Because the United States has such a large immigrant population, the structure of inequality within the United States will depend intimately on how immigrants are faring. There is accordingly much research on patterns of assimilation and incorporation among immigrants, on the extent of anti-immigrant discrimination, and on the effects of changes in immigration law and policy on the economic standing of immigrants.
How many immigrants settle in segregated neighborhoods or participate in segregated enclave economies? Are second-generation immigrants assimilating as reliably now as in the past? Or are there now two groups of immigrants, one that assimilates in the conventional way and another that rejects such conventional assimilation and identifies with historically disadvantaged groups, such as African Americans?
Is there an increase in prejudice or discrimination against immigrants? Are the largest immigrant groups (e.g., Mexicans) regarded as a special threat and hence subjected to much prejudice? Is there growing discrimination against Middle Eastern immigrants?
How do changes in quotas, work visas, and other immigration policies affect the immigrant and non-immigrant populations? How are wage rates affected by changes in the size of the immigrant population? Is deindustrialization warded off by increasing the size of the immigrant population and the availability of inexpensive labor?
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