Espenshade, Thomas J. “Unauthorized Immigration to the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology 21 (1995): 195-216.

The United States of America has prided itself on being a “nation of immigrants” as almost everyone, with the exception of Native Americans, have some family history of immigration. The article “Unauthorized Immigration to the United States” Thomas Espenshade breaks down six different topics regarding immigration to the United States. This includes the demographic dimensions of immigrants entering and leaving the United States, public opinion on legal and illegal immigrants, causes of immigration to the United States, social and economical impact of immigration, policies that affect immigrants, and immigration in the future.

Espenshade does an excellent job at breaking down each different category and going into great detail regarding said topic using sources from different studies and information from the United States government. From the article we learn estimated numbers of illegal immigrants that come into the United States each year and how many leave, how public opinion on immigration has changed over time and varies from state to state, that people are willing to risk everything to come to the United States in search of better economic and educational opportunities, but also to escape poverty, violence, and abuse, we also learn that illegal immigrants tend to experience downward movement in their economic status in the United States because more often than not they are paid less and work longer hours than legal workers, various studies concluded that illegal immigrants hold no fiscal impact on taxpayers in regard to things such as education, healthcare, etc., also how the Immigration Reform and Control Act impacts the day to day lives of immigrants, and that despite efforts such as the Immigration Reform and Control Act illegal immigration is not something that will stop completely.  

The article takes the broad topic of illegal immigration and covers nearly every aspect of it in a concise and easy to read format. The article goes into depth about the lives of immigrants in Mexico prior to coming to the United States and after their arrival, also the opinion of United State citizens, and as well how politics and the economy is affected by their presence within the United States. It is also touched on how as a “nation of immigrants” there has been a flux of hostility towards illegal immigrants particularly in recent years and our policies show that.

Picture taken from Google Images of a immigration rights protest in Charlotte, North Carolina in March 2017.

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