With the important exception of indigenous people, most United States residents today can trace their origins back to other nations. Despite this, immigration remains a controversial topic in many communities. This article will provide a brief history of immigration in the US, an assessment of its impacts, and suggestions on how planners can address current concerns.
The relationship between planning and immigration began early. As industrialization and the inflow of immigrant workers and their families fueled rapid growth of cities, planners responded to public health and safety needs regarding access to improved living and working conditions. This has continued, with some changes in response to the unique needs of each time.
The ASCE-MN newsletter has the full article detailing how planners can address immigration concerns including learning curves, cultural distinctives, and assistance needed.
By Haila Maze, AICP, Bolton & Menk, Inc.