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?

One important indicator of assimilation to American society is that the immigrant has come to speak fluent English. The assimilation indicator shows that the immigrant is able and willing to communicate with the large part of the American population. Another indicator is marriage to an American citizen. This shows assimilation because the immigrant is ready to start their new life in the United States with another person. The indicator is important because it not only shows assimilation, but it also make the country's population more diverse. The last indicator of assimilation is geographical distribution, which is the way immigrants are situated throughout the United States. Greater distribution is a sign that immigrants are not living with people of the same culture as they did before, but rather spreading out to interact with different social groups.

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.

I believe that we should be proud of the decisions that the American society and government made between 1880 and 1920. When the government allowed so many immigrants to come from different nations and cultures, the overall population became more diverse. The society at the time became a huge melting pot. The large amount of immigration to our country also shaped the history of America, and has made it a better place because of it. America would be completely different if those thousands of citizens did not cross the Atlantic Ocean in the 1800's and 1900's. Some people may think that the integration of different cultures, religions, and social groups was a poor decision and caused too much change in our country's society, but that change was good. Without immigration, many of the people we know today would not have different cultures or religions, and everyone would be more similar. The decisions that were made from 1880 to 1920 were all for the better.

The Statue of Liberty

The first idea for a statue to represent the United States came from Edouard de Laboulaye in 1865. The statue began being built in 1876 in France. One problem in the process of building the large, copper statue was funding problems. Promotions for the funding were put into The World newspaper. The funding was completed in 1885. The statue was shipped to New York Harbor in the same year. In October of 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. Parts of the Statue of Liberty were restored in 1982 to replace rusting pieces. Today, the Statue of Liberty is a popular tourist attraction, and people are able to tour the inside of it.
Big image

Why Lady Liberty is a Powerful Symbol?

The Statue of Liberty is a major symbol to immigrants coming to America. When immigrants saw the massive statue as they sailed to the harbor, they were reassured that they had made it to land that they had dreamed of. The torch that Lady Liberty holds was also a sign of “welcome” for the immigrants. “The New Colossus” poem, written by Emma Lazarus, which can be found in the pedestal, was also a sign of shelter for the immigrants coming to a new country.
Big image

Ellis Island

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.

Big image

Why Ellis Island is a Powerful Symbol?

Ellis Island is an important symbol to immigrants because it was the “gateway” for them to enter the “country of their dreams.” Ellis Island was a sign of freedom, and it was the place where immigrants came through to start their new lives.
Big image


"Citizenship.", LLC., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

USCIS. "U.S. Citizenship." USCIS. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 17 Jan. 2013. Web. 3 Dec. 15.

Krogstad, Jens Manuel. "5 Facts about Illegal Immigration in the U.S." Pew Research Center RSS. Pew Research Center, 19 Nov. 2015. Web. 05 Dec. 2015. "Demographics of Immigrants in the United States Illegally - Illegal Immigration Solutions -" ProConorg Headlines., 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.

The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. "Add To Cart." Immigration Timeline. The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.

Course Hero, Inc. "Old Immigration." Old Immigration”-(1820-1880) - the Time Period of. Course Hero, Inc., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.

The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. "Engineering, Construction, and Crossing the Atlantic." Statue History. The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.

United States. National Park Service. "The Immigrant's Statue." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 29 Nov. 2015. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.

United States. Department of Homeland Security. Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2013. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, 2014.