A Nation of Immigrants

by

Immigration makes America what it is and is formative for what it will become. America was settled by three different models of immigration, all of which persist to the present. The Virginia Colony largely equated immigration with the arrival of laborers, who had few rights. Massachusetts welcomed those who shared the religious views of the founders but excluded those whose beliefs challenged the prevailing orthodoxy. Pennsylvania valued pluralism, becoming the most diverse colony in religion, language, and culture. This book traces the evolution of these three models of immigration as they explain the historical roots of current policy debates and options. Arguing that the Pennsylvania model has best served the country, the final chapter makes recommendations for future immigration reform. Given the highly controversial nature of immigration in the United States, this book provides thoughtful analysis, valuable to both academic and policy audiences.
  • Cambridge University Press; November 2010
  • ISBN 9780511855566
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: A Nation of Immigrants
  • Author: Susan F. Martin
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

“In this important and compelling study, Susan Martin provides a fresh historical perspective for understanding immigration and its governance in the United States. A Nation of Immigrants demonstrates the persistence of three distinctive models of immigration dating back to the colonial era, revealing the full range of constructive and detrimental legacies that these traditions have yielded over time. In contrast to most previous works, this book also teaches us a great deal about the significant interplay between the immigration policies adopted by officials and the grassroots experiences of immigrants and refugees. In an impressive merging of careful scholarship and rich personal experience in the policy process, Martin gives new meaning to our immigrant past and offers thoughtful recommendations for our way forward on this irrepressibly contentious issue.”
—Daniel J. Tichenor, University of Oregon