A Pew Center report tied to the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which literally changed the face of immigrants to the United States, projects that if immigration trends continue as they are, by 2065, the U.S. will have 78 million immigrants.
The act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on October 3, 1965, and helped open immigration to natives of countries beyond Europe. In the three decades after the enactment of the law, America saw more than 18 million legal immigrants — more than three times the number from 1935-65 — enter the country from other parts of the world such as Latin America, the Pacific Rim, and South Asia.
Currently, the U.S. has one-in-five of the world’s immigrants, the most of any country. According to the study, during the half century (1965-2015) since the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Mexican immigrants represented 28% of the total newcomers to America. During this timeframe, immigrants, their children and their grandchildren have accounted for 55% of U.S. population growth, and they added 72 million people to the nation’s population as it grew from 193 million in 1965 to 324 million in 2015.
Immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries has been strong and only recently has been challenged by immigrants from Asia. However, Hispanics are still expected to represent 31% of foreign born entrepreneurs. The nation’s Latino population is its largest minority group, numbering more than 53 million, or 17.1% of the U.S. population, in 2013.
According to Pew’s report on Latino groups, Mexicans are by far the largest origin group at 34.6 million, thereby comprising 64.1% of all U.S. Latinos. Puerto Ricans are the second-largest Latino origin group (9.5% of all U.S. Latinos), followed by Cubans and Salvadorans, who each make up just under 4% of the Latino population.
Biz2Credit’s annual Latino small business study examined the volume of Latino small business loan applications in the past 12 months. Applications grew 18%, which indicates the ambition in the pursuit of the American Dream remains high. However, Latinos are lagging behind in important financial factors, such as average annual revenue and credit scores.
In his recent visit to America, Pope Francis made the first-ever papal address to the U.S. Congress and touched on a variety of subjects including his sentiments on immigration.
“Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility,” the pontiff said. “Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation.”
Fueled by the candidacy of Donald Trump, who has been outspoken about the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico, immigration reform has become a hot button issue. What is often overlooked by politicians who are outspoken against immigration is the positive impact that foreign born people continue to bring to this country. After all, historically, immigrants have been the driving force of success in America, and they are essential to the continued growth of a great nation.
Biz2Credit will host “The Changing Face of Small Business Owners” webinar on Wed., October 7 at 3:00 p.m. EDT and examine the latest research on Latino entrepreneurship, as well as advice from small business experts and entrepreneurs. To register for this presentation, click here.
This article was written by Rohit Arora from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.