Arizona has always been an important destination for Mexican immigrants to the United States. With its large population of American-born Hispanics, the state offers a cultural atmosphere familiar to Latin American immigrants. However, because of the large number of undocumented immigrants in the state, Latin American immigrants often encounter problems of acceptance by the general population.
Although Arizona has always attracted more Hispanic immigrants than those from any other group, immigrants from both Europe and Asia have also come to the state seeking work and opportunities to improve their lives since the late nineteenth century. The state’s ethnic mix includes immigrants came from China, Japan, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and Russia. Many of these immigrants reached Arizona after having already settled in other states. Many set out for Arizona after Arizona’s
During the 1860’s, Arizona’s
The major immigrant population in Arizona, however, is Mexican. Sharing a border with Mexico and offering better opportunities for work than Mexico can provide, Arizona experiences a continuous flow of Mexican immigrants, both documented and undocumented. Many of these immigrants settle in the southern and central areas of Arizona. The counties of Santa Cruz and Yuma have especially large populations of Mexicans and Mexican Americans. In 2006, Arizona was home to the fourth-highest number of Mexican immigrants in the United States.
Gutiérrez, David G. Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Good account of the ongoing immigration from Mexico. Rodríguez, Havidán, Rogelio Sáenz, and Cecilia Menjivar. Latinas/os in the United States: Changing the Face of America. New York: Springer, 2008. Emphasizes diversity in Latino communities and assesses its effects. Sheridan, Thomas E. Arizona: A History. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995. Well-researched and comprehensive treatment of Arizona’s full history. Telles, Edward, and Vilma Ortiz. Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation and Race. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2008. Good investigation of four decades of the Mexican American experience.
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996