Immigration and the United States

By: Me, Alex Garcia


Give an overview of Immigrant history in the United States from 1880-1920. There were two major waves of immigration. Identify them and explain their differences.

  1. In the 19th and 20th century, the United States experienced a massive influx of immigration. During this time two distinct waves of immigrants came to the United States. The first group called the “Old Wave” came before 1880. This group of people came primarily from Western Europe due to a lack of freedom, a poor economy, or violence. These immigrants were generally educated protestants. Decades later, the country experienced a second wave of immigrants. These people came primarily from Eastern Europe. We refer to them as the “New Immigrants”. Generally they were less educated than the Old Immigrants, and they were mostly Catholic.

Approximately how many illegal immigrants are currently residing in the United States? What are the top five nationalities of illegal immigrants? Where are the top five places they reside? During What period in our history did the largest wave of illegal immigrants come? Why do you think this is?

  1. Today, the United States continues to face Immigration. Immigrants are still welcomed, however, today, the process is much harder. This pushes many to enter the country illegally. In the United States there are approximately 11-12 million illegal immigrants. The majority of the illegal immigrants come from Mexico (6.7 million), El Salvador (690 thousand), Guatemala (560 thousand), Honduras(360 thousand), and The Philippines (310 thousand). They mostly live in California, Texas, Florida, York, and Illinois. The year 2007 marked the peak of U.S immigration. During this year, the U.S received more immigrants than it ever had before. I believe this to be the case, because of the U.S economy. During the 1990’s and the early 2000’s the American economy was booming. A better life in all aspects awaited any who decided to make the journey to the United States.

What are some valid indicators that tell whether an immigrant has assimilated into American society?

  1. When a group immigrates to a new place, there are often multiple steps which must occur before they are fully accepted into the host society. MIlton Gordon Famously famously wrote a book titled Assimilation in American Life where he laid out seven steps for assimilation into a society. Three of these are Cultural assimilation, Marital Assimilation, and Immigration Status Discrimination. Cultural assimilation is simply when one’s culture begins to look like the Host society's culture. Marital Assimilation is marriage on a large scale between the immigrant and host cultures. Lastly Immigration Status Discrimination is the discrimination of an immigrant group in the workplace. This must end before a culture is fully assimilated.

Define Citizenship. how does a person become a citizen of the United States? Explain the two-part project. What is it called?

  1. One definition of citizenship is simply “being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen.” A citizen is defined as a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection.” To become a citizen of the United States one must go through a process called naturalization. One must first apply to become a citizen, take a test, and finally swear an oath of allegiance to the United States.

To what degree should we be proud or ashamed of American society and government between 1880-1920?

The time period between 1880-1920 experienced a wave of immigration in the United States. During this time millions of people found a home here. I am proud of the government and our ability to be a shining beacon to the world. I am however, not proud of the American people for their treatment of immigrants. Every group that has come to the United States has been initially disliked and discriminated against. Eventually,


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The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!

After the Civil war ended, a historian in France decided to commemorate a statue and give it to America in honor of it's victory. The statue was constructed and erected in the New York harbor. Later in our nations history, we began to receive waves of immigrants. They too had to travel through new York to enter our wonderful country. They went through New York because of Ellis Island which was a major immigration center. Here they were medically and legally checked before being granted access to the United States. Both the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis island grew to be massive symbols of opportunity in America. Many would first see the statue when arriving in America. The statue and Ellis island are also big tourist attractions. Today, both are instantly recognizable anywhere in the world. They still continue to symbolize our country, and its potential for immigrants. The statue and Ellis island are also big tourist attractions.
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