Briefing on Immigration Policy: Federal Debates and Local Realities, United States Capitol

Immigration Goes Nationwide

Recent dispersal has given immigrants and immigrant minorities increased visibility in all parts of the country, thus raising the national awareness of immigration issues and policy. In this briefing, William H. Frey draws from recent census and survey statistics to show the remarkable dispersal of the foreign born, Hispanic and Asian populations across US states, counties and metropolitan areas in the current decade. Contrasting "traditional magnets" with "new immigrant destinations", Frey discuses how the foreign born attracted to new destinations are more recent US arrivals, less well off financially and more likely to be undocumented than those who reside in traditional magnet states. Because of fast immigrant growth and its sharp contrast with existing residents in theses states, Frey suggests that interest in immigration policy has become more heightened there, and reactions more negative than in traditional magnet states. This despite the fact that immigrants comprise relatively small shares of their populations.

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