The history of the United States is filled with stories of ￼immigration. People from all around the world have traveled to the United States seeking freedom and democracy and opportunities for work, education, better quality of life, and more. While the Latino community has been present in the United States ￼￼￼￼since its founding, some are immigrants who have formed our nation’s history. Today, Latinos represent almost 20 percent of the total United States population.
Latino immigration has greatly contributed to the ￼culture of the United States and has shaped areas like food, music, business, sports, labor, and ￼politics. A variety of motivating factors have contributed to Latino patterns of immigration.
Fr￼￼om fleeing war, violence, dictatorship, or national disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes to seeking greater economic prosperity and stability, Latina and Latino immigrants each have unique reasoning and experiences that have driven them to leave their home ￼countries. Exploring the various motivations and journeys of Latino immigration is helpful to better understand how diverse and evolving immigration experiences continue to shape the culture of the United States.
Work and Opportunity
By 1900, Latino immigration was often driven by the search for work and opportunity. By this time, the United States economy heavily relied on workers from Latin America and the Caribbean. These new arrivals were essential for maintaining the growth of many key industries. For example, Latino immigrants played key roles in maintaining railroads, farming, and mining.
Latino immigrants also have significant roles in work within the fashion and entertainment ￼industries, including:
Stories of Latino Immigration
Since its founding, millions of Latina and Latino immigrants have arrived in the United States with diverse motivations to leave their home country and seek new opportunities. Every individual has had unique experiences and a distinct story to tell about their journey. Explore some of these stories of Latino immigrants that demonstrate the strength and resilience of the Latino community in overcoming challenges, from discrimination to cultural ￼barriers.