About Immigration



Many people immigrate to the United States looking for freedom and a better life. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, millions came from Europe carrying everything they owned.

ellis island

About 12 million people entered the United States at New York’s Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. Today, the island is home to a popular museum.


Many poor immigrants to the United States could only afford to live in small, crowded apartments. This photo shows people packed into a New York City apartment building.


People of Mexican ancestry make up one of the largest minority groups in the United States. These Mexican citizens were photographed in 1912 as they prepared to cross the border into Texas.


In the late 1800s, some Americans feared that immigrants to the United States would take their jobs away. This advertisement from the era shows Uncle Sam, a symbol of the U.S. government, kicking a Chinese immigrant.

new citizens

People who immigrate to the United States must apply to become American citizens. Here, about 1,500 immigrants pledge allegiance to their new country during a citizenship ceremony.


The ancestors of today’s Americans came from all over the world, as this photo of children playing together shows. The United States is sometimes called a “melting pot” because of the many different ethnic backgrounds of its citizens.

immigration to us

Immigrants have come to in the United States from many different places. These pie charts show total immigration by region of origin. Before 1950, most immigrants came from Europe. After 1950, more immigrants came from the Americas and Asia.



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