In the United States today, Hispanics make up 17% of the total population, more than one-third of whom were born outside of the U.S. Nearly a quarter of all births within the United States today are to Hispanic women, meaning the Hispanic population will continue to grow at an astonishing rate. Since the Mexican-American war in the mid-1800's, Mexican immigration - both legal and illegal - has contributed greatly to the huge influx of Hispanics living in the U.S. In fact, two-thirds of all Hispanics within the United States today are of Mexican origin.
Hispanics immigrate to the United States for a variety of reasons, most often to improve the conditions in which their families live. Yet, even within the U.S., Hispanics experience a much higher poverty rate (26%) than the average American (16%), and the medican household income of Hispanics is much lower ($39,000) than for other Americans ($50,000). Thirty percent of Hispanics lack health insurance, compared to 15% of other Americans. Still, for many Hispanics, their lives in the U.S. are a great improvement on what they experienced in their home countries.
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For most immigrants, the decision to leave home and move to the United States is not an easy one. Families, friends, and communities must be left behind. The journey itself is often dangerous, especially if entering the country illegally. Once in the United States, immigrants have to find housing and employment, all while speaking a new language. Can you think of a situation in which you would be desperate enough to make that journey?
What if the only way to provide for your family was to make it past the U.S. wall?
Statistics from PewResearch Hispanic Trends Project, www.pewhispanic.org.