Riding the Wave: America’s Fourth Immigration Wave and Its Effect on ABHE Member Schools

America has witnessed three discernible immigration waves. In the 18th century, English, Dutch, and Spanish settlers established the colonies that would ultimately coalesce into the United States of America. The next great immigration wave occurred between 1820 and 1870, bringing Irish escaping the potato famine and Germans seeking the American dream (Bergquist, 2008). The third wave saw more than 23 million immigrants from Italy, Russia, China, and the Slavic nations arrive between 1881 and 1920 (Spickard, 2009). In 2015, America is in the midst of a fourth great wave of immigration with Hispanics immigrating from Central and South America in large numbers (Massey & Pren, 2012).
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