U.S. Recognizes International Migrants Day

December 18, 2010
Sudanese Welcomed to the United States

About the Author: Elizabeth Schlachter serves as Public Affairs Officer for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

Today, on International Migrants Day, it is difficult to imagine that the United States could have achieved its standing in the world without the cultural diversity and richness that immigration has brought to cities and communities across the country. Throughout our history the United States has benefited from a steady flow of people who have come to our shores seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Whether drawn by economic or educational opportunities -- or refuge from conflict or crisis -- America has welcomed more immigrants than any other country in human history.

Recognizing the benefits from this rich flow of people, talents, and traditions, the U.S. model of immigration encourages people to assimilate into American society but still maintain their cultural distinctions. Our model works because Americans realize that we can only gain from the enormous contributions that immigrants bring to our economy, our cultural diversity, and our vibrancy as a nation. Our wide-spread respect for integration has helped our country to avoid many of the troubling demographic trends faced by other industrialized countries less hospitable to immigrants.

Migration is a constant of the human condition, and people around the world move across international borders now more than ever before. The number of international migrants today exceeds all previous records and represents a larger number of ethnic and cultural groups than at any other time. One in five of the estimated 200 million international migrants resides in the United States, and if the migrant population continues to increase at the current rate, up to 400 million international migrants may exist by 2050. These numbers present an unparalleled opportunity for origin and destination countries to work together so that both may benefit from the economic and social development potential unleashed by migration.

Unfortunately, even positive outcomes can not always mitigate the age-old tensions that migration sometimes provokes. Recognizing this, the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) works through multilateral institutions and bilateral partnerships to promote international migration policies that respect the dignity and human rights of all migrants. International migration policy concerns the array of national practices that apply to the treatment of citizens and non-citizens who cross borders, and constitutes the effort, by the United States and others, to share best practices and develop common principles, approaches and initiatives toward these populations. In PRM we base our efforts on the fundamental principle that we should practice at home what we preach abroad.

International Migrants Day represents an important opportunity for Americans to reaffirm our commitment to tolerance, diversity, and human rights. Please join us in taking a moment to recognize the important contributions that immigrants have made to the United States since the founding of our nation.

Comments

Comments

Patrick W.
|
Maryland, USA
December 19, 2010

Patrick W. in Maryland writes:

I like your posting Elizabeth. It's very comforting to know, that our country is on the right path.And that things are progressing as they normaly do.:)

It sounds like we have a bright future ahead of us. :)

Susan
|
Indiana, USA
December 19, 2010

Susan in Indiana writes:

What a joke. Today, the Senate commemorates International Migrants Day by killing the Dream Act bill.

Jesse
|
District Of Columbia, USA
December 20, 2010

Jesse writes:

HYPOCRITES!!! If only the government's action would show what they are commemorating. Politics disgust me.

Oystercracker
|
United States
December 20, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

Cultural diversity is one thing, fiscal responsibility is another. We have a financial mess in this country that needs sorting out before we tout ourselves as a welcoming nation to others. Immigration costs places undue pressure on our social systems that are not offset by taxes. This is a financial reality and should be of critical concern. Bankrupting the country is not what Americans want. They want fiscal responsibility and change. If I have to cut a carrot into little pieces to make it last longer, why not the government?

Oystercracker
|
United States
December 20, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

It makes more sense to export the American lifestyle through development. If people had what America has they wouldn't need to emigrate and imagine how much trade we could generate thus, pulling people out of poverty. Development needs to be put on steroids so that trade occurs in both directions. The language of money(import-export) is universal and one that everyone understands.

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