The United States of America is known as the ‘melting pot’ of the world as basically it is a whole country made up of immigrants. However even if we exclude people who were living there for generations it is still the most attractive nation for immigrants as it receives over 900,000 immigrants annually the most by any nation!
With more immigrants than any other single nation, the United States is a place that has traditionally held open arms to those interested in starting a new life. And to celebrate this fact it is celebrated annually in the country in the form of National Immigrants Day which falls annually on October 28th.
This is the day when all the immigrants of the country are celebrated and welcomed. As immigrants from all over the world has played a major role in building up of the United States and that’s why this day is very important for people to recognize the contribution of the immigrants.
|Event||National Immigrants Day|
|Date||October 28, 2022|
|Significance||The day honors and welcomes immigrants from all over the world.|
|Observed by||United States|
National Immigrants Day History:
Well since the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus, the United States has always been a country of immigrants, as the first colonial settlers in the country were mostly of British descent and later some French or Spanish also got included. After the independence of the United States too the immigration from the British or other European powers didn’t stop and immigration to the country continued in a large scale from all parts of the Europe at first, black people were largely immigrated to the US although it was because of slavery which was very unfortunate.
Before 1890, the 42 individual states then comprising the United States of America regulated the flow of immigration into the United States. Europeans began fleeing political instability, restrictive religious laws, and deteriorating economic conditions in record numbers, leading to massive numbers of immigrants arriving on American shores by 1890. To ease the burden on individual states the federal government took over responsibility for processing immigrant arrivals as this was the first time when country allowed large scale immigration after a long time especially after the civil war.
Ellis Island in New York Harbor opened in 1892 as an immigrant station, becoming the primary port of entry for most immigration into the U.S. after 1890. Immigrants also entered the U.S. through other port cities, including Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, Savannah, Miami, and New Orleans. Ellis Island was the busiest because New York was the preferred port of entry for most ships arriving in America. From opening day on January 1, 1890, until the day Ellis Island closed in November 1954, over 12 million immigrants passed through the Ellis Island immigration station, along with hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves and their families.
By the start of the 20th Century the immigration wasn’t just limited to Europe as people from all parts of the world especially from Latin America and Asia arrived in huge numbers to settle in the United States. It was at this time only when United States started to become even more racially diverse as earlier it manily composed onlypeople of White and Black races. Sooner people of Asian and Hispanic roots also became prevalent in US. Entering into the 21st Century the US is still receiving large number of immigrants especially from Asian and Latin Americas countries so it is expected that in future US is gonna get even more diverse.
National Immigrants Day Significance:
Well even if we exclude people of different ancestries who have lived in the United States for centuries there are more than 45 million people in the country today who are classified as immigrants which makes up 14% of the total population of the country. So we can easily say that US is a melting pot when it comes to people and cultures. Infact ot won’t be wrong to say that US is a country of immigrants as Native Americans who were the original inhabitants of the nation makes up only around 1% of the total population.
It can be easy to overlook how unique the United States of America is among nations. National Immigrant Day gives us a reason to stop and reflect on the millions of humble new beginnings that have taken place among this nation of immigrants. As immigrants are the one who has shaped this country over the times. And that’s why it is also possible that the immigrants arriving today are gonna play a major role in shaping the destiny of this nation and hence the contribution of immigrants must be recognized and appreciated.
Although America is a blend of diverse cultures, they have more in common that unites them than can ever divide them. The eagerness to adapt and assimilate to become Americans by early immigrants left an indelible imprint on the America they helped to shape the identity of the Americans over the years and this tradition still continues today among the newer immigrants into the country. So this day also celebrates the unity among the Americans despite all of their differences be it racial or religious but it celebrates the American identity of everyone.
This day also aims to educate people about the importance of immigrants it makes people realize that immigrants are very important for the nation as they will further the growth of the country and will play an important role in contributing to the country. So it gives a message to all Americans to welcome the immigrants and make them feel American instead of discriminating against them on the basis of races, cultures, languages or beliefs.
National Immigrants Day Celebrations:
If you are a natural-born U.S. citizen, your ancestors paved the way for your own U.S. citizenship status that began the day you were born. Today is a good day to begin researching your family’s immigration path to the United States. Online ancestry websites make tracing your family origins relatively easy, so do try it to know about your origins and if you know already then look for your friends, etc.
Ellis Island served as the primary point of entry for immigration for more than 60 years. The immigration station has long been closed but remains a fascinating historical site and national monument in New York Harbor worthy of a visit. So do pay a visit to it to pay tribute to this very important part of American history. And if your ancestors came through here then it will be even more special for you.
Celebrate this day with immigrants that you know and make them feel special and part of the American identity! There are many neighborhoods in the country as well which are filled with specific people groups so use this opportunity to get involved with them and enjoy some happy moments with them and this will also help you in learning many things about world’s culture and people groups.
Most Searched FAQs on National Immigrants Day:
1. When is National Immigrants Day celebrated?
National Immigrants Day is annually celebrated on October 28th in US.
2. How many immigrants can come to US every year?
The INA allows the United States to grant up to 675,000 permanent immigrant visas each year across various visa categories. On top of those 675,000 visas, the INA sets no limit on the annual admission of U.S. citizens’ spouses, parents, and children under the age of 21.
3. Which immigrant group is the largest in the US?
As of now, Mexican-Americans are classified as the largest immigrant group in the US.