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synthesis regarding your documents on immigration in the US


    Documents for      

IMMIGRATION in the US, a subject that could be encapsulated in   two words :

“push and pull


INVESTIGATION:  10-year plan

=> lots of young people aged 18 consider emigrating to the USA to get better job opportunities

=> the American Dream is still alive = the belief in better wages/ living standards/ a vast territory/ a language spoken worldwide


INVESTIGATION: origins of our ancestors: quite a number come from elsewhere, and we realise that some members of our families or some acquaintances have started anew in the US.

=> the American Dream is still alive, they left: job opportunities? Hope to get a better way of life? The American lifestyle attracted them?


Time magazine cover: The new face of America

-  a melting pot of people.

  • a young country
  • an attractive/dynamic country because immigrants have founded it and shaped it.

They have brought multiculturalism and diversity


=> the American Dream is still alive: the attractiveness remains very strong in spite of the immigration crisis



A nation of nations

The industrial revolution boosts the country

Job opportunities

Free or cheap fertile land

Transportation much faster/ safer/ cheaper thanks to the steamships

waves of immigrants of different origins (the Norwegians, the Irish, the Pogroms / Russian Jews, the Italians, the Asians (end of 19th)

2 coasts available in the east and in the west

Why they came/ WHAT PUSHED THEM OUT? : starvation,  unemployment, persecution, unfertile land, better life

What they search for : FREEDOM to worship and create, Freedom from persecution, war, and poverty

What they found, what PULLED them to the US?  The confidence/ guarantee/ assurance to be free and able to prosper


=> the American Dream was very powerful= there were fortunes to be made, jobs to be taken, business to do



Personal stories « why did they come ? » (Fang Yi Shu and Farah Naficy: B p 35)

2 interviews > 2 stories > 2 immigrants from different part of the world > 2 different experiences, nevertheless some things in common

the hardship => -    homesickness > it's difficult to fit in > the loneliness

+   ambition and  the awareness to make their dreams come true in some ways


=>  the American Dream is still alive

= whether/either for professional reasons or for political reasons, the two immigrants are pleased with their choice and encourage others to do the same


 The  Statue of Liberty (video on Youtube, link available on the blog)

iconic emblem for Liberty worldwide > sends a most powerful message

extremely powerful symbols :

embodies the nation’s values:

a country for immigrants, for anyone in search of freedom regardless of their origins or bank accounts


=> the American Dream is still alive:

a very attractive message and the promise to be welcomed is embodied by the Statue itself and Emma Lazarus’ poem

Freedom, democracy and progress for all



  Webquest   Ellis Island: (on the web, link available on the blog)


One of the gateways to the US. 

It processed 12 million immigrants

Iconic and emblematic place: first time in history that some kind of restrictions were starting to appear in the US

Place of both anxiety and great expectations

Rich immigrants were spared the trouble and the anxiety of the risk of deportation


=> The American Dream  still very much alive HOWEVER this is the beginning of a series of attempt to control immigration from then on (some  acts were issued along the 20th century: immigration has become a key issue with the rise of nativism



the American Dream

It is getting increasingly difficult to immigrate: not easy to get a green card, most become undocumented and put themselves at risk while being far from their loved ones.


=> the American Dream is still alive but people are being warned of the trouble and hardship they may have to face…


The tidal wave:

A wave of … paperless immigrants, mostly Mexicans. Border patrols are overwhelmed


 => the American Dream is still alive: thousands of people keep crossing illegally

ironic metaphor of a new wave of immigrants about to break


The Statue of Liberty


The jobs available for illegal immigrants are menial jobs/manual labour nobody wants to do. Underpaid, exhausting, debasing jobs. The Americans would be in trouble if the illegal immigrants were not there: they are cheap and hard workers… Satirical picture as the very symbol of Liberty has been put back in chains…


=> the myth of the American Dream is debunked= reality is harsh and cruel


Lady Liberty Battle  (audio)


The R.A.I.S.E BILL intends to cut legal immigration in half. The applicants for the Green card will be sorted by discrimination according to their language proficiency and college education.


=> It is getting all the more difficult to live the American Dream as they grant citizenship to only the happy few/the top 1%/the privileged few

=> it is very much against all the founding values of the US embodied by the Statue of Liberty



A history of immigration in the US  (video on Youtube, link available on the blog)


Every American can be traced back to an immigrant. The only “true” Americans are the native Americans. They were almost wiped out when their territory was conquered by  the Europeans after its discovery in 1492 by C. Colombus who found it ridiculously easy to conquer.

The expression “push and pull” comes from this video.


The American dream was born on the day Colombus set foot in America: a territory so vast and rich, there for the taking. A new space for the greedy people of the old world always in search of new opportunities to expand and make fortunes


The Golden Door


A documentary on the reasons why people emigrate and the hardships they face.

Their successes and failures.

A few historians offer some explanations regarding the history of the US and the immigration process


The American Dream is still alive: thousands of illegal immigrants cross the border every day in spite of the risks and the loneliness of the journey, as well as the hard work for months on end to be able to send money back home…









Quotes About Immigration


“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” 
― Franklin D. Roosevelt


“Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt


“Now, where are [Mexican illegal immigrants] fleeing from? Mostly from Central America, where they’re fleeing from the results of our policies.” 
― Noam Chomsky

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