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Introduction Throughout history, countless millions of people left their native land and moved to a strange country where no one knows what kind of faith lies ahead for them. The heaviest immigration worldwide took place from the early 1800’s to the Great Depression. Most of the immigrants came from Europe and half of them immigrated to the United States. Whatever prompted the immigrants, they were brave, bold, and courageous men and women. They left familiar communities for a new land and a new people. The Four Waves of Immigrants The United States has always been a nation of immigrants. English, Dutch, and French men and women settled it in its earliest days, the first decade of the seventeenth century. Groups from other nations followed soon. Through the years, the people and their descendants learned to live and work together, and to take pride in being Americans1. This spirit of cooperation and pride helped make the United States the huge, powerful, and wealthy nation it is today. It also helped the country and its people survive many challenges and hardships – including dangers in the wilderness, wars, social turmoil, and economic depression. The economic conditions in the United States and abroad and with the U.S. immigration policy have caused the flow of immigrant to fluctuate. The tally of annual arrivals created peaks and troughs with these reasons. The four major peaks were referred to as the four waves of immigration2. These major periods of immigration shows how our nation fosters people from every corners of the world. It also exhibits the struggle the immigrants have to face just to be part of this great nation. The first wave of immigrants is mostly early colonists that came from England. Many other.

. .. 5. “Waves of Immigrant.” World Book 2007. CD-ROM. World Book Inc. 6. “America” Feb. 27, 2009 v180 i6 p18. Online article. Infotrac College Edition. 7. Campbell R. McConnell and Stanley R. Brue. Macroeconomics 14th edition. “Unemployment” pages 152-153. 8. “The Research Impact of Immigration”. Gerald W. Bracey. Phi Delta Kappan, Jan. 2009 v80 i5 p407. Summary Analysis by Lucinda Vargas and Beverly Fox Kellam of The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. Online article. Infotrac College Edition. 9. Bronwyn Lance. May 2008. “The Economic Impact of Immigrants”. Infotrac College Edition. 10. A Critical Analysis of The Economic Impacts of Immigration. July 1, 2009. Norman Matloff of University of California at Davis. 11. The Use of SSI and Other Welfare Programs by Immigrants. Michael Fix, Jeffrey S. Passel, and Wendy Zimmermann. The Urban Institute Washington, D.C.