Immigration Worksheets

What is Immigration?

Immigration is the process in which a person moves to a foreign country of which they are not natives or have citizenship. They move to permanently settle in that country or as naturalized citizens. The people that move to new countries in search of citizenship are called immigrants, and the process is known as immigration. The immigration process is critical for a country as the people who enter the borders as immigrants bring a broader perspective and new skills with them. This even aids the tax revenues for a nation. These immigrants work hard and contribute to the betterment of the country they have moved to. There are four types of immigrants in a country, and these are citizens, residents, non-immigrants, and undocumented.

Gold Rush

Sutter's Mill located in California was the location gold was discovered. This discovery led to a powerful stampede of people looking for gold! Close to 85,000 men, including 23,000 immigrants, sped to California’s gold fields. Gold rush fever swept the area and in 1949, the "fever" spiked. As a result, the term 49ers was established.


Discrimination was prevalent among many immigrants. Perhaps the most vicious of discrimination occurred toward African Americans and the Chinese. The Chinese population was targeted due to their strong work ethics and thrifty abilities. Many American laborers feared jobs were in jeopardy. Many discriminatory cartoons were created highlighting the difference in language, culture, religions, and style of dress.


In the United States a census is collected to gather data about the population of the country. This is completed every ten years. This census provides only a ballpark figure of the number of people living in the U.S. Illegal immigration exists and this can skew the outcome of the census.

Immigration - History

The first immigrants to this vast land known as the United States of America arrived close to 12,000 years ago from Asia. A land bridge that no longer exists provided the means for the migration. The land bridge connected the land of Siberia and Alaska. Native individuals today are descendants form this population.

Homestead Act 1862

The Homestead Act of 1862 permitted a person to acquire 160 acres of land in exchange for five years of farming. The idea of owing this parcel of land was very attractive to many Europeans, especially those with an agricultural background. Many people moved westward to claim this land.


Toward the late 1800’s many immigrants arrived in Minnesota from Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. This new influx of immigrants arrived and settled in as farmers, despite the harsh natural elements. One young Norwegian immigrant by the name of Andreas Ueland wrote of his experiences in a book called As a Newcomer.

Potato Famine

More Irish immigrants arrived in America between 1815-1860 than any other European culture. Protestant Great Britain ruled over Ireland at the time. Many Protestant landlords treated their Roman Catholic tenants poorly. Sometimes wages would be withheld, other times the tenants would simply be evicted. Much discourse existed between these two groups. It was this unfair and often harsh treatment that caused the immigration of thousands of Irish to America.

Statue of Liberty

The first sight often viewed by the immigrants arriving in New York Harbor was the Statue of Liberty. The statue, created by Auguste Bartholdi, was a gift from France to the United States in 1884. Still today, the statue remains a symbol of freedom and prospect. Many pictures depict immigrants pointing and gaping as they approach their new home.

Ellis Island

More than 12 million immigrants arrived in America and were “processed” into the country through Ellis Island. As many as 5,000 immigrants per day may have landed on the island, located off the tip of Manhattan Island. Today, historians think as many as 40% of Americans can trace their roots back to a family member who arrived and passed through Ellis Island. Many immigrants were shuffled from line to line, getting examined along the way for various things such as illness and paperwork.