The USA A nation of immigrants
Homeland to many commers and people who sought cosolation and serenity. Right from the very discovery in 1492, not to mention the unsuccesssful colonisation of the vikings in 1000 A.d., immigrants from Europe started to show interest in the New World. Fairy tales told of guilded cities and diamonda dispuesed across valleya snd plains dazzeled the fantasies of many. People were trying to attain America as a country of natural resources and promises. It came to be quite a remarkable location for the valiant travelers and wityy merchants. So came the XIX century. A time of the biggest immigration influxes in the history of the world. Not only did the people come for benefits and goods, political and religious freedom, but for political sanctuary as the Two World Wars came rushing in to the XX century.
The first European immigrants in American history came from England and the Netherlands. Attracted by reports of great economic opportunities and religious and political freedom, immigrants from many other countries flocked to the United States in increasing numbers, the flow reaching a peak in the years 1892-1924. During the late 19th century, the government operated a special port of entry on Ellis Island; it was in operation from 1892 until 1954 and is now preserved as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from the people of France to the people of America in 1886, stands on an island in New York Harbor, near Ellis Island. Between 1820 and 1979, the United States admitted more than 49 million immigrants.
In 1924, the first laws were passed that set limits on how many people from specific countries would be admitted to the United States. The limits were based on the number of people from that country already living in the country. In 1965, immigration quotas were established according to who applied first; and national quotas were replaced with hemispheric ones. Preference was given to relatives of U.S. citizens and immigrants with specific job skills. In 1978, Congress abandoned hemispheric quotas and established a worldwide ceiling. The United States accepts more immigrants than any other country; in 1998, its population included 25.2 million foreign-born persons (that is 9.3 % of the total population.) The revised immigration law of 1990 created a flexible cap of 675,000 immigrants each year, with certain categories of people exempted from the limit. That law attempts to attract more skilled workers and professionals to the United States and to draw immigrants from countries that have supplied relatively few Americans in recent years.
The steady stream of people coming to America''s shores has had a profound effect on the American character. It takes courage and flexibility to leave your homeland and come to a new country. The American people have been noted for their willingness to take risks and try new things, for their independence and optimism. If Americans whose families have been here longer tend to take their material comfort and political freedoms for granted, immigrants are at hand to remind them how important those privileges are.
Immigrants also enrich American communities by bringing aspects of their native cultures with them. Many black Americans now celebrate both Christmas and Kwanzaa, a festival drawn from African rituals. Hispanic Americans celebrate their traditions with street fairs and other festivities on Cinco de Mayo (May 5). Ethnic restaurants abound in many American cities. President John F. Kennedy, himself the grandson of Irish immigrants, summed up this blend of the old and the new when he called America "a society of immigrants, each of whom had begun life anew, on an equal footing. This is the secret of America: a nation of people with the fresh memory of old traditions who dare to explore new frontiers.... "