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The New Colossus
- Emma Lazarus
“The New Colossus” is a poem by Emma Lazarus that was published in 1883. It describes the millions of immigrants who came to America through the port of New York City at Ellis Island.Pair “The Rush of Immigrants” with “The New Colossus” and ask students to contrast the spirit of acceptance in the poem against the discrimination described in the informational text.
'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."Pair “The Rush of Immigrants” with the “’Shut the Door’ Speech” and ask students to discuss the cause and effects of anti-immigrant sentiments in the United States. Ask students to compare the American values in the Shut the Door speech to the concept of America as the great melting pot.
America and I
- Anzia Yezierska
Anzia Yezierska (1880-1970) was a Jewish-American immigrant and novelist known for her writing on immigration, assimilation, and Jewish-American lives. "America and I" is Yezierska's short essay about her struggles adapting to her new country.Pair “The Rush of Immigrants” with “America and I” and ask students to discuss the difficulties of living the American Dream for new immigrants to America.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
- Mike Kubic
In “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire,” Mike Kubic discusses one of the worst industrial disasters in U.S. history and the unsafe working conditions that caused it.Pair “The Rush of Immigrants” with “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” and ask students to discuss immigrants’ experiences in America in the early 1900’s. How do the two texts depict Americans’ reactions to the influx of immigrants?
America's Shifting Views on Immigration
- Mike Kubic
In “America’s Shifting Views on Immigration,” Mike Kubic discusses the history of immigration in the United States, from immigrants’ initial passage through Ellis Island to immigration today.Pair “The Rush of Immigrants” with “America’s Shifting Views on Immigration” to provide students with additional information regarding the United States history of immigration. How do the two texts compare in their portrayal of how immigrants were received in the United States? What additional details does “The Rush of Immigrants” provide regarding the reasons immigrants came to America?