The minority is about to become the majority, and with this change come challenges and opportunities. If we invest in the integration of new Americans, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
According to recent census figures, for the first time in history, children from minority backgrounds make up 50.4 percent of children born in the United States, compared with 49.5 percent who are non-Hispanic white.
The growth in minority births is being driven by the nation's Latino population, which grew by more than 3 percent to 52 million from 2010 to 2011. Latinos now make up nearly 17 percent of the nation's population. Asians were the second-fastest-growing group with a surge of 3 percent to 18 million.
This is not the first time America has changed. Nor will it be the last.
How do we harness the opportunities that lie in this shift?
Michigan is an example of how to proceed.
The Great Lakes State ranks first among the states in production of motor vehicles and parts, and the state's broader manufacturing sector is growing once again after decades of stagnation. Job growth brings steady improvement in unemployment numbers.
But unemployment is still high, and at times like this one would expect an ugly immigration debate in Michigan. Instead, Michigan can brag about bipartisan support for immigrants and immigration, with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder leading the way. He even proclaimed himself "probably the most pro-immigration governor in the United States."