Immigration to the United States has been a complex demographic situation that has contributed to changes in many aspects of life. Immigration has led to increase in population and cultural change throughout the history of America. It has also caused major political, economic, and social changes (Virginia 29).
>Immigration history of the United States can be viewed in four eras. These include the colonial period, the 19th Century, the beginning of the 20th Century, and post-World War II (Virginia 78). Distinct nationalities and races immigrating to the United States characterize each period. During each period, there were reasons for immigrants from particular regions. These reasons include, unrest in particular countries or regions, and US laws that determined acceptance of refugees from particular region especially Africa (Robert 120).
Before independence, Majority of Immigrants to The United States came from Europe. Immigrants from Europe were as result of population pressure in their countries and lack of resources. British colonized United States to gain economically. Britain also wanted to expand her territories and settle some of her citizens in the United States. During this period, Britain captured slaves from Africa to work on farms in America (Virginia 104). Most of the African-American population migrated this period to the United States as slaves (Robert 114).
>Since the beginning of the 21st Century, the large numbers of immigrants to the United States come from different regions in the world. This has brought legal changes that have affected the economic, political, and social as aspects of citizens. As a result, there have been controversies regarding economic benefits, racism, jobs, settlement patterns, voting behavior and crime (Barone 17).
>Throughout the history of, immigrants coming to the United States of America can be can be classified as legal and illegal immigrants. The 1990s pattern of immigration is characterized by sharp increase in the number of immigrants coming to the United States. Data from the Census Bureau and other government agencies indicate rapid increase of immigrants during the mid- 1990s and its peak at the end of the decade (Gjerde 25).
>The trend in the 1990s is contrary to the perception that there has been continuous increase in the number of immigrants coming to the United States. From the beginning of 1990s to the middle of the decade, data from the government agencies estimate the number of immigrants at 1.1 million each year on average. During the peak years of 1999 and 2000, the number of immigrants, rose by 35%, standing at 1.5 million. This pattern of increase, and decline, is common in both legal and illegal immigrants from every nation and regions of the world (Thernstrom 56).