The Metropolis in the United States and Immigration essay

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Problem Statement

As recently as the past month, there has been a debate on how to deal with the perceived American immigration problem. Different people, especially politicians, have aired their diverse views on the issue. Worth noting is that the American congress has failed to address this problem via the use of legislation, thus, leaving the public and the political field to debate on the same.

The two opposing sides argue on the effects that the high immigration has on the country’s economy and local economies. In fact, one side argues that the contribution is positive, while the other group argues for the opposite. It has been difficult to establish the relationship that exists between the immigration societies and their new metropolis. Only few researchers have documented the relationship between the immigrants and the economic effects on a particular metropolis.

With the intention of seeking better working terms and to a place of perceived opportunity, many people have found the United States to fulfill this promise. Most of them have gotten there legally. Others have, however, worked their way around the authorities. The most discussed immigrant society in the United States is the Mexican community, which contributes a large chunk of immigrants. Most of the states in the south and bordering the country have their own share of the impact of Mexican immigrants on their society. The United States of America has witnessed an influx of immigrants in the past century, mainly from the Hispanic society and Mexico, in particular. The documentary studies show the impact that this influx has had to the local economy and the metropolis in the country.

In the passage of laws to curb this perceived problem, one only wonders whether limiting the migration will benefit or further cripple the economy. The little data available on the Hispanic society in the U.S. has not been used to inform the decision-making on the same issue.

This research proposal shows how the immigration rate affects the economic status of the Metropolis. It also addresses the need to have proper laws passed to cater the needs of immigrants, which will also boost the economy of each metropolis they live. Since their stay is illegal, they end up working in the low paying industries with most of them living in poverty level. Some of the children have lower English proficiency, despite their birth in the United States. This research, therefore, tries to establish the total Hispanic population and the average level of income that they earn, in order to create attention of the need to have proper immigration laws.

Data and Methods

The research paper uses the information and data from different studies with more information extracted from the census. The data from the census of the year 2000 and that of 2010 provides vital information on the distribution and population of immigrants in the United States, mainly the Hispanics. The census of the two years provides a comprehensive report on the race, population, age distribution, housing, social structure, and a variety of other information. In the 2000 census, the total number of counties identified was 3,219. The US government later grouped these counties into 389 metropolises (US Census Bureau 9).

For the census, a questionnaire was issued consisting of the information of the respondents in a form that they understood. Some of the data collected in the census have contributed much to framing of this research paper. These data are the one that finds use in this research paper to group people into races in a bid to deduce their immigration status. The research also tries to establish the change in population of immigrants with the economic situation in the US. This goal is to be achieved by analysis of the population change as per the 2010 census and the corresponding economic performance of the affected areas. A comparison of the two censuses and various economic reports will then be made, and inferences made on the effect that immigration of the communities has had to the local economies.

The following graph shows the number of illegal immigrants over fifty years until the 2010 census.

Source: Department of Homeland Security Immigration Statistics.

The graph shows the radical increase of immigrants in the United States in five decades. This justifies the need to have better immigration laws to avoid the economic crisis or reduction of economic fortunes contributed by the immigrants.

Research Questions

This research paper seeks to unravel the mystery behind the following two key questions. Its answers will be obtained using various strategies, as discussed elsewhere in the paper.

I.          What are the economic effects of the Mexican immigrants into the United States of America?

II.        What effect does the law has on immigration?

Aims and Objectives

The Mexican society in the United States has been increasing throughout the years. Most of the existing data are from censuses, which do not capture the complete number. One aim of this research is to establish the number of Hispanics who lives in the USA in a bid to correlate the values with the documented ones from censuses. Secondly, this research tries to establish the effects that the population of Hispanics has on the economy by citing examples of existing metropolis.

The research aims to determine the effect on the average wage that the immigration of Hispanics and other groups has on the metropolis areas. The paper also aims at establishing the effects that legislation has had on immigration in the U.S. and the metropolis population in general. Many states, such as Arizona, have formulated laws to try to curb immigration, in order to avoid the effects which might lower the economic standards locally.

The research establishes whether these laws have had any effect (and what the effect is) on the immigrant population. It also seeks to establish the relationship between the native worker and the immigrant worker, and the different terms in which they are able to work. It also tries to answer the question of the average age and the commonest sex of the immigrants, the level of education, and other social characteristics.

Literature Review

There are various books talking about the effect of immigration on the metropolis. They agree that there is an effect on the economies of the metropolis, which is either positive or negative. It is reported that the population of immigrants totals to a large proportion of the population in most developed countries. This finding changes to a higher proportion when the workforce is considered. In the United States, for example, a large proportion of immigrants are from Central and South America with Mexicans having the greatest number. It is not surprising that any policy on immigration focuses on this population more than any other.

It is estimated that the Mexican population forms over 30% of the immigrant population with all Latin Americans making up about 53% of the immigrant population (US Census Bureau 49). In the early 1970s, the population of Central Americans and Mexicans in the U.S. was less than a million people. However, this figure has considerably grown to unprecedented levels with the start of the decade marking the highest levels observed. It is reported that the immigrants of the US have a higher fertility rate compared to the natives of this country (US Census Bureau 29). This means that the average household size is larger than that of the Native Americans, thus, making their dependence rates higher.

Putnam stated that there appears to be a reduction in participation of social and civic capital in the United States (2). This claim has had a significant effect on wages and salaries to the general population and the immigrant population, in particular. In determining the effects of immigration on the local economy, it is essential to consider the social capital of the population involved. Some authors have pointed this view as a necessary procedure (Marcelli and Cornelius 11), while others consider it of a lesser value in this establishment (Aguilera and Massey 2003). It is also necessary to separate the contribution that is made by the two sexes with men said to contribute more than women in the formal labor market. They are also said to have a comparatively higher wage, which may be due to the hurdles that women workers have to encounter.

However, this case is of less significance, since most of the immigrants who are working are male. Gray, Jerry, and Richard Chapman found in their research that the benefit in social capital, however, for women is more on the other areas other than employment and earnings (3). Civic organizations often organize meetings aimed at helping the immigrants to earn more income and improve their standards of living. This effort has been proven to work in their advantage.

However, as Putnam (34) observed, fewer and fewer immigrants attend these meetings. Therefore, they end up not benefitting. It is thought the attending these meetings that it would equip the immigrants with the necessary skills of job seeking, information gathering, and resource utilization (Putnam 20). However, this is not possible, since most of the immigrant population from Central America and Mexico is illegal.

Therefore, many immigrants are afraid of attending these meetings for fear of capture. Social capital, as described by Putnam (93) in his report on the effect it has on the economic growth in Italy, is a fundamental social indicator of wage growth. For this reason, social capital has a positive association with the total earnings of the population of Mexicans, whether authorized or unauthorized (Aguilera and Massey 23). In general, the migrant population into the United States from states like Mexico and other parts of Latin America is male with an average age distribution from 15 to 65 years. In the latest survey, the population of immigrants from Mexico that is employed in the civil service is less than 80 percent with most of them doing labor-intensive jobs, such as construction and service industry.

Many debates are being held on the effect of the immigrants on local economies with some people citing the fact that wages for the locals reduce or stagnate, due to a cheaper alternative labor provided by the immigrants. With these effects, however, some have also suggested that this cannot be compared to the large amount of economic gains produced by an influx of immigrants, even though the reduction in wages occurs. It has been suggested that the status of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is a force that shapes wages (Marcelli and Cornelius 24). This means that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the country affects the wages for the Mexicans living in the US. This effect can only be negative.

Many authors have also argued on the contrary with Marcelli and Cornelius (24) suggesting that unauthorized status has a wage penalty for the immigrant population of men. In the research by the National Research Council, it was concluded that the impact of immigration is mainly on the immigrants themselves, which also has a positive correlation with the economy to which they migrate (National Research Council 23). This is in reference to the share of the economic growth that they bring to the host metropolis and the country in general.

In most international migration trends, immigrants have opted to move from their home countries to a land they perceive to be greener pastures. For the Mexican and Latin Americans, America provides them with this chance. They do all within their means to get to the other side of the border. Most have, however, discovered that getting their desired jobs in the new country is not as easy, as they had imagined. They return to their home country. There is, therefore, the dilemma of risking capture along the border, finding police waiting for a person, and the idea of staying behind and continuing to endure the effects of poor economies and political poverty.

Results of the Research

The information collected in the research shows that the population of immigrants into the U.S. is mainly from the Latin America and Mexico, in particular. The effects that these immigrants bring onto the local economies have also been discussed with a general conclusion that they have added economic advantage to the metropolis. In the findings, the economic effects of immigration favored more men than women with the benefits being mainly personal.

In the Metropolis that the research came across, the large number of immigrants was unauthorized, thus, providing the challenge of accounting for the economic results of immigration, as the immigrants avoided any means of estimating their income. In the area of economic contribution, the immigrants worked more in the informal sector, and the construction company mainly maintaining the cheaper rated for the jobs that the natives are unwilling to take up.

Their education standards and literacy levels are lower compared to the average native, and the language of choice is Spanish with poor literary skills in English. The social outfits that were used to gauge the level of income are appropriate with the finding that the social capital is a significant indicator of the wages earned by the immigrants. Another finding is that the contributions of the immigrants have mainly been positive. There is a recorded growth in the metropolis. The immigrants have settled. This issue has been driven by the cheap and readily available labor in the region from the immigrants. The population of immigrants is also on the rise. New laws in many metropolises that meant to limit them are difficult to enforce.

However, with the inception of these laws, the immigrant population has opted for settling permanently in these areas. This may create a future problem for the metropolises in the form of social responsibility. In the observations, the economic power of immigrants is increasing day by day with, more and more being legalized, and more crossing the border for the greener pastures. In the states, where a law against the immigrants and immigration has been put in place, the effects can be felt in the economy with wages going up to the advantage of the natives.

However, the availability of services that were provided by the immigrants is no longer there. The only remainder is a rich metropolis without labor. This has, therefore, not worked in the way of the metropolis. It only proves the dependence that the nation has on the immigrants on the cheap labor.

Another finding is that most of immigrants in the US had a different reason for moving in with some thinking that landing in the US would relieve all their problems. These people contribute to the negative effects of immigration by lowering the GDP, and depending on others, thus, increasing the dependence ratio.

The economic comparison of the cities varies proportionally, since the immigrants also cause the internal migration of the US-born workers. These occur after their jobs are inhibited by immigrants who offer cheap labor. The movement results in the immigrants settling at a specific region leading to the displacement of the Native Americans. The Americans shifted out of the regions, in order to seek better opportunities or avoid the interactions of the immigrants.


There are several conclusions that can be derived from the findings of the literature review. First, there is a positive relationship between the immigrants of Mexican and Non-Mexican population in the Metropolis areas of the US. In this relationship, the local economies have a growth rate that correlates with its amount of cheap labor at their disposal.

Therefore, the size of the immigrant population in the metropolis affects the economic level standards, due to the economic contributions by the immigrants. A second conclusion is that with the movement of immigrants from their country into the new Metropolis, there is a change in the social status, which is an improvement from their initial economic status. For the Mexican immigrants, the jobs performed are mainly manual and not the preference of the native population, which considers the blue-collar jobs. The immigrants, therefore, boost the local economy by providing these skills in a cheaper and more reliable manner to the designated metropolis than other metropolis without immigrants.

Another conclusion that follows the literature review and findings is the contribution of the immigrant population to the working population. As seen above, the immigrant population has a significant share of the working population in the U.S. This has been the source of divisions on the immigration policy, as many fear of decrease in economic level if the State continues to undermine their effort in building the nation.

Many authors agree that the immigration problem should be dealt with in a sober manner. Other authors suggest that immigrants are taking jobs from them in their own country. This leads them to conclude that the problem should be addressed by Congress and should include deportation of all the unauthorized immigrants in the metropolises, and a priority given to the natives in job opportunities.

As seen above, there is a significant change in the approach given to the immigration problem after the development of laws against immigration. Most of the metropolis areas have adapted differently to the effects of immigrants, with most having a close economic relationship with the immigrants. This relationship, however, is fragile. It depends on the rate of unemployment in the native population. If the rate is high, authorities have often sought to cushion the natives by the use of laws, which are unfriendly to the immigrant society.

Finally, immigration is a vital topic in the U.S. The effects that it has on the local economies vary with the region. Throughout the centuries, the effects of immigration have not been felt, as they are now. Laws against it are not as effective as the government tries to achieve its goals. This is because the immigrants have the capabilities of paying taxes and other beneficial contribution, which might boost the revenue collection for economic development. Also, all the stakeholders need the affirmative action to set up clear laws, which involve the immigrants in developments and economic growth. This gives them morale and courage to work and live in different metropolis for rapid growth of the local economy (Giovanni 2010)

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