The United States experienced a period of sustained large-scale immigration from the 1960s into the period of dramatic economic recession in 2008–2009. This article focuses on the impact of immigrants and immigration on social policy in the United States. I summarize the arguably, and surprisingly, scant research that specifically examines the political and policy (more than the social and/or economic) implications of immgration. I first look at the extent and nature of change within and across three minority groups over the past several decades, including evidence on their composition and geographic concentration or dispersion. Next considered are the implications of the American “racial order” as a context and its impacts on “racialization” of immigrants. Next examined are the consequences for immigrants in major arenas of American government—urban, state, and national. Although emphasis is given to issues of immigration, the importance of race/ethnicity as a social force in American politics is also considered, of necessity, because immigration and race/ethnicity are strongly interconnected though analytically separable.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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