The first wave happened in the United States between 1790 and 1820. The primary reason was the search for new opportunities by people of diverse economic, social and cultural backgrounds. There are many waves of immigration in the United States. A new legislation distorting a number of immigrants from their country of origin by providing jobs in the U.S. to those born or having relatives of whom the manufacturing industry had desired skills was affected by the last wave from 1820 until 1870, followed by the third wave from 1880 to 1914. (Portes, 2014). It took place around 1965 and has carried on till present day with the immigrant mainly consisting of the Mexicans, Europeans, and the Asians.
Social stratification was the main cause of the coherent set of disparities mainly experienced in the political, social, economic and ideological aspects since people were ranked and evaluated according to the wealth, prestige, and power they had in possession. The last wave was characterized by Asians who made up to a third of the total immigrants’ population in the early 1980s up to 1990 while the Mexicans were approximately half of the population. Europeans immigrants were at least 20% of the initial population during that period(Portes, 2014). Stratification issues resulted into the grouping of people into social classes which included the upper, lower and the middle classes thus creating various levels in the society. This caused a wide range of problems which include the unjust system of governance which manipulated power according to the wealth among particular groups. As a result, immigrants were subjected to emotional depression and stress especially to people living in lower social class denying them access to basic life requirements. The last wave of immigration was also largely affected by the essential transformation of the U.S economy from a regal to an agricultural producing state. Social stratification also caused division among the immigrants due to various state policies imposed on them which favored the wealthy groups while intimidating the lower class immigrants. The nationality and immigration act abolished the origins quota system replacing it with a category preference system in 1965 which was based on family unification(Bartz, 2017). The legislation initiated powerful forces which still play a role in shaping the country up to date. The act increased the number of immigrants which resulted to the imposing of a ceiling to reduce the rate of people getting into the country. There was also the termination of the Bracero program which was meant to bring agricultural workers in the country from Mexico which largely affected the production process(Jones, 2016). Stratification also resulted in placing of sanction on workers who hired illegal immigrants and further enhancing of border protection to curb illegal people from entering the country.
During the first wave of immigration, the incoming group of people included the English, Germans, Dutch, Scots, French, Spanish, Scots Irish and the Puritans while in the latest wave, Mexicans and Asians were the key immigrants. The first wave was influenced by starvation, diseases, economic, political, religious, displacement from various areas as well as family and friends influence of those who lived in the U.S. The latest wave was facilitated by the new laws that were imposed which favored the immigrants especially those who were economically stable or rather wealthy during that period. The latest wave was also influenced by the need for labor by agricultural producers and increase in the market for produce in the country. Major impacts of the immigration waves are the population growth in the country with the immigrants’ population accounting for 72 million people from 1965 up to present(Manco, 2015). It also resulted in the growth of Hispanic and Asian population in the country thus leading to an exchange of cultural practices the country since the immigrants came along with their beliefs which they continue holding on up to date. In 1965, the population in U.S was made up of whites who took 84% of the total population followed by Blacks who stood at 11% while the Hispanics and Indians took 4 and 1% respectively(Levin, 2016). However, the Mexicans together with Asian population rose to a great extent which led to the imposing of sanctions drafted in the Constitution to reduce the number of people getting into the country. Moreover, immigration resulted in racial discrimination especially to people with colored skin who faced unequal rights and oppression from the white population. Immigration also resulted in the unfair distribution of resources since the policymakers were mainly the indigenous population who also denied the immigrants a chance to take part in legislative practices. However, there are some notable positive impacts resulting from immigration in U.S which includes the economic growth which prevailed due to the availability of the labor force in the market and in turn increases the production to sustain the growing population. There was also the creation of employment since producers were readily recruiting employees to take care of their farms.
Some of the negative consequences of stratification could be improved to favor the minority black population in the country through the formulation of policies which allow them to take part in various legislative practices. For instance, stratification is the main cause of racial and ethnic segregation which highly affected the black population in the country denying them a chance to take part in the electoral process and it is through the formulation of policies that changes would include them in the process and also legal representation. The ethnic differences between the native whites and the black population resulted to limited access by the blacks to social amenities such as the school with the whites firmly opposing their education since they were considered the inferior part of the population(Manco, 2015). Complex debates were conducted to assess the level of academic achievements which fell into two groups of arguments. The first group argued that due to cultural orientations, diverse communities either supported or opposed academic achievements while the second group argued that the structure of the community and their position in terms of economic achievements influenced the children academic performance. These can be attributed to stereotypes that occurred which limited the access of social amenities to the native population discriminating the black immigrants and denying then chances to undertake various tasks in the society. As an intervention program, the society could have at least offered equal chances to various ethnic immigrant groups to gauge their capacity on the task force which could have realized tremendous improvements in the economic field since the discriminated blacks would fully expose their potential. In addition, recent research shows that the reasoning line accounts for racial discrimination whereby the whites considered themselves to be of superior genetic orientation which lacks empirical proof(Jones, 2016). The society should have ordered for a test to prove the claims so as to ensure fairness in resources distribution in the country.
According to the conflict theory, the society is positioned in a continuous variance resulting from limited resources competition with the social order being maintained by power domination instead of conformity and consensus among community members(Portes, 2014). Due to the massive immigration, various social classes came up with each case focusing on their personal gains making it difficult for the lower class views to be incorporated in decision making. As a result, the lower class immigrants were faced by problems which were brought about by the policies being made. As an intervention strategy, the society should have eliminated or rather reconsider the policies which oppressed the black community through including them in various decision-making practices. It is through the theory that capitalist in the society gained more benefits by accumulating basic resources which in turn could have been equally distributed to curb the poverty levels of the lower class immigrants in the country. Interactionist theory, on the other hand, argues that the function of the social interface between the adults and children explains the knowledge development which is mainly based on social-cultural hypothesis. It focuses on the acquisition of knowledge through cognitive development, processing of information as well as the social interactions of the people in a society. Through the theory, intervention programs would have been initiated to ensure that the black immigrants have a chance in understanding how various policies were formulated and whom they were meant to benefit. By so doing, it would encourage development in understanding and enhance the knowledge levels of the immigrants in order to make them more productive in the society(Jones, 2016).
Jody Bartz. (2017). Lessons from Europe’s Immigrant Wave: Douglas Murray Cautions America. Investigative Project on Terrorism, 2017-07.
Jones, D. M. (2016). Surveillance and Resistance.
Levin, M. R. (2016). Plunder and deceit: big government’s exploitation of young people and the future. New York: Threshold Editions.
Manco, J. (2015). Ancestral journeys: the peopling of Europe from the first venturers to the Vikings. London: Thames & Hudson.
Portes, A. (2014). Immigrant America A Portrait. Oakland, California; London, England: University of California Press.