This is a working paper and draft chapter for the forthcoming book, Christianity and the Law of Migration, eds. Silas W. Allard, Kristin E. Heyer, and Raj Nadella (London: Routledge, 2021).
Will the nation’s historic genius at integrating immigrants persist? With a record 44 million foreign-born U.S. residents and nearly double that number counting their US-born children, the stakes could not be higher. This chapter will explore the integration successes and challenges of U.S. immigrants and their progeny. It examines the conditions in receiving societies that improve and diminish the integration prospects of immigrants. These include, on the one hand, rising nationalism, nativism, and a rapidly changing labor market due to automation, robotization, and artificial intelligence, and, on the other hand, integration initiatives and strong mediating institutions. The chapter will begin by exploring different conceptions of integration, and conclude by reflecting on how Christianity might inform national and local integration policies. While this chapter focuses on the U.S. context, the issues discussed are pertinent in a wide variety of countries experiencing significant immigration.