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Vocapedia > Politics, Economy > USA > Immigration > Hyphen nation, Melting pot, Citizenship




Naturalization Ceremony, October 2017.


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office

in Penn Center, Monroeville, Pa.


Lynn Johnson


Migration Stories From the Stoops of Pittsburgh

By Jonathan Blaustein        NPR        Jan. 22, 2018



















Immigrants from more than 30 countries

recently became American citizens

at the local headquarters

for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

in Irving, Tex.


Todd Heisler/The New York Times


What Does It Mean to Be American?

By DAMIEN CAVE        NYT        JUNE 20, 2014


















Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of New York around 1900.


Library of Congress


How Italians Became ‘White’

By Brent Staples Mr. Staples is a member of the editorial board.


Oct. 12, 2019














































U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services    USCIS


government agency that oversees

lawful immigration to the United States.





































apply for citizenship






citizen application






citizenship applications






state citizenship






pathway / path to citizenship













birthright citizenship







 Green card holders

seeking to become U.S. Citizens


















be sworn in as an American > naturalization document
















America / USA > the land of opportunity





America / USA > Ellis Island





America / USA > Golden Door










American > melting pot







America / USA > salad bowl





America / USA > American Dream






















being American






melting pot








salad bowl






Americans Of MENA descent















































the hyphenated        USA










hyphenated American > German-Americans


WW1 > After President Woodrow Wilson

took the country into war he said,

"Any man who carries a hyphen about with him,

carries a dagger that he is ready

to plunge into the vitals of this Republic

when he gets ready."













storywall/hyphen-nation - Feb. 16, 2016








hyphenated-American dream










































100000005170232/trumps-cuba-policy-divides-cuban-americans.html - June 17, 2017








































Latinos / Hispanics

Cuban-Americans And The Elusive 'American Dream'        22 January 2014










Latinos / Hispanics > Mainland Puerto Ricans        22 January 2014




















































Puerto Ricans











Don’t Shut the Golden Door


June 19, 2012

The New York Times




IMMIGRATION is in the headlines again, with President Obama’s decision last week to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, and the Supreme Court’s approaching decision on the constitutionality of Arizona’s crackdown on undocumented migrants.

But too much of the public debate has focused on the legality of immigration without considering a more fundamental question: What effects has mass immigration had on American society?

As a result of the 1965 immigration act, which opened the door widely to non-European immigrants, 40 million foreign-born immigrants now live in the United States. They make up 13 percent of the population, the largest such proportion since the 1920s. More than half of these migrants are from Latin America and the Caribbean, although a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found that Asians overtook Hispanics in 2009 as the fastest-growing group of immigrants.

For the May issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, we commissioned some of the most meticulous research done to date about the effects of immigration on a cross section of American communities — urban, suburban and rural.

The scholars who participated were in remarkable agreement: while new immigrants are poorer than the general population and face considerable hardship, there is no evidence that they have reshaped the social fabric in harmful ways.

America is neither less safe because of immigration nor is it worse off economically. In fact, in the regions where immigrants have settled in the past two decades, crime has gone down, cities have grown, poor urban neighborhoods have been rebuilt, and small towns that were once on life support are springing back.

Scholars can’t say for sure that immigration caused these positive developments, but we know enough to debunk the notion that immigrants worsen social ills.

For example, in rural counties that experienced an influx of immigrants in the 1980s and ’90s, crime rates dropped by more than they did in rural counties that did not see high immigrant growth. Higher immigration was associated with reductions in homicide rates for white, black and Latino victims. In both Hazleton, Pa., which has a recent history of hostility toward immigration, and St. James, Minn., a much more welcoming community, migrants have also bolstered dwindling populations and helped to reverse economic decline.

In large gateway cities, immigration has been associated not only with a decrease in crime but also with economic revitalization and reductions in concentrated poverty. Data from the 2005 American Community Survey showed, for example, that the income of blacks in the New York City borough of Queens surpassed that of whites for the first time, a development driven largely by immigration from the West Indies.

Scholars found that immigrant youths in Los Angeles were involved in less crime and violence than their native-born peers in similar economic circumstances. Research also has shown that an increase in immigration in cities like San Antonio and Miami did not produce an increase in the homicide rate. Furthermore, social scientists found that people in immigrant communities in New York were less cynical about the law than were people in less diverse communities; they were also more likely to indicate that they would cooperate with the police.

If migration has had such beneficial effects, why, then, has there been such a persistent backlash?

Part of the answer surely lies in the social changes — language, political attitudes, religious mores — that immigrants bring, in addition to the effects of the recession. The leveling-off of migration, especially from Mexico, may bring a sense of relief to opponents of these social changes, but if the new research is any guide, the consequences of the slowdown may be the opposite of what the critics intend.

Comprehensive immigration reform — last attempted during the second term of President George W. Bush — should be a priority for whoever wins in November. Mr. Obama’s decision to exempt undocumented children who were brought to the United States by their parents from harsh deportation rules is an overdue, but welcome, first step.

Establishing a clear path to citizenship for undocumented adults, creating a more permissive guest-worker program, reducing unwarranted police stops of immigrants and preserving families rather than separating them through deportation are controversial ideas, but they deserve a hearing.


John M. MacDonald

is an associate professor of criminology

at the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert J. Sampson

is a professor of the social sciences at Harvard.

Don’t Shut the Golden Door,






When the Uprooted

Put Down Roots


October 9, 2011

The New York Times



SAN DIEGO — At the Saturday farmer’s market in City Heights, a major portal for refugees, Khadija Musame, a Somali, arranges her freshly picked pumpkin leaves and lablab beans amid a United Nations of produce, including water spinach grown by a Cambodian refugee and amaranth, a grain harvested by Sarah Salie, who fled rebels in Liberia. Eaten with a touch of lemon by Africans, and coveted by Southeast Asians for soups, this crop is always a sell-out.

Among the regular customers at the New Roots farm stand are Congolese women in flowing dresses, Somali Muslims in headscarves, Latino men wearing broad-brimmed hats and Burundian mothers in brightly patterned textiles who walk home balancing boxes of produce on their heads.

New Roots, with 85 growers from 12 countries, is one of more than 50 community farms dedicated to refugee agriculture, an entrepreneurial movement spreading across the country. American agriculture has historically been forged by newcomers, like the Scandinavians who helped settle the Great Plains; today’s growers are more likely to be rural subsistence farmers from Africa and Asia, resettled in and around cities from New York, Burlington, Vt., and Lowell, Mass., to Minneapolis, Phoenix and San Diego.

With language and cultural hurdles, and the need to gain access to land, financing and marketing, farm ownership for refugees can be very difficult. Programs like New Roots, which provide training in soil, irrigation techniques and climate, “help refugees make the leap from community gardens to independent farms,” said Hugh Joseph, an assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts, which advises 28 “incubator” farms representing hundreds of small-scale producers.

Cameroonian peanut plants are growing at Drew Gardens in the Bronx, chronicled on the Facebook page of Angela Nogue, a refugee farmer. Near Phoenix, a successful goat meat farm and store was begun by Ibrahim Sawara Dahab, an ethnic Sudanese from Somalia. “In America, you need experience, and my experience was goats,” he said.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement in Washington formed a sustainable farming program in 1998, financing 14 refugee farms and gardens, including one in Boise, Idaho, where sub-Saharan African farmers have gradually learned to cope with unpredictable frosts.

Larry Laverentz, the program manager for refugee agriculture with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, said inspiration came from the Hmong, Mien and Lao refugee farmers of Fresno County, Calif., who settled in the late 1970s and now have 1,300 growers specializing in Asian crops.

These small plots of land can become significant sources of income for refugees, with most farmers able to earn from $5,000 to more than $50,000 annually, as the Liberian refugees James and Jawn Golo do on their 20-acre organic farm outside Phoenix, including sales to five farmers’ markets, restaurants and chefs.

In Burlington, a four-acre farm started by Bhutanese-Nepali, Somali Bantu and Congolese farmers is still reeling from the flooding of the Winooski River after Hurricane Irene, which ruined crops at the height of the season and caused an estimated $15,000 in losses.

“This is a significant supplement to our diet, and budgets are geared to it,” said Yacouba Jacob Bogre, 38, executive director of the Association of Africans Living in Vermont and a lawyer from Burkina Faso. “Emotionally, we lost a lot, along with fresh vegetables for our households.”

New Roots in City Heights, which Michelle Obama visited last spring, is a model for today’s micro-enterprise. (It is also a culinary education, where a Zimbabwean grower can discover bok choy.) It was started at the request of his Somali Bantu community, said Bilali Muya, the effervescent trainer-in-chief. “There was this kind of depression,” he said. “Everyone was dreaming to come to the U.S.A., but they were not happy. The people were put in apartments, missing activity, community. They were bored.“

They were also homesick for traditional food, grown by hand. In City Heights, where half the residents live at or below the federal poverty line, the three-year-old farmer’s market was the city’s first in a low-income neighborhood, a collaboration between the nonprofit International Rescue Committee and the San Diego County Farm Bureau.

One can hear 15 different languages there, amid the neat rows of kale, rape and banana plants — but body language is the lingua franca.

“If I see a weed, I pull it, shaking my head,” said Mrs. Musame, the Somali farmer. “We understand each other.”

The hub of refugee life, City Heights was largely home to African-Americans and Mexican immigrants until the fall of Saigon in 1975, when thousands of Southeast Asian refugees arrived to a massive tent city at nearby Camp Pendleton.

From 1980 through 1990, the population almost doubled with immigrants and refugees (most recently from Iraq). The changing demographics of the neighborhood resemble an electrocardiogram of international conflict.

But the exquisite fruits and vegetables for sale, lovingly grown, belie the life experiences of the growers. Mrs. Salie, the Liberian, was raped by rebels and hid for two years in the bush after reporting the crime, she said. Mrs. Musame, a Somali Bantu, came to San Diego as a widow after her husband and three of her sons were gunned down.

And Mr. Muya said Somalis had taken his father, who dug irrigation trenches for a local banana farm, and tortured him, his screams echoing through the village. His grandfather went to help and was beaten with the butt of a rifle. Many hours later, Mr. Muya said, the villagers were told: “Come pick up your dogs.”

“As a Somali Bantu, you don’t go to sleep really deep,” Mr. Muya continued. “You sleep awake.”

In addition to accepting food stamps, the market offers $20 a month to low-income shoppers to buy more produce (financing comes from Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit based in Connecticut, and a $250,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

“Especially in tough times, farmers are becoming pharmacists — providing healthy fresh local fruits and vegetables to vulnerable families,” said Gus Schumacher, a former under secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture and now an executive vice president of Wholesome Wave.

Their produce is sold to restaurateurs like George and Samia Salameh, who buy the farm’s tomatoes and mint. Mr. Salameh, a former airline pilot, came to the United States from Lebanon 37 years ago. “This product is absolutely fitting for me,” he said.

The country’s pioneering refugee farm program, in Lowell, Mass., was founded by Tufts University and continues to thrive.

Visoth Kim, a Khmer refugee from Cambodia, now 63, farms land in Dracut, Mass., owned by the widow of John Ogonowski, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 that crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Mr. Ogonowski, whose ancestors were Polish immigrants, made land available to Hmong and Cambodian refugees, teaching them modern irrigation techniques in exchange for fresh vegetables.

Mr. Kim, who witnessed mass starvation in Cambodia, losing a brother, refers to his two-acre plot as “my plenty.” His fellow farmer Sinikiwe Makarutsa grew up in Zimbabwe and now grows maize on land rented from a local church. She made enough money to buy a tractor and rototiller.

Ms. Makarutsa was inspired to farm, she said, after tasting supermarket tomatoes. She uses the Zimbabwean phrase “Pamuzinda” to describe her seven-acre plot.

Roughly translated, she said, “It means ‘where you belong.’ ”

    When the Uprooted Put Down Roots, NYT, 9.10.2011,






Oscar Handlin,

Historian Who Chronicled

U.S. Immigration,

Dies at 95


September 23, 2011

The New York Times



Oscar Handlin, a prolific, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian whose best-known book altered public perceptions about the role of immigration in the arc of American history, died on Tuesday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 95.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Lilian.

Dr. Handlin wrote many scholarly volumes on immigration, race and ethnic identity during his nearly half century as a history professor at Harvard. His work as a chronicler of the migrations of Puerto Ricans and African-Americans to the cities attracted a generation of historians and sociologists to urban studies during the 1950s, when the field was considered marginal.

But his best-known work, “The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations That Made the American People,” which won the 1952 Pulitzer for history, was aimed at an audience of general readers in making his case that immigration — more than the frontier experience, or any other episode in its past — was the continuing, defining event of American history. Dispensing with footnotes and writing in a lyrical style, Dr. Handlin emphasized the common threads in the experiences of the 30 million immigrants who poured into American cities between 1820 and the turn of the century. Regardless of nationality, religion, race or ethnicity, he wrote, the common experience was wrenching hardship, alienation and a gradual Americanization that changed America as much as it changed the newcomers.

The book used a form of historical scholarship considered unorthodox at the time, employing newspaper accounts, personal letters and diaries as well as archives. The New York Times described it as “history with a difference — the difference being its concern with hearts and souls.”

Dr. Handlin, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia, was among the first Jewish scholars appointed to a full professorship at Harvard, where he taught from 1939 until 1984. His family’s immigrant background, and the influence of a mentor, the historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr., who pioneered the field of immigration studies at Harvard, led him to the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation, and his first book, “Boston’s Immigrants: 1790-1880.”

Published in 1941, it was considered innovative for its use of census data, the archives of German and Irish immigrant newspapers and sociological concepts in tracing how immigrants, most of them coming from rural communities steeped in ancient traditions, adjusted to life without the support of those traditions in an American city where they were scorned.

“All his work tried to capture the voice and experience of people undergoing this uprooting process, this process of immigration,” said David J. Rothman, a history professor at Columbia University and a former student of Dr. Handlin’s. “He was alert to the fact that every group was different. But this process, regardless of whether you were Irish or Jewish, was something shared.”

In the often-quoted opening line of the introduction to “Uprooted,” Dr. Handlin wrote: “Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America. Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history.”

Oscar Handlin was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 29, 1915, the oldest of four children of Joseph and Ida Handlin. His father owned a grocery store. Oscar Handlin told interviewers that he decided to become a historian when he was 8, and began reading avidly, even while delivering groceries to his father’s customers.

He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1934, at 19, and received a master’s degree in history from Harvard the next year. He taught at Brooklyn College from 1936 until 1938 while working toward his doctorate, which he received from Harvard in 1940.

His first wife, Mary Flug Handlin, a historian, died in 1976 after 40 years of marriage. He was married again, in 1977, to Lilian Bombach Handlin. Dr. Handlin is also survived by three children from his first marriage, David, Joanna Smith, and Ruth Manley; four grandchildren; a great grandchild and a brother, Nathan.

In 1965, Dr. Handlin lent his weight as the nation’s most eminent immigration scholar to the effort to pass legislation abolishing an immigration quota system, in place since the 1920s, which discriminated against many groups, including Asians. He testified before Congress, and was said to have played an important behind-the-scenes role. The legislation was adopted.

His views on immigration became less popular in the late 1960s and ’70s, when a younger generation of scholars began to examine historic events through the prisms of race, class and gender. He clashed with fellow scholars who were, to him, distorting American history by viewing it through the politics of the Vietnam-era culture war. His support for the war frequently placed him at odds with students and fellow members of the faculty.

But Dr. Handlin changed the way Americans view American history, said James Grossman, a historian and executive director of the American Historical Association. “He reoriented the whole picture of the American story,” he said, “from the view that America was built on the spirit of the Wild West, to the idea that we are a nation of immigrants.”

Oscar Handlin, Historian Who Chronicled U.S. Immigration, Dies at 95,






State Lawmakers Outline Plans

to End Birthright Citizenship,

Drawing Outcry


January 5, 2011

The New York Times



WASHINGTON — Conservative legislators from five states opened a national campaign on Wednesday to end the automatic granting of American citizenship to children born in the United States of illegal immigrants.

At a news conference here timed to coincide with the start of a new Congress, Republican state lawmakers introduced two model measures curtailing citizenship rights for children of illegal immigrants. The legislators said the measures would be introduced in at least 14 states.

They acknowledged that the state bills were not likely to have a practical effect anytime soon, since they will quickly be challenged as unconstitutional. But the legislators — from Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina — said they chose the first day of a new Republican-controlled House of Representatives to start an effort that they hope will end with a Supreme Court decision on birthright citizenship, and spur legislative action in Washington.

In a separate effort, Representative Steve King of Iowa, a Republican who will be chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, said Wednesday that as soon as the new House members were sworn in, he would introduce a bill to eliminate birthright citizenship for children when both parents were illegal immigrants.

But it was the state lawmakers’ initiative that moved the highly emotional issue of birthright citizenship, which had long been marginal in the immigration debate, to the front of the Republicans’ immigration agenda in the 112th Congress.

“We are here to send a very public message to Congress,” said Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican state representative from Pennsylvania. “We want to bring an end to the illegal alien invasion that is having such a negative impact on our states.”

The states’ campaign brought an outcry from immigrant, Latino and African-American civil rights organizations. Several of them announced they had formed a coalition to bring court challenges to any birthright citizenship laws that passed state legislatures.

“For the first time since the end of the Civil War, these legislators want to pass state laws that would create two tiers of citizens, a modern-day caste system,” said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights, which includes many African-American groups.

His group is in the new coalition, along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Council of La Raza, among others.

The lawmakers were challenged even before they finished speaking. The news conference, held at the National Press Club, was interrupted four times by protesters who stood one by one to brandish posters and accuse the lawmakers of intolerance and racism. One protester cited welcoming words for immigrants inscribed at the site of the Statue of Liberty.

A brief scuffle erupted when a man who was a supporter of the state initiatives seized one protester by the arm and tried to march him out of the room. Also present were supporters of the lawmakers, who clapped and cheered.

One model measure the lawmakers presented was a bill creating a new definition of state citizenship, in addition to national citizenship, which would exclude babies born in the state with two illegal immigrant parents.

The second measure was a compact between states, in which they would agree to issue distinctive birth certificates to babies whose parents could not show legal immigration status.

The state bills would also deny citizenship to newborn children of hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants who live in the United States on temporary visas.

The right to United States citizenship for everyone born on American soil is described in the 14th Amendment. The state legislators argued that one phrase in the amendment — which guarantees citizenship to everyone born or naturalized in this country “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” — signals that it was not intended to apply to children of immigrants who do not have lawful status.

The 14th Amendment was adopted in the wake of the Civil War to guarantee citizenship to the American-born children of freed slaves. In the debate on Wednesday, there were frequent references to the Civil War.

Daniel B. Verdin, a senior Republican state senator from South Carolina, called illegal immigration “a malady of epic proportions,” which he said compared with “the malady of slavery.”

The state lawmakers said illegal immigrants had a dire effect on state budgets. Mr. Metcalfe said that Pennsylvania was facing “nothing less than an invasion,” and that Congress had a constitutional responsibility to protect states from foreign invasion.

Kris Kobach, a constitutional lawyer who was recently elected secretary of state of Kansas, said the proposed laws were carefully written to avoid usurping federal authority, but to “revive the concept of state citizenship.”

But opponents of the proposals said that determining American citizenship was clearly a federal matter in which states had no legal role.

“We believe these laws cannot survive constitutional scrutiny,” said Lucas Guttentag, director of the immigrants’ rights project of the American Civil Liberties Union, another group in the new coalition.

Mr. King, the Iowa congressman, said the birthright citizenship bill he would introduce might not be his first priority for passage. He said he would focus first on legislation to crack down on employers who hire unauthorized immigrant workers.

Several House lawmakers said Mr. King’s citizenship bill could pass, although it was likely to be defeated in the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority.

“I would have said a year ago that Republicans would not embrace anything so drastic,” said Representative Charlie Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat who is chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “But anything is possible now.”

Some Latino Republicans expressed dismay that the party was making birthright citizenship a central element of its immigration policy.

“Rather than attacking babies born in the United States and the Constitution, we demand they target our suffering economy,” said Deedee Garcia Blase, a spokeswoman for Somos Republicans, a Texas-based organization of Latino Republicans.

State Lawmakers Outline Plans to End Birthright Citizenship, Drawing Outcry,










Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia


immigration > USA



immigration > UK



slavery, eugenics,

race relations, racism, civil rights,




language > words > America / USA > iconic words

American dream, Confederacy, Cowboy, Dixie...






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Documentaries > USA > Immigration






Related > Anglonautes > History


USA > 19th, 20th century > immigration > Ellis Island