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Thursday, 20 August 2015


German immigrant families founded Germantown in the colony of Pennsylvania on October 6, 1683, marking the first major immigration of German people to America.

U.S. President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act into law in 1882, implementing a ban on Chinese immigration to the United States that eventually lasted for over 60 years until the 1943 Magnuson Act.

The picture below is a political cartoon from 1882, showing a Chinese man being barred entry to the "Golden Gate of Liberty". The caption reads, "We must draw the line somewhere, you know."

The immigration station on Ellis Island in New York Harbor opened on January 1, 1892. 14-year-old Irish girl Annie Moore was the first passenger registered. It shut 61 years later on November 12, 1954, after processing more than 12 million immigrants.

The Ellis Island immigration center processed 11,747 people on April 18, 1807, more than on any other day.

East side of the main building. By Ingfbruno; Wikipedia Commons

The Congress of the United States passed the Immigration Act on February 5, 1917 over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. Also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, it forbade immigration from nearly all of south and southeast Asia. The act also added to the number of undesirables banned from entering the country, including but not limited to “homosexuals”, “idiots”, “feeble-minded persons”, "criminals", “epileptics”, “insane persons”, alcoholics, “professional beggars”, all persons “mentally or physically defective”, polygamists, and anarchists.

The Immigration Act of 1917 was one of many immigration acts during this time period which arose from nativist and xenophobic sentiment. These immigration laws were intentional efforts to control the composition of immigrant flow into the United States.

A political cartoon warning of the danger of foreigners, July 1919.

Over 800 West Indian immigrants disembarked the British troopship HMT Empire Windrush on June 20, 1948 at Tilbury, England, becoming known as the "Windrush generation".

Roughly 20% of the world's tech founders are immigrants, even though immigrants only make up about 4 percent of the world's population.

The United States accepts more legal immigrants than every other nation on Earth combined.

Australia is the only country in the world where more Americans immigrate to it than its own citizens immigrate to the U.S.

Here is a list of songs that deal with immigration.

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