Immigration is the movement of people from one nation-state to a foreign country. While human migration has existed throughout human history, immigration implies long-term permanent residence (and often eventual citizenship) by the immigrants.
- In the United States, minority populations were never an indigestible mass—with the major exceptions of the one ethnic group that did not come here voluntarily (African Americans) and those who were here when Europeans arrived (American Indians). The rest all came, clustered and dispersed, and added new cultural layers to the general society. This has always been the strength of the United States. In much of Europe, for example, Muslims have retained religious and national identities distinct from the general population, and the general population has given them little encouragement to blend. The strength of their own culture has therefore been overwhelming.
- George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, pp. 224–225, Doubleday
- It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.
- Eric Hoffer, "Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including: 'Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely'", The New York Times Magazine (April 25, 1971), p. 25
- [F]oreigners, I esteem them no better than other people, nor any worse. It is not my nature, when I see a people borne down by the weight of their shackles-the oppression of tyranny-to make their life more bitter by heaping upon them greater burdens; but rather would I do all in my power to raise the yoke, than to add anything that would tend to crush them. Inasmuch as our country is extensive and new, and the countries of Europe are densely populated, if there are any abroad who desire to make this the land of their adoption, it is not in my heart to throw aught in their way, to prevent them from coming to the United States.
- [F]oreigners, I esteem foreigners no better than other people, nor any worse. They are all of the great family of men, and if there is one shackle upon any of them, it would be far better to lift the load from them than to pile additional loads upon them. And inasmuch as the continent of America is comparatively a new country, and the other countries of the world are old countries, there is more room here, comparatively speaking, than there is there; and if they can better their condition by leaving their old homes, there is nothing in my heart to forbid them coming; and I bid them all God speed.
- Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, remarks before the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C. (April 21, 1938), The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1938 (1941), p. 259. FDR is often quoted as having addressed the DAR as "my fellow immigrants." The above words are believed to be the source.
- Every man has a right to one country. He has a right to love and serve that country and to feel that it is absolutely his country and that he has in it every right possessed by anyone else. It is our duty to require the man of German blood who is an American citizen to give up all allegiance to Germany wholeheartedly and without on his part any mental reservation whatever. If he does this it becomes no less our duty to give him the full rights of an American, including our loyal respect and friendship without on our part any mental reservation whatever. The duties are reciprocal, and from the standpoint of American patriotism one is as important as the other.
- Theodore Roosevelt, "Every Man Has a Right to One Country," The Kansas City (Missouri) Star (July 15, 1918), p. 2.
- The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations And Religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights and previleges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.
- George Washington, letter to the members of the Volunteer Association and other Inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ireland who have lately arrived in the City of New York (December 2, 1783), John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington (1938), vol. 27, p. 254.