Important Symbols of Immigration
By: Ben Camacho
1. Give an overview of immigrant history in the United States from 1820-1920. There were two major waves of immigration. Identify them and explain their differences.
Immigrants began to come to the United States in 1820 during the Industrial Revolution. Many immigrants found work during this time. Other immigrants came during the California Gold Rush. Many European settlers also came during this time, including Irish people due to a potato famine. By the 1880’s more Europeans came to America because the voyage had been shortened due to steam power. These immigrants landed on Ellis Island, which was the landing point for immigrants to be processed. Ellis Island is now a historical landmark of immigration in the United States. The first wave of immigration, called “Old Immigration,” occurred from 1820-1880. The second wave of immigration, “New Immigration, occurred from 1880-1920. The main differences of these two waves were that immigrants from the first wave came from Northwest Europe, and immigrants from the second wave came from Southern and Eastern Europe. Other differences of the two waves included the status level of the immigrants. Immigrants from the first wave were very poor, and did not have enough resources to stay in their home country. Immigrants from the second wave were less poor, and wanted to come to America to make more money. Besides these differences, the two waves did have some similarities, including the push and pull factors. Some of the main push factors were low wages and poor economy. Some of the pull factors were higher wages and a better economy in the United States.
2. Approximately how many illegal immigrants are now residing in the United States? What are the top five nationalities of illegal immigrants? Where are the top five places they reside. (Include numbers in each state.) During what period in our history did the largest arrival of illegal immigrants occur? Why do you think this was so?
There are approximately 11.3 million illegal immigrants that are residing in the United States. The top nationality of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is Mexican, at about 49%. The next four top nationalities of illegal immigrants in the U.S., from most to least, include, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Honduran, and Filipino. The top five states that illegal immigrants reside in are California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois. In California, the population of illegal immigrants is 2,820,000, Texas is 1,830,000, Florida is 730,000, New York is 580,000, and Illinois is 540,000. The period in our history in which the largest arrival of illegal immigrants occurred was in 2010. During this time of large growth for illegal immigrants, the most aliens were apprehended in U.S. history. I believe that the main reason that illegal immigrants came were for a better economy, higher wages, and families that live in the U.S.
3. What are some valid indicators that tell whether an immigrant has assimilated (adapted/adjusted) into American Society? You should identify at least three indicators. Why do these signify assimilation?
4. Define citizenship. How does a person become a citizen of the United States? Explain the two-part process. What is it called?
Citizenship is the character of an individual viewed as a member of society. People with citizenship are vested with rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen. For someone to become a citizen at birth in the United States, he must be born in the United States, or territories owned by the United States. He could also have parents that were citizens of the country at his birth. For someone to become a citizen after birth, they must either apply for naturalization, or obtain citizenship through parents. Naturalization is the two-part process in which immigrants can become legal U.S. citizens. In the first step of this process, foreign citizens must meet requirements for naturalization, including having a green card for at least five years, and then take a naturalization test. A green card holder is someone who is a permanent resident in the United States.
5. To what degree should we be proud or ashamed of American society and government between 1880 and 1920? Explain your answer.
The Statue of Liberty
Why Lady Liberty is a Powerful Symbol?
Ellis Island was more than the place that immigrants landed in when the came to America. The island was first inhabited by American Indian tribes. The island also played a role in the Revolutionary War, when naval ships sailed into the New York Harbor. Ellis Island’s major role was allowing immigrants to come through its gates. Many European immigrants came due to poor economic conditions and other push factors. Castle Garden was the original immigration station on the island, but it was replaced. Only five years after the new immigration station was built, Ellis Island burned to the ground, and many records and documents were lost. A new building was built, but it was fireproof. Today, there is an immigration museum on the island.
Why Ellis Island is a Powerful Symbol?
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