Immigration to the United States from South America increased during each of the last six decades of the 20th century, reaching nearly 540,000 in the period 1991-2000. In addition to these legal immigrants, a substantial number of South Americans-driven in many cases by economic crises and political unrest in their own countries-have come to El Norte without permission. Immigration from South America surveys the recent history of the 12 nations that make up the world's fourth-largest continent, focusing particularly on the countries that have sent the largest number of immigrants to North America. It examines why these people have left their homelands, how they have adapted to and changed North American culture, and what the future might hold for them in the United States and Canada.
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