Migration Made America ‘A Nation of Immigrants’, But Minorities Suffered Greatly Before Acceptance

History.com editors have produced a concise history of immigration to America before 1965: “The United States experienced major waves of immigration during the colonial era, the first part of the 19th century and from the 1880s to 1920. Many immigrants came to America seeking greater economic opportunity, while some, such as the Pilgrims in the early 1600s, arrived in search of religious freedom. From the 17th to 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of African slaves came to America against their will. The first significant federal legislation restricting immigration was the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.”

PBS American Experience: “Examine the origin, history and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens.” (9:15)

“Individual states regulated immigration prior to the 1892 opening of Ellis Island, the country’s first federal immigration station. New laws in 1965 ended the quota system that favored European immigrants, and today, the majority of the country’s immigrants hail from Asia and Latin America.”

  1. Immigration in the Colonial Era
  2. Immigration in the Mid-19th Century
  3. Ellis Island and Federal Immigration Regulation
  4. European Immigration: 1880-1920
  5. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
  6. PHOTO GALLERIES

 

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