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Resources by Subject: Immigration Experience

Resources, links, and subject pages for research topics and teacher's projects

The Immigration Experience in the United States

Migration, both legal and illegal, to the United States has taken place for more than 300 years. This project will explore aspects of emigration during different time periods including: the push motivating people to move to the United States and the resistance and challenges faced.

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Databases You Might Find Helpful:

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Infobase American History

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Gale Onefile - US History

Library of Congress: 

Immigration & Relocation in U.S. History 

The history of the United States has always been shaped by peoples and communities who came to its shores or moved within its borders. Some sought a better life, some fled oppression, and some were moved against their will. This presentation uses Library of Congress primary sources to explore moments and experiences from several of these communities.Explore the immigration experience of various ethnic groups:

  • African
  • Chinese 
  • German 
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Mexican 
  • Native American
  • Polish/Russian
  • Puerto Rican/Cuban
  • Scandanavian
  • Global Timeline



Eastern European Experience

      Jewish Immigration from Eastern Europe

       Eastern European Immigrants                       


    Second Wave of Immigration,1880-1921-Global Boston

    Jewish Immigration History


From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America, A Century of Immigration, 1820-1924- Library of Congress Exhibits


The Italian Experience

     Library of Congress website-the experience of Italians who arrived in America                                    Image result for italian immigration to america

       Italian Americans


Immigration : Pre-Colonial to 1850

Immigration before 1965 -

Call For Tolerance - Library of Congress

Jewish Immigration During the American Revolution -

Migration to America in the 1,700s

The Swedes - Library of Congress


The Irish Experience


Library of Congress website about Irish immigration to America

PBS Destination America                                         Image result for irish potato famine      

Irish Immigration to America

The Potato Famine and Irish Immigration

Famine Coffin Ships - a difficult journey

Lost at Sea

The Irish Potato Famine - Life in America

Push and Pull Factors-Ellis Island (NPS)

Ports of Entry

Port of Entry: (POE) is a place to legally enter a nation. International airports are usually ports of entry, as are road and rail crossings on a land border, and major seaports. U.S. Customs and Border Protection enforces the import and export regulations and immigration programs of the U.S. government.


Angel Island

Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation logo

Watch the 5 minute video, read the 15 minute story

Virtual exhibits, Guided Tour, 3D explorer!

History of Angel Island Immigration Station

From 1910 to 1940, the Angel Island Immigration Station in California functioned as a Detention Center for people immigrating to the United States the the West Coast.  Many of the people that passed through Angel Island came from Asian but also South America, Russia, Mexico, Australia, and Canada.

Image of Angel Island

Ellis Island

historical image of Ellis Island

Ellis Island: Overview and History

Prior to 1890, individual states, rather than the Federal Government, regulated immigration into the United States...Around 1890...the Federal government [started constructing] a new immigration station to Ellis Island. 

Opening in 1892 Ellis Island] saw more than 12 million immigrants in its 62 year history.

South American & Central American Experience


History of Mexican Immigration to the U.S.       

 Image result for Mexican IMMIGRANTS late 1800s

From Germany to Mexico - great maps showing changes in where immigrants came from

Mexican Immigration



The United States & World War II


safe haven museum and education center sign image

Safe Haven in Oswego was the only World War II Refugee Shelter in the United States

The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum is dedicated to keeping alive the stories of the 982 refugees from
World War II who were allowed into the United States as "guests" of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These refugees were housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York, from August 1944 until February 1946.


safe haven historic photo of immigrants arriving at Safe Haven during WW 2

They Fled to an Internment Camp (7/21/2003- New York Times article)

They Were the Lucky Ones (9/13/2020 New York Times article)

  Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Museum

Japanese Internment

Japanese Internment Camps - The History Channel 

Japanese internment camps were established during World War II by President Franklin D. Roosevelt through his Executive Order 9066...

Japanese-American Incarceration During World War II - National 

The history of Japanese-American Incarceration during World War II includes primary source documents including: the presidential executive order, photographs, and letters curated by the National Archives.


Local History Connection

POW Camps in New York

There were 20 base camps, 28 branch camps, 3 hospitals, 1 ISU, 2 internment locations, and 5 cemeteries in NY.

Marion POW Camp

Letchworth Park History - Lower Falls POW Camp

inscription of book found in Letchworth POW camp image

German POWs on the American Homefront - (Smithsonian Magazine, 9/13/2009)

POWs in the USA: 10 Surprising Facts About America's WW2 Prisoner of War Camp - MilitaryHistoryNow


Trends in Immigration - Current Trends and Events

Webster Databases 


Key Facts About Refugees in the U.S. - PEW Research (10.7.2019)



Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - Reference Article from Gale in Contest Middle

5 Questions About DACA Answered - NPR


USA for UNHCR the UN refugee agency 

South Sudan Refugee Crisis

Sudan & South Sudan


Crossing the Straits - Library of Congress

Cuban Exiles in America - PBS: The American Experience

Surge in Cuban Migration Continued through 2016 - PEW Research (1/13/2017)


By the Numbers: Syrian Refugees Around the World - PBS Frontline

Museum Statement on Syrian Refugees - United State Holocaust Memorial Museum (9/25/2015)

Syrian Immigrants in the United States - CAP Report 12/13/2016


NAFSA : Immigration Resources: Ukraine

U.S. admits 100,000 Ukrainians in 5 months, fulfilling Biden pledge (CBS News - Updated 7/29/22)

Afghan  (Refugees and Immigrants)


How Temporary Immigration Status Has Affected Afghan Evacuees in the US from 

In 2021, the United States began one of its largest humanitarian evacuations in history as it withdrew from Afghanistan...