Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Immigration
Image of a Native American man
Image of an African man
Image of a German man
Image of an Irish man
Image of a Scandinavian lady
Image of an Italian lady
Image of a Japanese boy
Image of a Mexican woman
Image of a Chinese boy
Image of a Cuban man
Image of a  Polish man
Picture of globe - clicking produces a Flash animated map showing the pattern of Mexican immigration
Picture of clock - click to view global immigration timeline
Immigration Mexican
Image of US map - piece 1 Home Vocabulary Potluck Interviews Resources Conclusion
Image of US map - piece 2

Shaping a New Century

The third great surge in Mexican immigration is taking place as you read this. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently more than twenty million people of Mexican origin in the U.S. In the 1990s, more legal immigrants came from Mexico than from all the European countries combined. In addition, immigration has become more permanent, as a greater percentage of Mexican immigrants have chosen to stay in their new home.

Mexican immigrants and their descendants occupy a more significant place in American cultural life than ever before. Mexican Americans often serve as high government officials, as well as local mayors, sheriffs, and school board members. Prominent artists and entertainers, such as the writer Sandra Cisneros, the musician Carlos Santana, the boxer Oscar De La Hoya, and the actor and activist Edward James Olmos, all help keep Mexican Americans in the public eye. Mexican Americans now live in all regions of the country and can be found in most professions and trades.

The greatest impact of Mexican immigration, though, may be its contribution to the growing Latin American influence on the everyday life of all Americans. Government projections show that, by the next two generations, more than 25 percent of the U.S. population will be of Latin American origin. The nation's clothing, music, architecture, literature, and food have all been influenced by our growing Latin and Mexican American populations.

American English has been most profoundly affected by immigration from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking nations. More people in the U.S. speak Spanish than ever before, and many find it a great advantage to speak more than one language.

Mexicans have been part of life in the present-day U.S. even before it was a self-governing country. What impact do you think this group will have on the nation's future?



Previous page Next Page

2005
2000
1995
1990
1985
1980
1975
1970
1965
1960
1955
1950
1945
1940
1935
1930
1925
1920
1915
1910
1905
1900
1895
1890
1885
1880
1875
1870
1865
1860
1855
1850
1845
1840
1835
1830
1825
1820
1815
1810
1805
1800
1795
1790
1785
1780
1775
1770