The original inhabitants of North America were Native Americans. Imperial powers sought to colonize the new world; staking claims to harvest and export the resources. The first attempt by the imperial powers to colonize the Native Americans proved to be unsuccessful which lead to the beginning of the mass migration to the new world, America. The first and longest period of immigration from the 17th century to the early 19th century was marked by the landing of the first fleet with the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock commenced immigration within North America.
The majority of the first migrants hailed from the British Isles, England, Welsh, Scotland and Ireland. Many of the first settlers were people who sought to start a new life, they were for the most part young and unable to adapt in the post Napoleonic period in modern society. America offered a new start where in exchange for a period of hard labor and indentured service they could acquire small pieces of land that they could work as independent farmers. Early immigration helped to make America successful and shaped American society. The Affects of Immigration in the Lower Working Class of America
Introduction – The Lower Working Class The indentured servants were the first lower working class of Americans; men and women who sought to come to America but, were unable to pay for the voyage entered into an agreement with employers to work for a specified period of time in exchange for their voyage. The working class endured harsh labor and conditions; among the most notable populations of indentured servants were the Irish. The lowest class, the Irish population predominantly Catholic, were outcasts among the protestant Americans.
The Irish endured aversion and a strong anti-Catholic sentiment; including the creation of a political party, The Know Nothings, the platform was built on anti-immigration and anti-Catholicism (Diner, 2008). Working Class Job Availability Before Immigration As America became more settled and the economy grew, infrastructure and industry drove the demand for immigrant workers. The 19th century introduced new technology resulted in more sophisticated ships and steamboats which made voyages less harsh for people of the world to make their trip to America; where the first settlers endured long journeys on ships that sailed.
During this period there was influx of Europeans, Germans, Pols, Greeks and approximately 3 million Jews. They settled in the urban areas making up the industrial labor pool; thereby contributing to the American industrialization. The immigrant workforce made America one of the fastest growing industrialized nations in coal mining, textile factories, automobile assembly and steal manufacturing. Currently, many American companies are multinational, participating in international trade. Multinationals make America one of the largest competitors in the global market.
Many American fortune 500 companies are seeking qualified immigrants for their talent pool and workforce diversification strategy. Companies such as Wells Fargo and Co. , CISCO, GAP Inc. attribute a portion of their global success to having an ethnically diverse workforce. Companies are coming together to share in best practices and competitive advantages of hiring immigrant professionals. Immigration and the American Economy New Consumers Immigrants as Consumers Immigrants now are contributing the strength of the middle, upper middle classes in America.
For the most part, immigrants who successfully immigrate to America are well educated, have a wealth of experience and are driven to succeed. It is the strong middle class which supports the economy and contributes to consumer spending. The correlation between a strong middle class, consumer sentiment, and consumer spending is apparent in the performance of the economy. Gallup polls used to gauge consumer confidence and consumer spending among immigrant populations may be higher due to a more positive economic outlook vs.
American sentiment. Immigrants as Business Owners The immigrant workforce has contributed to the success of the American economy through filling gaps in the workforce where work groups were lacking; I. e. computer science and service oriented fields. Reports from the Department of Commerce show successful business models in family owned and operated businesses for immigrant owned businesses. They are flourishing partly due to the sub economies created in close knit homogeneous towns and networks, for example China Town and Little Italy.
There are also the service oriented businesses set up according to value driven models, offering highly desired services at discount prices in sectors such as salons, restaurants, as well as building and maintenance. These businesses provide many American’s with value added services at prices that are affordable to working class. Another attribute to the success of these businesses is that they tend to be significantly cashed up, using their own funds to set up and operate.
Income Wage Differences Immigrant Fulfillment of Economic Labor Shortages Future of Immigration and the American Economy The future of immigration and the American Economy is uncertain; there is little room in the current administrations budget with regard to helping immigrants complete the process in a timely and efficient manner. The focus is currently on security and streamlining immigration processes as it relates to documenting immigrants and processing the current applications.
Immigrants who are in pending statuses are likely to be denied due to time and budgetary constraints. The immigration issue is identifying those who are here illegally and then to decide what within legal and humanitarian boundaries what to do with this population. Many resources are being utilized to enforce and protect the border. This leaves the United States of America with a large dilemma, who will fill the jobs these people currently do and how will their absence affect the our economic productivity?
The Long Term Immigration is becoming more difficult in United States; it is too soon to tell the economic impact. The affects of globalization support the ethnically diverse workforce and the overall success of multinational companies which in turn would support legal immigration. Current data would support the theory that for a country to be a strong competitor in the global market, it would have to possess a strong ethnically diverse world class workforce.
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