Immigration Project

Project by : Abby Milam Period 3 Social Studies

Lady Liberty

History of Liberty Island

Liberty Island, formally known as Oyster Island, was sold to New York City by Isaac Bedloe. The island was eventually deemed as the site for the Statue of Liberty. After the American Revolution, tensions between the United States, England, and France were high. French political intellectual and U.S. Constitution authority, Edouard de Laboulaye, suggested that France give the United States a statue. The statue would be a gift for the United States' centennial, representing liberty. Edouard de Laboulaye said that recognizing the United States' welcoming freedom and democracy would help the French have a stronger cause for democracy. Auguste Bartholdi happily agreed with the idea of gifting a statue. He quickly became the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. $102,000 were donated to building a granite pedestal. The pedestal was located on Oyster Island on the top of what used to be a military base named Fort Wood. When Bartholdi finished building the statue, it was taken apart and shipped to the New York Harbor. When the statue arrived on June 17th, there was a big parade thrown in honor of the new statue. However, the statue had to be put into storage for a year until the pedestal was finished. In 1886, the pedestal was completed, standing a whopping 87 feet high. The statue was signed off, and the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty started to reassemble the statue. On October 28th, 1886, the Statue was unveiled to more than one million New York residents at the dedication ceremony. The base of Lady Liberty is now home to a portion of the poem, "The New Colossus". President Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed Bedloes's Island (Oyster Island) to Liberty Island in 1956. On July 4th, 1984, a new torch was placed on Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty stood as a symbol of hope and freedom to all during the terrorist attack on 9/11. After being closed for 3 years, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public on August 3rd, 2004. On October 29th, 2012, Liberty Island was flooded due to the waves and wind from Hurricane Sandy. After being closed for 1 year, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public once again. A lot of people went to visit her, lots of which went up to her Crown.


The Statue of Liberty stands as a proud symbol of hope and freedom for all Americans. She spent years welcoming immigrants looking for a better life to the United States. She reminded all immigrants of the freedom that awaited them in the United States. Her torch is a beacon for all Americans through our times of war pointing us to the future.

Ellis Island

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History of Ellis Island

Near the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island opened in upper New York in 1892. It was the processing station for all immigrants coming into the United States. Over 12 million immigrants were processed on Ellis Island. Even though it closed in 1954, Ellis Island brought America closer to bigger and better opportunities. According to the 1920 immigration laws, immigrants were forced to undergo a series of medical tests before they could enter the United States. If the immigrants were not able to pass the required tests, they were sent back to their home countries. At Ellis Island, only about 2% of the inspected immigrants were sent back to their home countries. Millions of immigrants were able to enter the United States through Ellis Island after is was closed. It has been estimated that around 40% of people who are currently citizens in the United States are able to trace at least one of their ancestors back to Ellis Island.


Ellis Island is a proud symbol of the freedom of our nation. Ellis Island allowed a large number of immigrants to enter the United States by allowing them to pass through the station undetected. Once they were in America they were able to start a new life for themselves. Most immigrants came to escape from the political and religious persecution in their home countries. While still others were coming to get away from the poverty and economical decline in their home countries. However, all immigrants were coming in search of one thing: a brighter future.
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Paragraph One: 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.

The Great Migration took place from 1820-1920. It was "The largest mass movement in human history". Around 46 million people left their homes to go to a new country to get away from political and religious prosecution, and economic decline. Over 50% of those people came to America. From 1880-1921, 23 million immigrants came to America. Old Immigrants came to North America between 1820 and 1860. Most of them came from Northern or Western Europe and were experienced in democracy. They were mostly Protestants and were skilled in professions and were very literate. Most of them cane to America with their families and had money with them. New Immigrants started coming to North America between 1880 and 1924. They came from either Southern or Eastern Europe. They were mostly either Catholic, Orthodox, or Jewish. They were mostly illiterate and were not skilled in anything. They came without their families and didn't have any money.

Paragraph Two: 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 illegalimmigrants occur? Why do you think this was so?

As of 2013, around 41,3 million immigrants lived in the US. This was the highest number of immigrants the United States has ever had. German immigration holds one of the strongest cultural influences in America's society today. The largest immigration of German citizens was around the late eighteenth century. Italian immigration also holds a large portion of immigration into the United States as of the late nineteenth century. Irish immigration started to grow around the middle of the nineteenth century. Asian immigrants began to come in and were treated very poorly throughout history. Most of the time, they were denied the opportunity to join basic social structures. Mexican immigration were known for their "back-and-forth" routines. They would often come into America for seasonal work then return home to their families. Most illegal immigrants went to California(9,859,027), New York(4,236,768), Texas(3,887,224), Florida(3,391,511), or Illinois(1,782,423) when they came to the US. The largest number of illegal immigrants came to the United States during the Great Migration. This was because they were trying to escape the political and religious prosecution, and economic decline in their countries.

Paragraph Three: 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?

Immigrants began were able to adapt to their new economy in many ways. They were able to get bigger and better jobs. This helped them to make a living and support themselves. They were able to learn how to complete specific tasks. Some of the immigrants were able to get married and have kids. They would have to figure out how to start their lives over again and figure out how to support a family. The immigrants were able to support themselves and find homes. When they came to the US, they had nothing, so the immigrants quickly had to figure out how to survive in a new environment. All of these indicators show that immigrants had assimilated into society because they show that they were starting to live like Americans and they were accepted more into society when they got jobs.

Paragraph Four: Define citizenship. How does a person become a citizen of the United States? Explain the two-part process. What is it called?

Becoming a citizen of the United States is a very lengthy process. This process is called naturalization. Citizenship education allows us to have the knowledge and skills to be able to understand, question, and join in on the foundation of our government: politics. If we are able to understand politics, then we will be able to work together with our country to make it easier for us to live together. There are two parts of naturalization that you must go through to become a citizen of the United States. The first step is to be tested on how well you can speak English. During this step, you are interviewed to test your understanding of the language. The second step is to take an oath stating that you will follow all of the rules of the United States.

Paragraph Five: To what degree should we be proud or ashamed of American society and government between1880 and 1920? Explain your answer.

I think that we should be proud of the American society and government for everything we were able to accomplish between 1880-1920. Our country was able to grow as a whole and we were able to build communities within that whole. We were able to create multiple places were people were able to start a new life without the prosecution they faced in their old countries. However, I think that while we should be proud of what the American society and government was able to do during this time period, I also think that the process through which we let immigrants into the United States was not very good. Immigrants were forced to endure a lot of medical tests to make sure that they would not bring specific diseases into the United States with them when they came. While I think that this is a very good plan, I think that the way we treated the immigrants during this process was very wrong. The rich were treated way better than the poor with way more respect than those who were poor. I don't think that this was fair. So, while I believe that the American society and government did a lot of things we should be proud of, I also think that they did a lot of things that we should not be proud of. I think that while America had it's ups and downs, I think that we turned out pretty well in the long run.


"A History of American Immigration by Ethnicity." Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.

"Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States." N.p., 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.

“Spartacus Educational.” Spartacus Educational. Web. 12. Dec. 2015.

“The Basics of Naturalization -Findlaw.” Findlaw. Web. 12 Dec. 2015.

"Ellis Island." A&E Television Networks. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

United States. National Park Service. "The Immigrant's Statue." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

"Ellis Island." A&E Television Networks. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.