National Immigrants Day

Deed of Gift for the Statue of Liberty: 07/15/1884 Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State

As the United States can be considered ‘a nation of immigrants’, we have many observances which recognize our international heritage. These include National Immigrant Heritage Month, Immigrant Heritage Week, Immigrant Day of Resilience, and Multicultural Diversity day among many others. National Immigrants Day was created by President Reagan in 1987 in honor of the 101st anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. Although not all would endorse the statement, “we are all immigrants”, it’s not completely inaccurate. 14% might seem like a small number, but that represents 44.9 million people, which is how many immigrants lived in the United States in 2019. In simple data visualization terms, “One in seven U.S. residents is an immigrant, while one in eight residents is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent” (American Immigration Council). It is important to remember that many are members of immigrant communities; whether within their families, neighbors, or as parts of other groups. Many U.S.-born people identify with an immigrant background, even though they may be second or third generation Americans. Although they may be citizens by birth and therefore not have gone through the process themselves, many are active in helping their loved ones navigate a pathway to citizenship. In that way, those experiences are not just individual- but communal and inter-generational. 

Looking for Library Resources?


  • The God Who Sees : Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong by Karen Gonzalez
  • Dreams and nightmares : immigration policy, youth, and families by Marjorie S. Zatz and Nancy Rodriguez
  • Women and Migration: Responses in Art and History by Deborah Willis, Ellyn Toscano, and Kalia Brooks Nelson
  • Voices of African Immigrants in Kentucky : Migration, Identity, and Transnationality by Francis Musoni, Iddah Otieno, Angene Wilson, and Jack Wilson
  • Queer and Trans Migrations : Dynamics of Illegalization, Detention, and Deportation by Eithne Luibheid and Karma R. Chavez
  • Migrant Sites: America, Place, and Diaspora Literatures by Dalia Kandiyoti


  • International Migration Review
  • Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies
  • International Migration
  • Journal of American Ethnic History
  • Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health


  • Gale In Context: Global Issues
  • Word Politics and Governments Collection from NewsBank
  • Archive of European Integration
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
  • Sociological Abstracts

Tips for Browsing the Stacks

To explore laws and history, you’ll be looking for subclass JV-  colonization, emigration, immigration, and international migration.

Selections from the Children’s Section

  • Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote : A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • At Ellis Island by Louise Peacock
  • Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  • A Piece of Home by Jeri Hanel Watts
  • Saving Kabul Corner by N. H. Senzai
  • Tell Us We’re Home by Marina Tamar Budhos

Selections from the Social Justice Section

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

In need of some primary sources?

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Passed and waiting to be taken off Ellis Island.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1902 – 1913.

Current Resources on Immigration

Categories: Holidays

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