We are a nation of immigrants.

We are a nation of immigrants.

Coming to America

This animated map from Business Insider shows the history of immigration from the first permanent settlement in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 to the 2000s.

“Today, more than 1 in 8 Americans are immigrants, and almost all are descendants of those born in foreign lands.”

Click the following link: Immigration for an interactive graphic showing how immigration has changed over the last 200 years. Created by Alvin Chang for Vox (April 26, 2016)

States regulated immigration until the opening of the first federal immigration station at Ellis Island, New York in 1892. Between 1892 to 1954 there were 12 million immigrants who entered, lighted to our shores by Lady Liberty’s torch.  In 1965, Congress passed the “Immigration and Nationality Act”, which allowed sponsoring of family members. There has also been illegal / undocumented immigration into the country by overstaying of tourist visas or entry through the open borders.

As Neil Diamond lyrics in the song, “Coming to America”, tell of the story: “We’ve been travelling far. / Only want to be free. / Everywhere around the world. / Got a dream they’ve come to share. They’re coming to America.”

Various links:

U.S. Immigration before 1965 (by History.com)

An Age of Migration: Globalization and the Root Causes of Migration

The Causes of Earlier European Immigration to the United States

Vox.com: 37 maps that explain how America is a nation of immigrants (October 2015)

Center for American Progress: The Facts on Immigration Today (as of October 2014)

 

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