Friday, 24 October 2014

Immigration to the USA: Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.


In the late 19th century, people from many parts of the world immigrated to the United States for different reasons: famine, lack of jobs, rising taxes, or because they were politically or religiously persecuted. In fact, U.S.A. was perceived as the land of freedom and economic opportunity. 

At the beginning, the federal government left immigration policy to individual states but then, it decided to regulate the increasing influx of immigrants. In 1890, the president Benjamin Harrison decided that Ellis Island, in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty, would be a federal immigration station. It was operational from 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million immigrants entered the United States through “the golden door”.

In 1954 it was abandoned and it began to decay rapidly. In 1965 President Johnson declared Ellis Island part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument but only in the 1970s the Congress allocated a sum to repair it. In 1976 Ellis Island was reopened to the public.

Today you can take a ferryboat from Liberty Island and go on a one-hour guided tour retracing the steps of the immigrants.


                Surf my interactive Thinglink image and learn more. 

                                http://www.thinglink.com/scene/581896999171784706

Now surf the following sites to investigate 
some aspects related to immigration.

Immigration to the USA

Immigration to the USA, 1851-1900

U.S. immigration before 1965
http://www.history.com/topics/u-s-immigration-before-1965



USA immigration problems
https://www.numbersusa.com/problems

The White House website about immigration (watch the video!)
http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration


STUDENTS' WRITING TASK

You are an immigrant at the beginning of the 20th century. Tell me why you are going to the USA, where you are from, which are your expectations. Describe your journey and what you felt when you first saw the "golden door" and "Lady Liberty".


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