“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
These famous words come from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus, which she wrote to raise money for the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now stands. Since October 28, 1886, Lady Liberty has greeted over twelve million immigrants and has symbolically welcomed countless more.
Throughout our history, many immigrants came to our great nation as young children. The Coming to America book series chronicles the stories of fictional ten-year-old children in realistic historical settings.
The author hopes his books will remind Americans that almost all of us can trace our family line back to a time when at least one of our ancestors came to this great land with the promise of hope. Few immigrants came with wealth and privilege; most came with empty pockets and big dreams. America was, and is, a land of great opportunity.
We are a nation of immigrants. We have come to these United States from all over the globe. We have brought the best of ideas and traditions with us. Our rich diversity has made us stronger and together we have built the greatest country on earth.
We need to remember why our families made the sacrifices they did to come here, and we need to have empathy and understanding for those who continue to dream of nothing more than coming here to build a better life for their children.
“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.” ―George Washington
“Remember, remember always, that all of us… are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.” -John F. Kennedy
“The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources―because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.” ―Lyndon B. Johnson
“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.” ―Barack Obama