Welcome! The purpose of this guide is to explore the history of U.S. immigration policy and social attitudes towards immigrants and migrants in the United States. It also lists resources that may be helpful to immigrant and migrant students and their families.
Is the U.S. a "Nation of Immigrants"?
"‘Nation of immigrants’ is generally used to counter xenophobic fears. But the ideology behind the phrase also works to erase the scourge of settler colonialism and the lives of Indigenous peoples." — Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Not a Nation of Immigrants
Some variation of the phrase “the United States is a nation of immigrants” is a common refrain in political thought. However, as Dunbar-Ortiz and other point out, this sentiment whitewashes the dark history of American settler colonialism, the forced migration of Africans during the slave trade, the role of war in U.S. territorial expansion, and the many migrants who have come to America as refugees and asylum seekers.