The number of new immigrants entering the United States each year was the highest during the first two decades of the twentieth century. However, after the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II, immigration dropped precipitously during the next 25 years (Jacoby, 2006), from more than 700,000 per year during the first 20 years of the century to fewer than 70,000 per year from 1925 to 1945 (Jacoby, 2006). Since 1945, however, legal immigration has been increasing steadily, reaching levels that were similar to the all-time highs of the early part of the twentieth century.
Today's immigrants are looking to achieve the same ' 'American dream'' as earlier immigrants, including political equality and economic well-being (Norris-Tirrell, 2002). Furthermore, partly because of their high motivation to succeed economically, their children are pushed to fulfill their parents' desire to succeed (Tseng, 2006). Nevertheless, today's immigrants are said to pose a new set of issues: many are undocumented and want to maintain their culture, religion, and language of origin (Norris-Tirrell, 2002).
Financial Implications .
In an important study, Norris-Tirrell (2002) examined the question: Is an individual's country of origin a predictor of local government service utilization by immigrants? (p. 58). She classified these immigrants as either sojourners or settlers. .
Sojourners have no plans to make the United States their permanent home; rather, they are simply interested in securing employment and sending their earnings back to their relatives at home. Settlers, conversely, settle permanently in the United States, plan to learn English, and eventually become citizens. Thus, the sojourners' public needs are temporary or basic and have less of an impact on governmental resources, whereas settlers need more.
extensive services, such as public education and social services.
In 2002, the United States was home to some 32.