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Immigration—Almost Four Hundred Years of American History - Coming To America, Attitudes Toward Immigrants, The First Century Of Immigration, Immigration At The Turn Of Thetwentieth Century

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There were probably as many reasons for coming to America as there were people who came. It was a highly individual decision. Yet it can be said that three large forces—religious persecution, political oppression and economic hardship—provided the chief motives for the mass migration to our shores. They were responding, in their own way, to the pledge of the Declaration of Independence: the promise of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

—John F. Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants, 1964

This chapter covers the impact of immigration and related legislation from the founding of the first American colonies through the 1970s. Immigration from the 1980s to the present follows in Chapter 2. Information for these two chapters was drawn from a variety of resources, but in particular the U.S. Census Bureau; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration; the Department of State; the National Archives; and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Immigration and Illegal Aliens are More a Blessing than a Burden - Archives Of Rudolph W. Giuliani,kennedy School Of Government,cambridge, Massachusetts, Thursday,october 10, 1996 [next] [back] Illegal Aliens - What Is An Illegal Alien?, How Many Illegal Aliens Are There?, National Security Entry-exitregistration System

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