Most Americans can trace their ancestry back to immigrants coming to the New World. Learn about America's history of immigration, particularly during the immigrant boom between 1830 and 1920.
The New Colossus
This famous poem is featured as an engraving on the Statue of Liberty and has filled millions of immigrants with hope.
Address to the Commonwealth Club of California
Chavez describes the terrible conditions for Mexican farm workers, and calls for change.
'Shut the Door' Speech
Senator Ellison DuRant Smith
During a 1924 congressional debate on immigration, a senator from South Carolina argued that we should "shut the door and breed up a pure, unadulterated American citizen."
From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards
A Lithuanian immigrant tells his story of coming to America during the 19th century for a chance at "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
America and I
A new immigrant tells of her struggles trying to achieve the American dream.
Letter from Mary Mallon: On Being ‘Typhoid Mary’
In the early 1900s, an Irish immigrant cook was accused of infecting dozens of her clients with typhoid fever - although she herself had no symptoms - and quarantined against her will until her death.
Mexican Migrant Workers in the 20th Century
This informational text describes the hard lives of Mexican-Americans and immigrants who became migrant workers throughout the 20th century in the United States.
The Rush of Immigrants
This informational text describes the tide of new immigrants to the United States from the mid-1800s to the 1920s.
A Refugee Looks Back
Mike J. Kubic, a former Newsweek magazine correspondent and post-WWII refugee, discusses the chaos that ensued after WWII and how it connects to today.
America's Shifting Views on Immigration
In this text, the United States’ history of immigration is discussed, from immigrants’ original admittance through Ellis Island to the state of immigration in the United States today.
Jewish Refugees on the St. Louis
This informational text discusses how Jewish refugees on the St. Louis were denied entrance to multiple countries.
Julia Alvarez discusses the multiple names she has been given over the years.
J. Patrick Lewis
The poet assumes the voice of journalist and civil rights activist Helen Zia and explains how she uses words to share her perspective with others.
Puerto Rican Obituary
Five Puerto Ricans find that they were unable to fulfill their dreams in America.
A speaker describes their experiences in America as the child of immigrant parents.
The Border: A Double Sonnet
A speaker describes the effects of borders.
Joseph O. Legaspi
In this poem, the speaker compares immigrants to amphibians.
Free at Last: A Kurdish Family in America
Karen O’Connor describes talking to a Kurdish family about their experiences as refugees.