The United States is a nation built by immigrants, so why is the topic so controversial? In fact, it has a long history of controversy and is still one of the hottest topics in the country today. The Hot Topics: Immigration LibGuide traces the history of immigration in the United States, where public sentiment has ranged from welcoming to hostile over the years. It looks into the issues that still divide us on this topic by gathering together relevant resources of all kinds.
The Home page uses graphs to illustrate, in a nutshell, the growth of immigration: The Immigration Waves, The Immigration Population Over Time, and Immigration Broken Down by State. Click on any of these graphs to go to the source for more context and details. In fact, this is true of all images in this LibGuide. The top box on the second page, Introduction to U.S. Immigration, focuses on background information on the topic of U.S. Immigration from various online reference books in our collection. The slide show below illustrates the changing patterns of immigration and population growth in the U.S. over time through colorful maps and graphs. Again, click on any of these images for more details. In the first slide, a map traces two centuries of U.S. immigration. The next two slides look at data for new immigrants to the U.S. during more recent years. The fourth slide illustrates the history of immigration state by state, starting with 1850. Click on the 1850 map to move through the rest of the timeline to 2013. The next slide looks at unauthorized immigration, and the final slide displays age pyramids for both the foreign born and U.S. born population. Much more data is available by clicking on these pyramids.
The next three pages link to Books and eBooks, Journal Articles, and Streaming Videos in the library databases, as well as relevant freely available videos that are focused on immigration issues. A page of credible Websites follows. While on that page, be sure to click on the Refugee Population by Country graphic in the side column to see data from 1960-2020 from the Migration Policy Institute. Finally, the Citations page, which is a part of nearly all LibGuides, provides students with the tools to properly reference all these sources and any others they may find.
“Hot Topics: Immigration” is one of four in a series of “Hot Topics” LibGuides; the others are Abortion, Climate Change, and Gender. They can all be located by clicking on LibGuides under “Find” on the library homepage.
Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than Books, V. 25 No. 1, Winter 2021.