USA Immigration History

People flock to America from other countries for many reasons. Some come as tourist and stay long enough to visit and take in the sites; while others come to the United States for business purposes, educational opportunities and then return to their home lands when vacations, schooling and business transactions are completed. However, there is another group of people who come to the United States not to visit temporarily, but they come with the intentions of relocating or moving here permanently. These people are immigrants seeking a better life. Just like the birds that migrate to the south when winter conditions approaches, foreigners migrate to get away from difficulties, hardships and unsatisfactory living conditions that have become intolerable or inhuman. For these immigrants escaping their difficult conditions, the United States offers them hope and a chance to improve their personal situations and to rise above their difficulties in a land that holds promise, progress, stability and opportunity when all else fails at home.

Early Immigration

Migrating to another country may seem like the perfect solution when things get so intolerable. However, this is a very difficult time for those embarking on this journey. When people migrate, for better ones.

Immigration to the land of opportunity, or the United States took place in the early 1800’s. People were migrating to this country during the Great Depression and during the 1930’s. During these periods, sixty million people relocated and half of this number came to the United States. Most of the immigrants at this time came from Europe. United States wasn’t the only country involved with the relocation of immigrants; other countries had their arms open too. Places such as Brazil, South Africa and Canada welcomed immigrants

The immigrants who came to United States got their first taste of the new life after being bought to Ellis Island. The first immigrant to arrive here was Anne Moore, a fifteen year old coming from Ireland. From 1892 to 1954, twelve million immigrants were bought to Ellis Island to begin the processing procedures of moving to the United States from another country

People came from Europe, Asia, Canada, Central America, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands to make the United States their new home from 1820 to 1996. Austria alone, from 1820-1940; 2,534, 617 immigrants came through Ellis Island, New York. When it came to taking up residence in the United States, immigrants settled in such states as New York, California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Illinois.

  • What is Immigration?
  • Immigration in the United States
  • Why Did Immigrants come to United States?
  • Why People Migrate

Immigration Nationalities

United States is not only a melting pot of opportunity; it is also a land of different nationalities. The U.S. is made up of people from all over the globe who are here for one reason or another, and rather they are here legally or illegally.

Statistically speaking, the records show that in Europe, such places like Belgium had 158,205 citizens migrating to the United States. Germany had an immigration count of 6, 021,951 between the years of 1820 and 1940. However, in 1951 to 1960, France had 51,121 people fleeing to the United States as immigrants. Greece followed with a count of 47,608 immigrants to the land of milk and honey. Though the numbers are large coming from Europe, Lithuania in the same year had the lowest count of immigrants coming from that country; their count was 242 people coming to America during that 1951 to 1960 time period. In that same time zone, China had an immigration count of 9,657, India had 1,973, Israel had 25,476 and Japan came in with 46,250 immigrants living in the United States.

Other countries include Mexico, South America and the West Indies having people relocate to the United States of America. In 1951 to 1960, Mexico had 299,811 escaping people, South America had 91,628 and the West Indies had 123,091 people living in the U.S.

People from Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands made their way to the United States as well. Africa had a total count of 14,092 immigrants here, between 1951 and 1960. Australia followed with 11,506 people coming to America, while the Pacific Islands count was 1,470. As you can see, United States of America has many nationalities of immigrants living within its shores.

  • Immigrants by Region
  • From Coast to Coast: The Most Countries Migrating to the US
  • The UK and Immigration
  • Coming to America: The Arabs
  • Immigration: Places of Origin
  • Historical Dates in United States Immigration
  • Immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean

Post Immigration

With the onset of immigration and people moving to The United States, the situation caused this country to become known as the melting pot. The reason behind this is simple, because with people moving to this country from abroad, they helped make this nation a land of diversity and culture. These immigrants may have had intentions of coming here for work opportunities so that they could support their families, but their presence here lead to communities of people with different cultures and heritages coming together and living amongst one another as neighbors, though they were different as night and day.

Immigrants from different countries lived, worked and played as one when they lived on the same street or in the same neighborhoods. This togetherness of immigrants in a strange land is what helped shape America into a melting pot, a melting pot of ethnic groups with the benefits of a better life or a better situation for those arriving on American soil. This is how it started. Even though the immigrants shared a common interest for coming to the United States; each ethnic group still wanted to carve out their own special nook that represented who they were as individuals. After all, they may have left their homeland behind; they did not leave behind their heritage or their customs and traditions. This is how such things as Chinatown, Greek villages and Italian communities popped up in cities across America. When they sat up house on American soil, they bought with them the flavors of their individual motherland.

In the 1950’s, immigrants living in certain areas, for instance the Spanish communities made the area their own by naming towns and streets after place from the country they left behind. An example of this is the fact that there is a Chinatown in Washington DC that represents what the immigrants left behind.

For the immigrants, they have a taste of home and a place to call their own in America’s melting pot.

  • America, the Melting Pot
  • American Culture: The Melting Pot
  • Cultural Policy in US History
  • America’s Melting Pot
  • Interview: A View from the Melting Pot
  • Democracy Versus the Melting Pot

Immigration Today

The process of relocating from another country to the United States may be an immigrant’s dream come true, but this “coming to America” does not come without rules and regulations to abide by.

It is the federal government that determines and regulates policies on immigration. These policies cover such things as border security and if an immigrant or alien is allowed to enter the country, do they have their proper paperwork? It is the state and local governments that regulate such issues as laws pertaining to public assistance once the immigrants get here. They also govern such things as an alien’s driver’s license, their educational pursuits and working, which are opportunities for the immigrants to sustain themselves once they get here and get settled. If an immigrant is here legally, there are laws and rights that protect them. However, if they come to this country illegally, this is where the trouble lies; they miss out on the benefits and are usually deported because they don’t carry the proper documents needed to stay in this country permanently.

  • Politics and Immigration
  • The Perfect Storm: Politics and Immigration
  • Immigration Laws: The U.S.
  • Issues of Immigration Rights
  • Immigrants’ Rights: No Human Being is Illegal