Contested Ground: Immigration in the United States

Though long a country of immigrants, theUnited Stateshas seen its demographic and immigration policy landscape altered in new and important ways as a result of the changing nature of immigration flows.

In Contested Ground: Immigration in the United States, author Michael Jones-Correa assesses the effects of changing immigration flows in recent decades, in particular increased immigration from Latin America and a sizeable population of unauthorized immigrants.

The increase in immigration fromLatin Americaand its spread to US communities with little prior experience of migration have sparked anxiety among the American public, the author notes. And in response to concerns that much of the new immigration is unauthorized, negatively impacts the economy, and is changing theUSsocial fabric, policies with a strong enforcement focus have been the trend since the 1980s.

The report, which is the latest work from MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration in a series examining national identity in the age of migration, assesses the majorUSpolicies at the federal and state levels, public opinion, and the demographic change of recent decades in theUnited States.

The author makes the case that while public and political debates center on the question of illegal immigration, ultimately the real challenge lies in ensuring a future for the new generation born to immigrant parents — which represents almost one-quarter of children in the United States.

The Transatlantic Council on Migration is a unique deliberative and advisory body that aims to have a tangible, measurable impact on migration and immigrant integration policy on both sides of the Atlantic. Council research on the topic of national identity includes case studies of France, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as research examining the relationship between immigration and nativism, and the perceived failures and successes of multiculturalism policies.

The Council’s work in this area can be found at:

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