Immigration is the process of moving to a new country, with plans to live there permanently. People who move to a new country are called immigrants. But from the point of view of the old country, those same people are called emigrants—people who move away permanently. --Britannica
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command. The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
On this page you will find a detailed history of Ellis Island. It details the actual origin of the island as a location for an immigration hub, all the way to its current status as a national monument.
Before 1890 the states handled immigration. Then the U.S. government took over. It built the immigration center on Ellis Island at a time when many people wanted to live in the United States. More than 12 million people passed through the center from 1892 to 1924. The busiest year was 1907, when 1.25 million people passed through.
Lawrence Meinwald recalls coming to America from Poland in 1920, at age 6. His family traveled in steerage. Meinwald describes the ship, the sleeping arrangements, the food, and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time.
Angel Island is the largest natural island in California’s San Francisco Bay. It occupies an area of about 1.2 square miles (3.1 square kilometers) and is about a mile (1.6 kilometers) offshore from Tiburon, California. Angel Island is a California State Park now, but it has served many purposes in the past. It was a hunting spot for Native Americans, a base for military operations, and an immigration processing center.
In 1933, seven-year-old Li Keng Wong's life changed. Her father decided to move his family from a small village in China to the Chinatown in Oakland, California. Now, Li Keng will tell you her story from 70 years ago.
This lesson helps students appreciate diversity among their peers and the diversity of immigrants all over the world. Through hands-on exercises, students will discover similarities and differences they share with other children.