Instead immigrants tend to cluster in the less dense, more affordable and spacious periphery, where their “American dream” of a single family house is often far more achievable. In Southern California, for example, decidedly exurban #25 San Bernardino Riverside added three times as many foreign born than long-time immigrant hub Los Angeles, despite having only one-third the total popoulation. Los Angeles actually recorded the smallest percentage growth in foreign born of any major U.S. metro.

Over time, the immigrant impact may prove greatest in terms of economics. Immigrants, in a word, tend to be resilient, and opportunistic by nature. Although many immigrants and their offspring still lag behind economically, over time they appear to be integrating. Overall their rate of home ownership still lags that of native-born Americans, but appears to have held up better since the recession.

Nowhere is the impact greater than in the entrepreneurial sector. Between 1982 and 2007, the number of businesses owned by the primary immigrant groups, Asian Americans and Hispanics, grew by 545% and 696% respectfully. In contrast businesses owned by whites grew by only 81%.