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America a History of Immigrants

Updated on July 16, 2019
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Do we not all come from immigrants? Our country was created by immigrants and thrived due to immigrants.

Coming to America
Coming to America
Immigrants created the America we have today.
Immigrants created the America we have today.

America created by immigrants

Let there be no mistake, that it was immigrants that came to America. It was immigrants that fought the war that created America on April 11,1783 and became the first Americans.

America quickly became the place for immigrants to seek shelter from oppression, poverty and disease.

  • English immigration continued into the 1880's with over two million moving here. Why did they come here? Originally to escape religious persecution. Then it was simply for a better way of life.
  • German's migrated to America due to continued warfare, religious persecution and economic ruin. By the 1880's over 1. 5 million had arrived in America.
  • Chinese migrants began to arrive in America about 1815 and continued into the 1840's. Most were mainly merchants and men. They came to America to work, but not to stay, many returned home with the "wealth" they had earned. It was mass migration of the 1880's to America and the competition from other immigrant races such as the German and Irish, that pushed the anti-Chinese agenda and pushed Congress in 1882 to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act that was signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur. For nearly a century, the migration of Chinese stopped. As the CEA prohibited all immigrants of Chinese laborers entry to America. If they could not work, they could not survive.
  • Italians fleeing poverty began to migrate to America. Between 1880 and 1924, more than four million Italians had migrated to America.
  • Irish during the height of the potato famine (diseased crops failed, they were starving) began to migrate to America. From 1820 to 1930, after the famine poverty and disease made life unbearable in Ireland and they continued to migrate. Approximately 4.5 million Irish immigrants settled in America.
  • Cubans fled Cuba after the 1959 government take over by Fidel Castro and he aligned himself with the Soviet Union. By the 1970's some 439,000 Cuban migrants were living in America. The U.S. Freedom Flights transported Cubans to Miami from 1965 to 1973, an American government run migrant rescue mission.
  • Blacks were brought to America by slave ships from 1790 to 1820, 85,000 of them. However, after slavery ended, Blacks came to America through Ellis Island from 1899- 1937, seeking freedom, like all the other immigrants.
  • Mexican migration began in 1846. Mexican's would go to the border entry locations, sign a form, report the next of kin and how they were going to support themselves while in America and how long they intended to stay. They came and went freely; whether to work or to visit family. Then in 1924, the Border Patrol was created. It was not created to keep Mexican's from coming into America, but to enforce unauthorized entry of Chinese due to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. For generations, Mexicans have come to America to escape poverty and government corruption.

These immigrants have made America what it is today. We as American's have forgotten that those things that we have are because our ancestors came here, worked the farm fields, railroad construction, building construction and any hard labor job that took creating the America that we take pride in today. They were willing to to do whatever it took to provide food and support for their families.

Emma Lazarus, born July 22, 1849 and died Nov 19, 1887. The author of The New Colossus.
Emma Lazarus, born July 22, 1849 and died Nov 19, 1887. The author of The New Colossus.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek Fame with concurring limbs from land to land. Here at our sea-watched sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lighting and her name, Mother of the Exiles.

From her beacon-hand glows world wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air bridge harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep ancient lands your stored pomp." Cries she with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breath free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.!"

These words were written by Emma Lazarus, born in New York. Emma wrote this sonnet to help raise money at an auction that would help pay for the pedestal of Lady Liberty. Little did she know that her words would become the salvation of immigrants. The sonnet was engraved and hangs on the walls of Ellis Island.

Miami Harold, 1914- immigrants welcome
Miami Harold, 1914- immigrants welcome
Jewish Daily News, 1921- immigrants welcome
Jewish Daily News, 1921- immigrants welcome
Dallas Morning News, 1978- immigrants welcome
Dallas Morning News, 1978- immigrants welcome
Daily Northwestern, 2018- Trump immigration laws attack immigrants
Daily Northwestern, 2018- Trump immigration laws attack immigrants

Immigration laws

Between 1880 and 1930, over twenty-seven million immigrants entered America. As immigrants came to America, laws began to be put into place.

  • 1790- 1st Naturalization Act. Any alien being a free white person may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States.
  • 1819- Steerage Act of 1819, required ship Captains to keep detailed passenger records and provide humane conditions aboard the ships of immigrants coming to America.
  • 1906- Immigrants were tested orally for their knowledge of the American government. Some questions asked were meant for the immigrant to fail, such as "How high is the Bunker Hill Monument?" (Republican President, Republican House & Senate)
  • 1917- Immigration Act of 1917, a literacy requirement was added. (Democratic President, Democratic House & Senate)
  • 1921- Emergency Quota Act, based on the number of foreign born residents of each nationality who were living in the US as of the 1910 Census. (Democratic President- Republican House & Senate)
  • 1948- Displaced Person Act of 1948, allowed for 200,000 certain displaced Europeans to come to America for permanent residency. (Democratic President, Republican House & Senate)
  • 1950's- US History became an explicit requirement for immigrants to pass to gain citizenship. The test is administered orally, there are 100 items to study, only 10 questions asked and must get 6 of the 10 correct. (During these years, the Republican's held most of the Presidency, Democrats held most years in House & Senate)
  • 1965- Immigration & Naturalization Act, also known as the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, The quota system was taken away, which favored European immigrants. This opened up migration to immigrants from all the continents.(Democratic President, Democratic House & Senate)

2017- Donald Trump and the Republican Party changed immigration policies, some tied up in court still, some were found unconstitutional.

  • Zero Tolerance policy
  • Building a wall along the Mexican border
  • ICE- Mexican round up. Visions of Gestapo tactics. Using informants at hotels, school records, etc to go after Mexican immigrants.
  • Mexican prison camps. Where overcrowding is an issue, lack of hygiene supplies, abuse by the men and women that are suppose to be "guarding" them.
  • New Applications & Vetting requirements
  • Applications are free. Under the new requirements, Trump would have them pay asylum fees.

Update: July 16, 2019

Donald Trump and his administration are moving to end the asylum process at the border. They are going to implement a new law that states if an immigrant comes through another country, they must seek asylum there first. If they do not, they can not seek it in the United States. Federal judges have ruled against the divisive and unconstitutional rules that have come from the Trump Administration and this is one more way for Donald Trump to show the people that he believes he is "above the law".

Desperate people do desperate things. These immigrants aren't leaving their home because they want to, they are leaving it because they are starving there and they will find another way, dangerous or not to get to America.

Inside the Trump immigration camps
Inside the Trump immigration camps

Americans look the other way

Immigrants have long been seen as the backbone of America. The creators, the worker bees that have kept us moving forward.

Donald Trump, openly anti-immigrant, unless he's bringing them in to work at his properties ran on the fear mongering of Mexican immigrants and building a wall to block them from America.

Mexican immigrants are being treated like prisoners in cages.

Let us see this for what it is. A biased attack on the Mexican people. As Trump gives ICE the go ahead to begin rounding up the Mexican immigrants on Sunday for being in America "illegally". Remember this; there are 5.5 million immigrants in America from other nations that are in America "illegally". Black, White and every nationality, but the Trump administration has chosen the Mexican immigrant as their race of choice. Yes it's a choice.

© 2019 Lady Liberty


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