Tag Archives: immigration

An Iowa Governor Worth Remembing: Robert E. Ray, 1928-2018

9 Jul

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

Image result for Robert Ray Tai Dam

My friend Jim Schaap has posted a fine remembrance of former Governor Ray. It is worth your read, here.

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Yes, your ancestors probably did come here legally — because ‘illegal’ immigration is less than a century old in the U.S.

21 Jun

Yes, your ancestors probably did come here legally — because 'illegal' immigration is less than a century old

When Nathalie Gumpertz arrived in New York in 1858, she was 22, single and ready to build a life in her new country. Without thinking twice about her legal status, she got off the boat, made her way to the Lower East Side (then known as Klein Deutschland, or “Little Germany,” due to the preponderance of German immigrants in the neighborhood) and eventually married, had four kids and settled at 97 Orchard St., the historic tenement house that is now the heart of the Tenement Museum, where I serve as president.

More than six decades later, in 1925, Rosaria Baldizzi arrived in New York to join her husband Adolfo at the same building, 97 Orchard. Baldizzi had a cloud hanging over her head that would remain there for the next two decades, one that Gumpertz never worried about: She had not entered the U.S. legally, and therefore had to worry about possible deportation.

What happened to make these two women’s experiences so different? In the years between their arrivals, “illegal” immigration was invented.

So begins Kevin Jennings’ brief history in the Los Angeles Times of U.S. immigration law. You may read the rest of his piece here.

Holland America & Rotterdam: From Rotterdam, Many Left for a New Life

25 Apr

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands — They came from Russia, Poland, Germany and Ukraine, bearing tickets bought in the field offices of the Holland America Line passenger ships. They were fleeing the pogroms, escaping tyrants, running from war or just seeking a better life. About two million people made their way to Rotterdam harbor during the peak years from 1880 to 1920 to begin a trans-Atlantic journey that would often end at Ellis Island.

The stories of these migrants inspired the former Rijksmuseum director, Wim Pijbes, and the group he leads, Stichting Droom en Daad (Foundation Dream and Do), to transform a crumbling warehouse on the Rotterdam piers into a kind of Dutch sister-site to Ellis Island. The nonprofit organization he directs, founded in 2016 to support arts in Rotterdam, acquired a city permit in March to turn the old Holland America Line warehouse into an institution that will commemorate those journeys.

So begins Nina Siegal’s New York Times story on the Holland America Line site in Rotterdam. You may read the rest of the post here.

The Western origins of the sanctuary movement

14 Mar

Churches in the West are once again at the forefront of a grassroots effort to save immigrants from deportation. Read Sarah Troy’s cogent report on the history and current directions of the reawakened Sanctuary movement here at High Country News: The Western origins of the sanctuary movement — High Country News

An Immigrant Named Trump

1 Oct

A teen-ager from Germany arrived in New York in 1885 with high aspirations. His descendant is now vying for the Presidency. Historian Ted Widmer offers a fascinating account of the first American Trump(f) at the New Yorker: An Immigrant Named Trump – The New Yorker

Before Ellis Island Existed, Castle Garden Welcomed Houdini and Typhoid Mary

11 Apr

The immigration records from 1885 that shows, on line 33,”Friedr. Trumpf” – grandfather to Donald. (Photo: US Government/Public Domain)

How a one-time beer garden became an immigration hub.

Source: Before Ellis Island Existed, Castle Garden Welcomed Houdini and Typhoid Mary | Atlas Obscura

The Making of Asian America

15 Oct

In August, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush tried to deflect controversy over his criticism of so-called “anchor babies” by clarifying that he was “talking more about Asian people” and not about Hispanics. This comment stoked yet more criticism, but there is a tiny grain of truth in Bush’s comments: Asians are on track to become the fastest-growing U.S. population in the next half-century.

So notes Angela Chen at JSTOR Daily. You can read the rest of her piece, with links, here: The Making of Asian America | JSTOR Daily

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