policy Institute, argues that we may now see a ‘tipping point’ where Hispanics are now able to gain socioeconomic status and acceptance by the general population. He raised a number of important points about Hispanic migration to the US :
- In 2014 the unemployment rate for Hispanic migrants in the US dropped from 8.4% to 6.5%. This is a reduction of 25% in only a single year.
- There has been a huge reduction in school drop-out rates for Hispanics; 13% last year, compared to around 35% in the mid-1990s.
- One third of all Hispanics with no health insurance were able to find insurance under Obama’s healthcare reforms (Obamacare). The rate of Hispanics without insurance has fallen from 36% to 23%
Rosenberg argues that the recent wave of Hispanic immigration to the US is increasingly looking like a success. He says that Hispanic migration is ‘a success for the immigrants themselves and the nation as a whole – a historic change that has made the State of our Union stronger’.