S.,and the end of the Bracero Program, apprehensions approached 100,000 again in 1965 and continued to rise sharply thereafter. In that same year, the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Amendments (79 Stat. Although the new law greatly liberalized extant policy by abolishing the national origins quota system and providing a first-come, first-served system for eligible immigrants, for the first time in history the INA imposed a ceiling of just 120,000 legal immigrants per year for the entire Western Hemisphere.Later adjustments in the law further lowered the number of visas available to Western Hemisphere countries. On the economic front, the 1973 Arab oil embargo further disrupted the American labor market and eventually helped lay the foundations for an even greater influx of both legal immigrants and unauthorized workers.That the use of unauthorized labor had become a systemic feature of the U. economy is further reflected in that fact that over the 24 years of the Bracero Program, the estimated number of unauthorized persons apprehended—nearly 5 million—was roughly equivalent to the total number of official contracts issued. Although the U. government has never achieved an accurate count of the number of unauthorized Mexican migrants circulating or settling in the U. at any one time, population movement of this magnitude inevitably contributed to a steady increase in the permanent resident ethnic Mexican population. Although Castro's political intentions remained unclear in the first months of his rule, by 1960 the ruling junta made it plain that it intended to rule Cuba under Marxist principles.
As already noted, political turmoil and violence had similar effects on the nations of Central America. stood at fewer than 100,000 in 1970, by 1980, it had grown to more than 171,000, and as will be seen below, has continued to grow dramatically since. At the other end of the economic spectrum, ongoing economic restructuring in South America has led to a situation in which highly educated and highly skilled individuals from countries including Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, and others have emigrated to the U. seeking economic opportunities not available to them in their places of origin. Since the 1970s, the same kinds of social networks previously established by European, Asian, and Mexican immigrants have been expanded by more recent migrants, strengthening the bonds of interdependence that have tied some immigrant-source regions to the U. One study notes that as recently as 2003, 14 percent of the adults in Ecuador, 18 percent of the adults in Mexico, and an astonishing one-in-four of all adults in Central America reported receiving remittances from abroad.In 2007, Mexico alone received more than $24 billion in remittances from its citizens abroad. At the same time, however, these agreements also provided the means for U.
Moreover, in impoverished Caribbean nations like the Dominican Republic, the attraction of finding work in the U. (especially for Dominican women) has led to even more explosive growth in the émigré population. For example, according to a recent analysis of 2000 U. Census data, whereas only 2.3 percent of all Mexican migrants arriving in the U. in the 1980s had bachelor's degrees, 30 percent of those arriving from Peru and Chile, 33 percent of Argentine immigrants, and 40 percent of all Venezuelan immigrants had at least a bachelor's degree. population of Chilean and Columbian descent or origin nearly doubled, and the resident population of Argentinian, Bolivian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Venezuelan origin or heritage more than doubled. As always, the economic dependence of the U. labor market on both "legal" and "illegal" immigrants has inevitably cemented and extended links of mutual dependence to immigrant-sending regions and thus has also contributed to the continuing cycle of licit and illicit movement into U. Before the global economic contraction of 2008, when remittances peaked worldwide, remittances constituted at least 19 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Honduras, 16 percent of El Salvador's, 15 percent of Haiti's, and 10 percent of the GDP of both Nicaragua and Guatemala.In short, in-sourcing of immigrant labor has become a deeply embedded structural feature of both the supply and demand side of the licit and illicit immigration equation and is, therefore, that much more difficult to arrest with unilateral policy interventions. S-based firms to export parts of their production processes to comparatively low-wage and laxly regulated economies while downsizing production capacities (and shedding higher-wage, often-unionized labor) within the borders of the U. Together, these structural changes laid the foundations for an intensification of two trends that have come to define the U. economy at the turn of the 21st century: the downsizing and outsourcing of production processes that were once based in the U. and a concomitant trend toward what might be called labor "in-sourcing" of ever larger numbers of both authorized and unauthorized immigrants. The stunning result of structural reshaping of the economy has been seen in two interrelated developments: the explosive growth of a Latino population with origins in virtually all the nations of Latin America, and an unprecedented explosion of the unauthorized population in the U. In 1970, the Latino population hovered around 9.6 million and constituted less than 5 percent of the nation's population.
In Mexico, the nation that historically has sent the largest numbers of migrants to the U.
S., the deepening debt crisis, periodic devaluations of the peso, and natural disasters like the great earthquake of 1985 helped to stimulate even more intense waves of out-migration by both males and females. The depth of this interdependence becomes clear when one considers the scale of remittances sent by migrants of all statuses to their countries of origin.
Although most of the Central American nations have stabilized politically since the 1990s, the long term economic disruption and displacement caused by protracted civil- and guerilla wars in the region has contributed to the continuing growth of this population (discussed further below). As dramatic as the story of Cuban and Central American political migration has been, however, the most significant development in Latino migration to the U. in recent history is rooted in profound economic shifts occurring both in the U. and in countries in the Western Hemisphere since the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although both events have been touted as part of the wave of liberal reforms (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) that characterized this tumultuous era, the end of the contract labor program and revamping of the U. immigration system helped hide from view some significant changes both in patterns of immigration and the utilization of immigrant labor in the U. These events also tended to obscure important structural changes in both the U. economy the economies of Latin America that continue to the present day.