Immigration in the United States

In case you're wondering about the picture, pictured above is Ellis Island. Many of our ancestors have passed through this place to call the United States home. Unless you are a Native American, you are descended immigrants. Some of them voluntary and some of them not.

Just over a million immigrants arrive in the United States each year. For this reason, the United States has often been called a nation of immigrants. Indeed, the United States is unique in the fact that we are a melting pot for so many different cultures, races, and religions in the world. Our immigrant past has also helped us mold a national character. For the last several centuries, various ethnic, cultural, and social groups have come to our shores to reunite with their loved ones, to seek economic opportunity, and to find a haven from religious and political persecution. This pathfinder touches on resources that will allow students to research the complex and often politically charged issues regarding immigration in the United States.

Immigration - Legal and Illegal Immigration to the U.S. Current Periodical (magazines online provided by Ebscohost) Information:

  • Cite these article in MLA format: (remember the reference page of an MLA formatted paper is headed Works Cited.) Works Cited is always spaced according to the document, so double spaced, if your document is done so. There is always a hanging indent of 5 spaces. See these examples or visit the Purdue site for a fulle explanation.
  • Remember that your Works Cited page should be double-spaced, like the body of your paper and in alphabetical order, by the authro's last name, no matter where the information you are referring to appears in your document.

Immigration and Border Control

Borderline Insanity in Newsweek - Cite this article in MLA format

Two Immigration Priorities - On Donald Trump;s Border Wall

Dreamers Lose Protection -

Dreamers in a Culture War About the children of undocumented immigrants

Give Me Shelter -Thousands of people each year travel to our southern border looking for asylum. How do we decide who should stay?

The Caravan as Bandwagon

The Long Wait - At the Border U.S. Troops have no enemy to fight and lots of time on their hands.


More Articles: Another Opinion - Why the deportation of illegals is necessary.

Suing for the Right to Round Up Illegals

South West Border Security - A report on the state of the U.S. Southern border with Mexico.

The New Abolitionism - mentions the plight of illegals in the United States, and the dangers and injustices they suffer.

Beyond the Wall.

The Problem with U.S. Immigration Policy

See Sonia Nazario's Immigration video:

Purdue Owl Writing Lab - MLA Formatting for Research Papers

60 Minutes on Immigration in the United States Please see the following links:

Mrs. Powe's additional links:



Immigration History Internet Resources's Immigration Issues Guide (

This site provides helpful, annotated links to a variety of information on the Web about the history of immigration, including laws, facts, important events, and remembrance. In addition to links about specific cultural groups, researchers can also use this site to help navigate the Web for genealogical information.

American Memory Project (

This is the Library of Congress' American Memory Historical Collections, a major component of the Library's National Digital Library Program. Search under "immigrant" or "immigration" to find multimedia exhibits of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text from the Library's Americana collections.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum (

"The Museum tells the inspiring story of the largest human migration in modern history. Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island. Today more than 40 percent, or over 100 Million, of all living Americans can trace their roots to an ancestor who came through Ellis Island."

History Channel's Ellis Island (

This virtual guided tour of Ellis Island offers a wonderful Internet exploration of the main port for immigrants from Europe. The life stories and images of immigration at Ellis Island are brought to life by the audio voices, photographs, and video clips presented on this web site. From here, you can also build a family tree or compare the experiences and requirements of various visitors to Ellis Island.

Immigration Associations &Research Organizations

American Immigration Lawyers Association (

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a national bar association of attorneys who practice and teach immigration law. Here visitors may obtain lawyer referrals, link to information about the contributions of immigrants, and explore the various myths surrounding immigration.

National Immigration Forum (

The Forum advocates and builds public support for public policies that welcome immigrants and refugees and that are fair and supportive to newcomers to the U.S. The resources on this web site range from important immigration facts to current events and recent immigration legislation.

Center for Immigration Studies (

The Center for Immigration Studies is a think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States. In addition to its own publications on the topic, this web site provides an extensive book list, and collection of other immigration related web sites.

Center for Migration Studies (

The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) is a research organization that publishes two journals, a newsletter, and various books and papers on migration, refugees, and ethnic groups. Visitors to this web site can order from the CMS catalog as well as browse its extensive online library of migration, refugees, and ethnic group materials.

The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies (

The Balch Institute offers a museum, library, and archives devoted to America's multicultural past. Visitors to this web site can browse the virtual exhibitions, search the library's online catalog, or explore their extensive collection of manuscripts for specific ethnic groups.

University of Minnesota's Immigration History Resource Center (

The Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) at the University of Minnesota is an international resource on American immigration and ethnic history. Here, you can conduct online searches of your family's history, browse the collections of specific ethnic group material, or check out the numerous publications produced by IHRC.

Government Resources

Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals: Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications (

This catalog lists National Archives microfilm publications of records relating to the arrival of passengers, crew members, and vessels in U.S. ports. Trace your family's history by searching through this catalog.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States."

U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (

"Under delegated authority of the Attorney General of the United States, EOIR administers and interprets Federal immigration laws and regulations through the conduct of immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings in individual cases."

U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (

"The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration has primary responsibility for formulating policies on population, refugees, and migration, and for administering U.S. refugee assistance and admissions programs."

U.S. Census Bureau Statistics (

The U.S. Census Bureau is the best resource for genealogical information in the United States. This particular web site, which analyzes data on the foreign-born population of the United States from 1850-1990 will provide intent genealogist with a plethora of data to explore the past.

Teacher Resources

Library of Congress' American Memory Project Lesson Plans (

The American Memory Project's Lesson Ideas offer strategies and lesson plans developed by education professionals to help integrate primary sources, especially those from American Memory, into the classroom. Several of these lesson plans focus on the history of immigration.

Learning Network (

The New York Times' Learning Network provides a number of lesson plans about immigration ranging from "Understanding the Immigration Process" to "An Examination of the Internment of Japanese- Americans During World War II" to "Exploring the New Visibility of Latino Culture in the U.S". Just type in immigration at the Lesson Plan Search prompt.

Remaking America: Contemporary U.S. Immigration (

This diverse array of curriculum guides created by Fellows at Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute are designed for both middle school and high school students. These teacher's guides explore the historical and cultural backgrounds of newcomers to the United States, their diverse motives for emigrating, their varied legal statuses and the multiple modes of their incorporation into U. S. society.

The History Channel Classroom (

The History Channel's Ellis Island exhibit provides helpful immigration facts for any educator about information ranging from the breakdown of immigrant homelands at the turn of the century to narratives about the motivation for emigration.

Print Resources

While Internet resources can be an excellent source of information on immigration in the United States, anyone seeking to thoroughly study immigration will want to refer to books on the topic. In fact, there are numerous books on the subject of immigration. Many printed resources address the concerns and life experiences of specific immigrant groups. Additionally, there are number of excellent immigrant life stories that may provide insight into the immigrant experience. Indeed, there are so many books related to immigrant issues and experiences, it would be impossible to represent them all. Here are listed only a few of the most general books which address the role of immigration in American history or in present day politics.

Unfortunately, the WHS library is limited but, you may be able to find find books about immigration at your local library using the Library of Congress Subject headings:

Immigrants—United States

United States—Emigration and Immigration



More Books: Bibliographies

Barkan, Elliott Robert. And still they come : immigrants and American society, 1920 to the 1990s. Wheeling, Ill. : Harlan Davidson, Inc., 1996.

Daniels, Roger. Coming to America : A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. York, NY : HarperCollins, 1990.

Dinnerstein, Leonard &David M. Reimers. Ethnic Americans : A History of Immigration. New York : Columbia University Press, 1999

Jacobson, David, edt. The immigration reader : America in a multidisciplinary perspective. Malden, Mass. : Blackwell Publishers, 1998.

Isbister, John. The immigration debate : remaking America. West Hartford, Conn. : Kumarian Press, c1996.

Morrison, Joan. American Mosaic : The Immigrant Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It. New York : Dutton, 1980.

Reimers, David M. Unwelcome Strangers : American Identity and the Turn Against Immigration. New York : Columbia University Press, 1998.

Schuck, Peter H. Citizens, strangers, and in-betweens : essays on immigration and citizenship. Boulder, Colo : Westview Press, 1998

The purpose of this pathfinder is to serve as a starting point for research on immigration in the United States. This page is designed for Ms. Powe's English class, however, any students researching immigration can use it. Both print and Internet resources are provided. Many of the resources listed focus on the history of immigration in the United States. However, visitors will also find resources regarding current issues in immigration. This pathfinder is by no means a comprehensive collection of material available on the subject. The resources listed here are merely recommendations of starting points. If you have questions concerning this pathfinder, please see the media specialist. Teachers to have your own pathfinder listed on the Library Services page, please see the media specialist at your convenience.