Attention statement: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to be free” these are the words that have greeted hundreds of thousands of immigrants coming to our country on the gates of Ellis Island.
America is an idea, a set of beliefs about people and their relationships and the kind of society which holds the best hope of satisfying the needs each of us brings as an individual. For countless immigrants, the struggle to arrive in America was rivaled only by the struggle to gain acceptance among the population. Immigrants say they came to America seeking economic opportunity and freedom for themselves and their children, and at the same time they have all, at one time, experienced discrimination. First, we will be looking at the general history of immigration to the United States from the 19th century on into the 21st. We will explain who came to the United States and why. We will focus on the treatment of the larger more prominent groups who emigrated. Finally, we will point out the views of today’s immigrants and those who oppose their presence in America.
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“America was built by immigrants.” From Plymouth Rock in the 17th century to Ellis Island in the 20th century, people from every corner of the earth have come to America. Immigrants left their home countries for various reasons. Some were fleeing religious persecution and political turmoil. Most, however, came for economic reasons and were part of extensive migratory systems that responded to changing demands in labor markets. The American economy needed both skilled and unskilled workers through much of the 19th century. But after the 1880’s the demand was almost exclusively for unskilled workers to fill the growing number of factories in the American Northeast.
Southern and Eastern Europeans dislocated from their land and possessing few skills were attracted to the rapidly increasing industries in the United States. Four major factors altered their society in Europe; extreme population growth, spreading commercial agriculture, the rise of the factory system, and the proliferation of inexpensive means of transportation. Many immigrants were somewhat coerced to leave their countries. Emigration companies placed advertisements in news papers across Europe, some promising great fortune, land, and pro...
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...nts to acquire an American education unless they plan on putting it to use in America.
Today, in considering America’s rich immigrant history and hundreds of nationalities, which have come to the u.s. to see a new home, we are keenly aware of the hardships and rejection faced by newcomers as they attempted to assimilate into American culture. For countless immigrants, the struggle to arrive in America was rivaled only by the struggle to gain acceptance among the population.
It is wrong to allow one group to infringe upon anthers rights only because o religious, or cultural differences. The prejudice demonstrated against immigrants is a violation of their constitutional rights. After all, because of the fact the first inhabitants of America were native Americans, everyone who lives in the United States can be considered of immigrant ancestry. Repeatedly, immigrants’ stake in American society and their right to be American citizens was denied. It was their right to become American citizens. We wanted to bring this topic of immigrant discrimination to all of your attention because we must learn from past encroachments of rights to ensure that they do not occur in the future.
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