- Published: January 26, 2022
- Updated: January 26, 2022
- University / College: University of St Andrews
- Level: Masters Degree
- Language: English
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Are immigrants valuable contributors to life in California or are they not? Immigrants are valuable contributors to life in California
The history of immigrants in California dates back to the Gold Rush era that saw influx of immigrants in San Francisco City (Portes and Rumbaut, 2006). The early immigrants (1700- 1850) originated from northern Europe due to religious, political and economic factors that attracted them to California while the second wave of immigrants (1850-1970) originated from Eastern Europe due to political instability in those countries (Bohn, 2005). The recent immigrants (1970-Present) mainly originate from China, Mexico, India and Latin America and are attracted by the economic potential and diversity programs that encourage immigrants in to California (Sides, p 584). Immigrants are valuable contributors to life in California since they are vital in sustaining the economic prosperity of California through their labor supply and payment of taxes to the government (Bohn, 2005). Highly skilled immigrants have spearheaded California’s innovation economy as evidenced by companies such as Google and Qualcomm. The immigrants are more likely to establish businesses and create demand for the manufactured goods thus contributing to the economic life in California (Portes and Rumbaut, 2006). The immigrants have changed the ethnic and cultural composition of California population since Latinos and African Americans form a substantial part of Californian population. Immigrants are valuable contributors to economic, social and cultural life in California.
Immigrants are valuable contributors to Californian economy since they have played a critical role in California economy for the last two centuries. About a third of immigrants are likely to start businesses and immigrants’ businesses account for about 5 million jobs across the US (Bohn, 2005). According to statistics, 36. 6 percent of businesses in California were owned by immigrants and immigrant business owners contributed about 30 percent of the net business income in California. In addition, highly skilled immigrants have spearheaded innovations since 52 percent of the technological start-ups in Silicon Valley have at least one immigrant founder while global companies like Google and Yahoo are attributed to immigrants (Portes and Rumbaut, 2006).
The immigrants contribute $ 30 billion in federal taxes and $ 5. 2 billion in state income taxes. The purchasing power of immigrants is estimated at $ 310. 5 billion. The immigrants have boosted earnings for Californian workers since more than half of the immigrants have a college degree (Portes and Rumbaut, 2006).
Immigrants represent a third of Californian workforce and are critical in industries such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Immigrants account for more than one third of the engineers, scientists and innovators while the foreign-born inventors have contributed more than 70 percent of patents (Portes and Rumbaut, 2006).
Immigrants have led to multiculturalism in California since Latinos and Asians account for 51 percent of California population and this creates a multicultural society that is essential for democracy and cohesive communities (Bohn, 2005). Immigrants have contributed to sustainable and inclusive lifestyles in California since ethnic, national origin and religious diversity has contributed to higher sense of belonging among the traditional minority groups. This trend has further enhanced the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms such as freedom of speech and association (Bohn, 2005).
However, immigrants have created certain social problems such as high crime rate and inadequate housing in California. The influx of Chinese immigrants led to overcrowding in major towns in California. California has a high rate of street violence and drug abuse problem that can be attributed to the ethnic gangs that operate in the state (Portes and Rumbaut, 2006).
Immigrants are valuable contributors to life in California since they provide labor and start businesses that employ millions of people. Immigrants offer the desired demand for manufactured products and contribute to innovation in the state. The Californian authorities should appreciate the contribution of immigrants in the economic, social and cultural life and increase the number of immigrants who work and live in the state. The state should develop strategies that appreciate multiculturalism and remove the barriers that hinder immigrants from participating in the labor market such as language training.
Bohn, S. (2005). New Patterns of Immigrant Settlement in California. New York: Public Policy Institute.
Portes, A and Rumbaut, R. G. (2006). Immigrant America. San Francisco: University of California Press.
Sides, Josh. ‘ Straight in to Compton: American dreams, urban nightmares, and the Metamorphosis of a Black Suburb’, American Quartely, Vol. 56, No. 3, p 583- 605.
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