Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States is the international movement of non-U.S. nationals in order to reside permanently in the U.S. Because the United States is a settler colonial society, all Americans, with the exception of the small percent of Indigenous Americans, can trace their ancestry to immigrants.
- The American Dream, that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as a man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.
- James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America (2nd Edition, Greenwood Press, p. 405)
- On Monday evening, President Trump pressed send on a tweet declaring that in the next week, ICE would begin removing “the millions of illegal aliens” who are in the United States. This, of course, was not true. ICE deports about 7,000 immigrants per month, which is rather short of the roughly 10.5 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. The tweet, coming two days before Trump’s big reelection rally, seemed tailor-made to send Democrats into paroxysms of rage and force us into a law-and-order debate in which we stand on the side of the lawbreakers.
- I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won't like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,… And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs. And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it's all coming up through corrupt Mexico.
- All Americans… are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens and legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more, by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, . . .[and] by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens. …We will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens arrested for crimes. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws.
- We’ve got to do several things, and I am, adamantly against illegal immigrants. We’ve got to do more at our borders and people need to stop employing illegal immigrants.
- We have to send a clear message that just because your child gets across the border that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.
- Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama sent National Guard troops to the border when they were in the White House. And throughout the history of the borderlands, the military or armed militias have been dispatched there to keep black slaves from fleeing, remove Native Americans from ancestral lands and suppress Mexican-American revolts stemming from anger over white mob violence.
- Congress created the U.S. Border Patrol in 1924 and the agency slowly grew in size as its mission changed. At first, the agents sought to keep out Asian immigrants and later worked to stall alcohol trafficking in the Prohibition era. Slowly, it evolved into stalling unwanted migration from Mexico.
- “Prosecutors surveyed stated that in prior years, as cooperation between prosecutors and immigrant communities increased, survivors of crime were increasingly willing to come forward and assist law enforcement in prosecuting cases,” the ACLU report said. “However, over the past year, many categories of crimes have become more difficult to prosecute as a result of an increase in fear of immigration consequences.”
The ACLU study found that 82 percent of prosecutors reported that since President Donald Trump got into the White House, “domestic violence is now underreported and harder to investigate and/or prosecute.”
Similarly, 70 percent of prosecutors reported the same was true for sexual assault, and 55 percent indicated “the same difficulties for human trafficking and 48 percent for child abuse.”
- The report — “Freezing Out Justice: How Immigration Arrests at Courthouses Are Undermining the Justice System ” — found 67 percent of police officers surveyed reported that immigrants’ fear affected their ability to protect survivors of crime. Sixty-four percent indicated there was “an adverse impact on officer safety.”
- Jeff Daniels, “Immigrants are afraid of President Trump’s crackdown, making it harder to prosecute crimes, ACLU report says”, CNBC, (May 4 2018)
- 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.
- George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, pp. 224–225, Doubleday
- According to a 2010 Gallup study, almost a quarter of the world's adults looking to emigrate list the United States as their ideal destination. And once they arrive, these immigrants make an enormous contribution to innovation and growth in the American economy. A Harvard Business School study found that American immigrants of Chinese and Indian descent accounted for 15% of U.S. domestic patents in 2004, up from just 2% in 1975. The Brookings Institution has estimated that a quarter of technology and engineering businesses started in the United States between 1995 and 2005 had a foreign-born founder. Immigration is thus a great source of America's economic strength.
- 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
- The paradox is that American carbon emissions are partly responsible for wretchedness in Guatemala that drives emigration, yet when those desperate Guatemalans arrive at the U.S. border they are treated as invaders.
- The immigrants they liked to hire to get work done cheap, then use them for every scapegoat situation possible, forgetting they wouldn’t even be there to blame for what they did and for what they didn’t do, if they weren’t offered the jobs in the first place.
- During the mid-1800s, the nation welcome the first wave of large-scale immigration from Europe since the Revoltuion. Prompted by war, famine, and political disruption, and tied to both cheap land in the West and a growing industrial capability in the Northeast, these immigrants, primarily from Ireland and Germany, were largely Roman Catholic. To many native born Americans, such an influx brought with it societal strain and challenge, and also religious tension. The Reformation divide between Protestants and Catholics was still very much alive, and the early nineteenth century witnessed a wave of anti-Catholicism, which included riots and bloodshed. These events helped bolster both Catholic and Protestant identity, each largely independent of the other.
- Jason S. Lantzer, “Mainline Christianity: The Past and Future of America's Majority Faith”, ch.2 “Building the New Jerusalem: The High Tide of the Seven Sisters”, p. 28
- Most immigrants came from southern and eastern Europe, meaning that in religion they were Catholic, Jewish and Orthodox Christians, and some were atheists. The nation's churches recognized that they needed to reach out to these new Americans. Some Protestants took direct action, opening mission houses to aid immigrants and help in their Americanization. When it came to immigration, the FCC took a measured approach. On the one hand, the Committee on the Church and the Immigrant Problem believed that the pervading opinion of immigrants by most Americans (one of "disparagement") "ill consists with the spirit and teaching of Jesus concerning human brotherhood." On the other hand, the FCC also believed tat it was imperative that nation's churches look after the "religious care" of the immigrants, which implied bringing them into the Protestant fold.
- Jason S. Lantzer, “Mainline Christianity: The Past and Future of America's Majority Faith”, ch.2 “Building the New Jerusalem: The High Tide of the Seven Sisters”, p. 36
- Foreigners, 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.
- Foreigners, 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...
- This year the senate passed an immigration reform bill by a wide bipartisan majority… It would strengthen our borders… It would make sure that everybody plays by the same rules by providing a pathway to earn citizenship for those who are living in the shadows. A path that includes passing a background check, and learning English, and paying taxes and penalties and in getting in line behind it, everyone trying to come here by the right way. And each of these pieces would go a long way toward fixing our broken immigration system.
- Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws. And I believe they must be held accountable, especially those who may be dangerous.
- Last week, we were chatting here in the shebeen about a remarkable woman named Emily Hobhouse, a British social worker and radical who took upon herself the job of informing the British people and the world of the atrocities the Empire was committing in its South African concentration camps during the Second Boer War. The parallels to the news of the day seemed obvious. It is important now to realize that the camps that so horrified Hobhouse consisted of women and children living in tents. So imagine my non-surprise to discover that, as a solution to the bad publicity it was getting for housing migrant children in terrible conditions, the administration* decided to move some of the kids out of some of the worst conditions and off to another site to live...in tents!.
- The average temperature in June in El Paso is 98 degrees. In July, it's 97. In August, it's 94. And "temporary" in this context, and with this crowd running things, has developed a very flexible new definition. Of course, if the kids are still in the tents in November, things will have cooled to an average of 66. The great outdoors! Anyway, because this is America, where the enterprise is always free, and because this is 2019, almost a decade after the Supreme Court legalized influence-peddling, our politicians are free to take money from those who make money off facilities like these, because that's what keeps us free. [...] There's the usual yadda-yadda from spokesfolk about how this is really about constituent service; Cuellar's mouthpiece argues that there are so many prisons in Cuellar's district, that Cuellar's getting correction-industry money is like, say, Jay Inslee getting money from yacht manufacturers. [...] There is a historic exercise in human misery being undertaken by the United States government in South Texas right now, and if you take money from people making a pile out of that misery, you're complicit. Sorry, but that's the iron logic of atrocities.
- If America doesn’t keep out the queer alien mongrelized people of Southern and Eastern Europe, her crop of citizens will eventually be dwarfed and mongrelized in turn.
- Kenneth Roberts. Quoted in Simon, Rita James (1997). In the Golden Land: A Century of Russian and Soviet Jewish Immigration. pp. 15–16.
- 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.
- It is unwise to depart from the old American tradition and discriminate for or against any man who desires to come here and become a citizen, save on the ground of that man's fitness for citizenship. ... We can not afford to consider whether he is Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Gentile; whether he is Englishman or Irishman, Frenchman or German, Japanese, Italian, or Scandinavian, or Magyar. What we should desire to find out is the individual quality of the individual man.
- Theodore Roosevelt, message to the U.S. Congress (1905). As quoted in The Business of Transatlantic Migration between Europe and the United States, 1900–1914 (2012), by Drew Keeling, p. 161.
- This is a disgrace. No child should go hungry in the United States of America. My first executive orders will be to reverse every single thing President Trump has done to demonize and harm immigrants.
- Bernie Sanders about a report on the immigration policy of Donald Trump, as quoted in If Elected in 2020, Bernie Sanders Vows First Executive Orders Will 'Reverse Every Single Thing President Trump Has Done to Demonize and Harm Immigrants' by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, June 29, 2019.
- What he [Donald Trump] is doing and this is his entire political strategy is to divide the American people... you have a president who gives tax breaks to billionaires... wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security... tried to throw 32 million people off health care... gave 83 percent of the tax benefits to the top one percent... So how do you win... What do you say — You see those undocumented people, they are your enemy. 'Stand with me. Hate them. Let's divide this country up.'
- 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.
- The second economic reality I would want to talk about, is the fact that he spent more time in this State of the Union message demonizing immigrants than on any other topic. Stories of immigrants being bad, stories of invasions coming, wild exaggerations that have no basis in fact. Let me give you the simplest economics with which to understand that: the United States is an economy of three hundred and twenty five million people; the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is estimated between 10 and 12 million. Okay you don't need rocket science to understand that nothing that you can do to those poor 10 to 12 million of the lowest paid people in our economy is gonna change the economic conditions for 325 million Americans. Focusing on immigrants is pure scapegoating; it's focusing people on something that doesn't matter because you don't want them to focus on what does matter.
- Richard D. Wolff on Donald Trump, Wolff responds to Trump's "State of the Union" address, (6 February 2019)
- We are African, and we happened to be in America. We're not American. We are people who formerly were Africans who were kidnapped and brought to America. Our forefathers weren't the Pilgrims. We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. The rock was landed on us. We were brought here against our will. We were not brought here to be made citizens. We were not brought here to enjoy the constitutional gifts that they speak so beautifully about today.
- United States
- European colonization of the Americas
- Slavery in the United States
- American imperialism
- Secure Fence Act of 2006