When we talk about the United States of America immigration is an important topic. But what does immigration actually mean and why is it so significant for the U.S.? What reasons could people have to immigrate to the United States?
First of all, immigration is the movement of non-native people into a country in order to settle there. There are many different reasons why people choose to change their lives this drastically by leaving their home and starting a new life in the United States. These reasons can be separated into push and pull factors.
As the names suggest, push-factors push people out of their country, they might need to leave in order to survive or want to leave certain aspects of their home country behind, whereas pull-factors pull people into the new country by offering new opportunities and a better perspective on life. Looking at an early period of immigration, 1607 to 1830, some push-factors were the lack of political freedom or religious tolerance in some countries.
Other people were following their families to the U.S or looking for better economic opportunities, to name some pull-factors. Of course, forced immigration in the form of slavery also played a major role in this period. In the following 60 years, cheap land and job opportunities led to another wave of immigration.
Furthermore, reports from earlier immigrants reached the people that stayed behind and motivated some to follow their countrymen to the U.S. Slowly the United States of America has become known as “the Land of Opportunity” that offers a better way of life, thus attracting even more immigrants. Nowadays people still migrate to the United States in search of medical treatment, educational opportunities or freedom of expression.
Some reasons from the past like economic opportunities still convince people to start a new life in the USA in the present. For some, the diversity of cultures that is the result of previous immigration is another reason to be a part of these cultures themselves. Due to all these different motivations, immigration is a never-ending story in the United States which makes it an essential part of their culture and identity.