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Passage II:

Figures from the 2000 census confirmed what many Americans had observed over the previous decade in their communities and workplaces. The face of the nation was perceptibly changing. The Census Bureau estimated that 6 million legal and 2 million undocumented immigrants entered the country during the 1990s, second only to the 8.8 million foreign immigrants that arrived between 1950 and 1960. More than a third of the nation’s population growth over the decade-from 227 million to 248 million-came from immigration. This proportion of increase caused by foreign migrants was greater than any since the decade between 1960 and 1970, when immigration accounted for 40 percent of population growth. Seven states, headed by California, New York, Texas, and Florida, received 75 percent of the newcomers.


Hispanics and Asians led the accelerated trend toward cultural diversity. The Hispanic population increased by more than 50 percent, from 14.6 million to 22.4 million. One out of every five immigrants living in the U.S. was Mexican-born, and Mexican


Americans overall composed more than 60 percent of the Hispanic population identified in the 2000 census. Demographers predicted that by the middle of the next century Hispanics would replace Mrican Americans as the largest minority group in the nation.


The decline of world oil prices had a devastating impact on the Mexican economy, worsening poverty and unemployment and spurring more people to seek a better life in North America. Most Mexican Americans struggled in low-paying jobs and fought to hold onto their distinctive cultural heritage. They worked on farms, in garment sweatshops and high tech assembly plants, and as gardeners and domestics. Through education and business success, a significant number achieved middle class status and wealth. But almost 20 percent of Mexican Americans lived below the poverty line.


The number of Asian Americans more than doubled, from 3.5 million to 7.3 million. Nearly two out of every five Asian Americans lived in California. The population of Korea town in Los Angeles approached 300,000 and the area seemed a world unto itself. Like earlier immigrant groups, new Americans from Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines tended to cluster in their own communities and maintain a durable group identity. As a whole, Asian Americans made mobility through education a priority, along with pooling family capital and labor to support small businesses. Newcomers selected communities with job opportunities or where families and friends had settled. This social network, for example, explained the large numbers of Hmongs, a tribal group from Laos, drawn to Minneapolis and St. Paul.


The Immigration Reform Act of 1965 had eliminated quotas based on national origin. It also gave preferential treatment to highly educated foreigners seeking professional opportunities in the U.S. The 1965 act set limits of 120,000 immigrants per year from the Western Hemisphere and 170,000 from countries outside the Western Hemisphere. By the mid-1980s, growing concern over “illegal aliens” had become a hotly debated political issue, particularly in the Southwest. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1987 addressed the concerns of Anglos worried about “illegals” and the increasingly influential Mexican American community. It required employers for the first time to vouch for the legal status of their employees. At the same time, it offered an amnesty to all undocumented workers who had entered the country before 1982. The law, critics charged, led to discrimination in hiring. And no matter what Congress did, the desperate economic realities in Mexico and Central America continued to encourage the flow of illegal immigration.


1.Which of the following was the main cause of illegal immigration to North America ?


(1)    The lure and promise of an opulent life.

(2)    The liberal and free environment prevailing in North America.

(3)    America had emerged as a prominent world market for production and innovation.

(4)    The economic realities in Mexico and Central America had reached the desperate position.



2. The increase in ‘diversity’ in American culture was on account of the presence of immigrants who were :


(1)  Mexicans                        (2)   Asians & Hispanics        (3)   Germans                     (4)   Anglo Saxons



3. Which of the following is out of place in relation to the passage ?


(1)    The Immigration Reform Act of 1965 was highly discriminatory towards foreigners.

(2)    Asian Americans had education as prime motive in settling in America.

(3)    Hispanics are predicted to be the largest minority group in the nation the middle of the next century.

(4)    It was not an easy going for Mexican Americans to thrive in North America.


4. The Mexican economic slump was caused by :


(1)    a change in the political set up.

(2)    decline in world oil prices.

(3)    over population of foreigners.

(4)    stubbornness of the Mexicans to hold on to their cultural heritage and not adapt to the changes.


5. Which of the following could be a feature of the Immigration Reform Act 1965 ?


(1)    Quotas based on national origin were done away with.

(2)    Preference was given to foreigners who had good educational antecedents, seeking opportunities in the U.S.

(3)    Annual limits for immigrants were prescribed separately for Western and non-Western Hemisphere.

(4)    All of the above.



6. The passage, at best, could be an extract from :


(1)    a chapter on Population Studies, part of the curriculum in Social Science.

(2)    an analytical article on U.S. immigration.

(3)    a report regrading the exodus of Mexicans and Latin Americans.

(4)    the findings as regards the life led by the early settlers in the U.S.



7.The objective behind the U.S. immigration, as brought out by the passage, was to:


(1)    surmount the grave problems of poverty and unemployment by seeking better employment opportunities.

(2)    support small family businesses by pooling in family capital of labour and add to the group identity.

(3)    Outnumber the local Americans making them to be a minority group.

(4)    All except (3).



8.The situation, arising out of an influx of immigrants, is :


(1)    beneficial to the host nation in terms of the increase in manpower resources.

(2)    healthy for a balanced mix of varying cultures and traditions making the host nation a truly secular one.

(3)    alarming for the host nation as the entire economy would be upset.

(4)    not congenial for the host nation as there would be deterioration in law and order situation.



9.As per the passage, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1987 :


(1)    expressed grave concerns on the increasing influence of the Mexican American Community.

(2)    required employers for the first time to vouch for the legal status of their employees.

(3)    invited wrath and criticism for being discriminatory in hiring people.

(4)    All of the above.



10.The passage is handled in a manner which is :


(1)  illogical                          (2)   interrogative               (3)   inferential                    (4)   illusory





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