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Immigrants in the United States: Reference Tools

Coming to America by Neil Diamond

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Basic Reference Tools (Online)

If you don't know where to start, you may want to try one of the following online compilations of reference tools:

Gale Virtual Reference Library ; Includes encyclopedic articles on historical and contemporary Natie American research topics.  Note;  It may be necessary to click on Gale products more than once before they open!

Oxford Reference Online : Contains online versions of dictionaries and encyclopedias previously published in paper by the Oxford University Press.

Sage Reference Online : Includes numerous encyclopedias and handbooks, primarily in the Social Sciences.

Selected Reference Books

American Immigrant Cultures : Builders of a Nation / David Levinson and Melvin Ember, editors in chief.  2 volumes.  Main Library E184.A1 A63448 1997 : These two-volumes are the key to opening the door to the immigrant experience in the United States. This set covers 161 nonindigenous cultural groups currently living in the United States. It discusses both European groups that have been components of American culture for centuries and those groups who arrived in the twentieth century and are therefore less assimilated and more culturally distinct. From the Acadians to the Zoroastrians, it discusses the unique cultural characteristics of each group including detailed immigration and settlement histories, language, economic patterns, housing, religion, marriage, family and kinship, relations with other ethnic groups, as well as discrimination experienced by the group.

American immigration : an encyclopedia of political, social, and cultural change / James Ciment and John Radzilowski, editors.  Armonk, New York : M.E. Sharpe, [2014]  4 volumes.  Main Library JV6465 .E53 2014 (Also available online)  : Material in this four-volume reference for high school and up is generally sympathetic to immigrant rights. Volume 1 is divided into two parts on the causes, processes, and demographic and settlement patterns of immigration, and the history of immigration from earliest times to the present. Volume 2 explores society, culture, and politics, touching on topics such as assimilation, language and media, economics and labor, health and education, welfare and public benefits, and religious groups. Volume 3 is divided into two parts. The first part examines nations of origin and US destinations, offering data and descriptions of immigrant communities in eight US cities, as well as rural and suburban America. The second part of Volume 3 presents international perspectives on issues such as American emigration abroad, international law, the global economy, and human trafficking. Volume 4 offers a collection of letters, legislation, treaties, newspaper editorials, White House statements, and other documents, from 1775 to the present. (Major current legislation is summarized rather than presented in document form.) The reference is illustrated with b&w news photos, historical posters, political cartoons, b&w maps, and data charts. The reference was originally published in 2001 as Encyclopedia of American Immigration. This second edition reflects developments since 2001.

Anti-Immigration in the United States : A Historical Encyclopedia / Kathleen Arnold.  Greenwood, 2011.  2 volumes  Main Library JV6450 .A67 2011 (Also available online):   Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia is one of the first encyclopedias to address American anti-immigration sentiment. Organized alphabetically, the two-volume work covers major historical periods and relevant concepts, as well as discussions of various anti-immigration stances. Leading figures and groups in the anti-immigration movements of the past and present are also explored....Bringing together the work of distinguished scholars from many fields, including legal theorists, political scientists, anthropologists, geographers, and sociologists, the work covers aspects and issues related to anti-immigration sentiment from the establishment of the republic to contemporary times. For each time period, there is a focus on key groups, representing both actors and those acted upon. Political concerns of the time are also discussed to broaden understanding of motivation. In addition, entries explore the role of race, gender, and class in determining immigration policy and informing public sentiment.

Battleground immigration / edited by Judith Ann Warner.  Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2009.  2 vols., 987pp. Main Library JV6465 .B38 2009 : Among the most tumultuous conflicts of modern America is the war over legal and undocumented immigrants currently raging within U.S. borders. Since the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, America has witnessed an unprecedented flow of immigrants onto its shores, with increased diversity of race and culture. Battleground: Immigration examines the most critical issues surrounding immigration today, including effects on the economy, education, and employment, as well as the viability of the foreign-born in American society. All sides of the immigration debate are explored in this comprehensive 2-volume set, with special weight given to the very specific issues that have arisen in post-9/11 America: homeland security and border control, 9/11's impact on legislation and civil liberties; the Department of Homeland security and its role in border control; transnational organized crime, human smuggling and trafficking; and post 9/11 border control and security impact on immigration. With direct ties to the curriculum, this set is a valuable resource for students of sociology, current events, American history, political science, ethnic studies, and public policy.

Destination America / Chuck Wills.  New York : DK Pub., 2005.  300 p. : ill. (some col.), col. maps ; 31 cm.  Oversize Collection (Basement, Center) E184.A1 W5135 2005 : Whether escaping religious persecution, political oppression, the violence of war, or looking to further their economic standing, immigrants have come to America. This detailed look at why immigrants leave their homelands, how they travel to America, and what they do once they arrive, includes personal accounts, letters, diaries, photographs and other ephemera; features statistics, maps and charts covering over 40 immigrant groups....The companion to a four-part PBS documentary provides a richly illustrated history of immigration in the United States, examining the reasons why people leave their homelands for America, how they traveled, their lives in America, and their important influence on American culture and society.

Dictionary of American immigration history / edited by Francesco Cordasco.  Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1990.  784pp.  Main Library JV6450 .D53 1990 : An impressive compilation of facts and data on the history of American immigration, this dictionary correctly describes itself as "comprehensive" but not "exhaustive" in content. The introduction summarizes major U.S. immigration acts from the 1880s to the 1986 reform and control act. The 2500 entries include biographical sketches and information on unions, associations, movements, legislation, and ethnic groups, and thematic essays. Entries vary in length from a paragraph to a multi-page essay. The work's most useful features include cross-referencing, references to other sources, identification of the contributors, and a selected bibliography. Although Cordasco states reasons for excluding American Indians, other ethnic groups, such as Gypsies, Iranians, and Pakistanis, are omitted without reason. In an area where reference works are scarce, Cordasco, a recognized scholar in his field, has produced a good source for any library in need of ready reference information on American immigration.

Encyclopedia of American Immigration / edited by Carl L. Bankston III.  Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, c2010.  3 volumes.  Main Library JV6450 .E66 2010   (Also available online) : The set covers the full breadth of American immigration history in 525 alphabetically arranged and easy-to-understand articles. Designed for and written to be understood by high school students and college undergraduates, "Encyclopedia of American Immigration" offers a clear and innovative approach to immigration history that can also be used by advanced students and scholars. The goal of the set is to address all questions about immigration that students might reasonably be expected to ask: Where immigrants have come from and why; how they have adapted to their new homeland; how they have contributed to American culture and society; how government policies toward them have changed; practical issues of legal and social integration; and how American immigration history has fit into worldwide migration patterns. One-third of the essays are overviews covering broad issues ranging from accent discrimination to AIDS, world migration patterns, and xenophobia. The next large category of essays might be considered the set's core: 70 articles on specific ethnic and national immigrant groups. Each of these essays outlines its group's immigration history, emphasizing what has made each group unique. Other important essays cover events, laws and treaties, organizations and institutions, and Supreme Court rulings on immigration. In addition, every state in the union has its own essay, averaging nearly 1,000 words in length, along with a table summarizing demographic data. Ten cities with particularly large immigrant populations are also subjects of essays. Lastly, the set has articles on 45 individual persons, most of whom were post-independence-era immigrants who had a significant impact on the United States. These range from U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who came from Czechoslovakia, and the Dominican-born writer Julia Alvarez to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian bodybuilder and actor who became governor of California. All these essays focus on the experiences of their subjects as immigrants. "Encyclopedia of American Immigration" is organized and formatted to be student friendly. Essays are arranged alphabetically under the headwords students are most likely to seek, and finding aids are offered in the form of textual cross-references (e.g., "McCarran-Walter Act. See Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952"), "See also" cross-references at the end of each essay, a category list in volume 3, and a complete list of contents in every volume.

Encyclopedia of Diasporas : Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World / edited by Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember, and Ian Skoggard. [New York] : Springer, c2005.  2 volumes.  Main Library JV6225 .E53 2005 (Also available elecronically) : Immigration is a topic that is as important among anthropologists as it is the general public. Almost every culture has experienced adaptation and assimilation when immigrating to a new country and culture; usually leaving for what is perceived as a "better life". Not only does this diaspora change the country of adoption, but also the country of origin. Many large nations in the world have absorbed, and continue to absorb, large numbers of immigrants. The foreseeable future will see a continuation of large-scale immigration, as many countries experience civil war and secessionist pressures. Currently, there is no reference work that describes the impact upon the immigrants and the immigrant societies relevant to the world's cultures and provides an overview of important topics in the world's diasporas. The encyclopedia consists of two volumes covering three main sections: Diaspora Overviews covers over 20 ethnic groups that have experienced voluntary or forced immigration. These essays discuss the history behind the social, economic, and political reasons for leaving the original countries, and the cultures in the new places; Topics discusses the impact and assimilation that the immigrant cultures experience in their adopted cultures, including the arts they bring, the struggles they face, and some of the cities that are in the forefront of receiving immigrant cultures; Diaspora Communities include over 60 portraits of specific diaspora communities. Each portrait follows a standard outline to facilitate comparisons. The Encyclopedia of Diasporas can be used both to gain a general understanding of immigration and immigrants, and to find out about particular cultures, topics and communities. It will prove of great value to researchers and students, curriculum developers, teachers, and government officials. It brings together the disciplines of anthropology, social studies, political studies, international studies, and immigrant and immigration studies.

Encyclopedia of Ellis Island / Barry Moreno.  Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2004.  321pp.  JV6484 .M67 2004 : Ellis Island, at the southern tip of Manhattan, was the major portal for European immigrants to the United States and looms large in 19th century and early 20th century history. After extensive restoration, today it is a national symbol and important museum. Authored by a noted historian and librarian at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, this is the first encyclopedia devoted to the Island, documenting its various incarnations. It contains more than 430 essay entries on the crucial people, operations, rooms and buildings, events, immigration laws and acts, organizations, and other terms associated with the island's history.

Encyclopedia of immigration and migration in the American West / edited by Gordon Morris Bakken & Alexandra Kindell.  Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, c2006.  2 volumes.  HB1965 .E53 2006 : In this encyclopedia, Bakken (California State U. at Fullerton) and Kindell (Iowa State U.) seek to provide broad coverage of the major historical, economic, and demographic issues of immigration and migration in the American West, from the arrival of the Native Americans to the present time. A little over 100 entries touch upon the key themes of American Indians, biography, cities and towns, economic change and war, ethnic and racial groups, immigration laws and policies, libraries, natural resources and events and laws, and the way west. The choice of material can sometimes seem a little arbitrary, for instance the entries on cities and towns provide much discussion of California and Montana communities and not one town in Oregon, but the text also includes many topics that are neglected in other works, such as the Iran-Iraq War and the migration of Iranian youth to California, Basque Americans, and the forced migration of anarchists.  Also available online.

Encyclopedia of North American Immigration / John Powell.  New York : Facts On File, c2005.  464pp.  Main Library JV6465 .P68 2005 : A solid, comprehensive one-volume encyclopedia consisting of more than 300 A-to-Z entries on events, themes, people, places, and legislation related to immigration....This valuable reference to a popular and ever-changing topic provides straightforward and concise information on the groups, policies, and events that defined the world's greatest migration of peoples and shaped their reception in North America. Each of the entries includes an extensive, up-to-date further reading list that will provide readers with the resources necessary for further research. More than 60 historical black-and-white photographs; 31 maps, graphs, and tables; a glossary; an appendix of document excerpts; a general bibliography; a subject index; and a general index round out the book.

European Immigrant Women in the United States : A Biographical Dictionary / Judy Barrett Litoff, Judith McDonnell, editors.  New York ; London : Garland Pub., 1994.  Main Library E184.E95 L58 1994 :  With the controversy surrounding immigrants to the U.S., this work is a timely look at the accomplishments of a particular group of them. A book of this type helps illustrate the important contributions that immigrants have made to the U.S Arranged alphabetically by last name, the book features 239 women. A summary of the life and career of each subject, 200 to 500 words in length, is followed by an annotated bibliography of published and unpublished source materials for further research. Black-and-white portraits are included for 31 women. The 96 contributors of the signed entries are professors and graduate students. An appendix arranges the women by career. The index includes names, titles, and subjects The women selected for inclusion are deceased and made their contributions after the American Revolution. Not all of them became American citizens or resided in the U.S. for a long time. The selection process attempted to provide a cross-section of women immigrants. Famous women, such as Emma Goldman, Helena Rubinstein, Hannah Arendt, and Greta Garbo, are found along with mathematician Charlotte Scott, labor-activist Rose Pesotta, and midwife Hanna Porn. One can learn about the original "Tugboat Annie," the inventor of packaged crackers, and the female producer of "Our American Cousin" for Ford's Theater Information on many of these women can be found in "Notable American Women" and other standard reference works. But there are some unique biographies, and bringing these women together based on their immigrant status is a useful idea. Recommended for women's studies collections and for immigrant studies.

The history and immigration of Asian Americans / edited with introductions by Franklin Ng.  New York : Garland Pub., 1998. 248pp.  Main Library E184.O6 H58 1998  :  Contents - Asian American historiography / Sucheng Chan -- Hawai'i, the first and last Far West / John Whitehead -- Changes in immigration law and nativism since 1924 / Roger Daniels -- The sojourner, return migration, and immigration history / Franklin Ng -- The forgotten Asian Americans / Gary R. Hess -- Gum san haak in the 1980s / Xingci Wu and Zhen Li -- Dual chain migration / John M. Liu, Paul M. Ong, and Carolyn Rosenstein -- Indochinese refugees / Astri Suhrke -- Indochinese resettlement in the United States / Jacqueline Desbarts -- Post-1965 Asian immigrants / Morrison G. Wong -- Migration of highly educated Asians and global dynamics / Paul M. Ong, Lucie Cheng, and Leslie Evans.

Immigration / Stuart Anderson.  Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood, c2010.  Main Library JV6456 .A53 2010 : Immigration to the United States directly affects the lives of millions of people every year, whether someone is seeking to visit, work here, or immigrate to join family members. Yet, reliable sources estimate the population of illegal immigrants in the United States to be as high as 11 million, demonstrating the ineffectiveness of current policies and the need for a new approach....Immigration is a comprehensive examination of U.S. immigration policies and their impact on the nation, combining a historical overview and a guide to how immigration works in practice. In this one-volume compendium on the history, politics, culture, and contributions of immigrants to the United States, the author uses his experience in key immigration policy posts to provide an insider's perspective on a broad array of immigration-related issues....Offering a detached, unbiased analysis of the economic, fiscal, and other impacts of current immigration policies, he recommends reforms and policy solutions for the thorniest immigration issues, such as illegal immigration. But the book does not ignore the fact that immigration has always enriched and strengthened our nation. Along with policy considerations, it also encompasses enlightening profiles detailing the many contributions of individual immigrants in such diverse areas as science, sports, the military, and business.

Immigration : a documentary and reference guide / edited by Thomas Cieslik, David Felsen, and Akis Kalaitzidis.  Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2009.  351pp. Main Library JV6465 .I46 2009 : The uncomfortable contemporary realities of immigration, enmeshed as they are in economic, human rights, and national security issues, have once again propelled foreign immigration to the United States toward the top of the list of U.S. domestic policy concerns. Three respected authorities on immigration and international affairs here present a carefully calibrated history of U.S. immigration in primary source documents, tracing the roots of the current debate in the history of our profoundly divided and surprisingly cyclical response to foreign immigration. This book documents this national ambivalence, identifying the major waves of immigration and clarifying the ways in which the existing social and political fabric conditioned both the response to the newcomers and their prospects of eventual integration into American society.

Immigration and Asylum : From 1900 to the Present / Matthew J. Gibney and Randall Hansen, editors.  Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2005.  3 volumes.  Main Library JV6012 .I56 2005 : An international group of scholars authored the entries in this A-Z reference. The entries consider issues associated with forced migration and asylum, the causes of forced migration, various political groups and laws, and, most commonly, individual examples of the places and events that caused masses of people to leave their homes for a foreign refuge. A sample of entry topics includes AIDS and migration, the Armenian diaspora, citizenship, ethnic cleansing (both as a general concept, then in multiple entries of individual examples); family reunification, Roma, trafficking, visas, and white Australia policy. The entries are signed; each concludes with a list of cross-references and a bibliography. Volume 3 is devoted to original documents and the index.

Immigration and the law : a dictionary / Bill Ong Hing.  Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c1999.  400pp.  Business Library KF4817 .H56 1999 : mmigrants today are faced with a Byzantine mixture of laws and "red tape" from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that makes IRS regulations look like a grade school primer. Whether you want to know the special immigration process for orphans, the exceptions to the controlled substance exclusion, or if the "green card" is really green, Immigration and the Law is the source to consult.

Immigration in America today : an encyclopedia / edited by James Loucky, Jeanne Armstrong, and Larry J. Estrada.  Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2006.  380pp.  Main Library JV6450 JV6465 .I4754 2006 : America today is witnessing the largest and most sustained wave of immigrants its borders have ever seen. Although factors like the Great Depression, World War II, and quota restrictions had slowed the massive influx of Europeans from the early part of the 20th century, policies like the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act have relaxed quotas and opened America's doors to hundreds of thousands of immigrants a year, from both Eastern and Western hemispheres, to reach a height of over 9 million immigrants in the 1990s. Today, immigrants and policy-makers alike grapple with issues regarding employment, education, refugee status, and family reunification; as well as illegal immigrants--many from Mexico, whose legal immigration alone accounts for more than 20% of immigrants in the US. Despite this, this comprehensive reference source allows a glimpse of the same motivating factors that drove earlier immigrants through Ellis Island's gates--the promise of economic opportunity and the hope of a better life.

Immigration in U.S. History / edited by Carl L. Bankston, III, Danielle Antoinette Hidalgo ; project editor, R. Kent Rasmussen.  2 vols.  Main Library JV6450 .I565 2006 : This book "places special emphasis on the many ethnic communities that have provided American immigrants. For example, readers will find 17 articles treating African Americans; 56 articles about Asian immigrants, including articles specifically on Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Tibetan, and Vietnamese immigrants; 25 articles on Latino and West Indian immigrants, including articles specifically on Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, Jamaicans, and Mexicans; 10 articles on Middle Eastern immigrants, including articles specifically on Arabs, Iranians, and Israelis; 37 articles on European immigrants, including articles on German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Russian, and Scandinavian immigrants."

Making it in America : A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans / Elliott Robert Barkan, editor.  Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2001.  448pp.  Reference (1 Center) E184.A1 M345 2001 : Hopeful immigrants have come to America for four centuries, trying to make a better life for their families. Making It in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans relates the stories of 400 first- and second-generation Americans who have uplifted our quality of life. The book celebrates multicultural success throughout U.S. history; the nationally renowned are found right alongside the not-so-famous who improved the lives of those in their own communities.

Making of Modern Immigration : An encyclopedia of People and Ideas.  / Patrick J. Hayes.  Santa Barbara, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2012.  on order : Organized around a series of four dozen in-depth essays on specific aspects of American immigration history since the founding of the Republic. This encyclopedia addresses the major historical themes and contemporary research trends related to U.S. immigration, canvassing all the major policy endeavors on immigration in the last two centuries.  In addition to documenting immigration policy, the contributors devote extensive attention to the historiography of immigration, supplementing theories with cutting-edge sociological data. Not content with providing a comprehensive overview of immigration history, however, the work also offers probing investigations of key figures behind the ideas that have shaped the nation's self-understanding. Taken as a whole, this seminal work lifts out the personalities and policies that surround the composition of America's national identity, illuminating the past as a series of lessons for the future.

Routledge international handbook of migration studies / edited by Steven J. Gold and Stephanie J. Nawyn.  London ; New York : Routledge, 2013.  613pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection JV6035 .R68 2013 : The current era is marked by an unparalleled level of human migration, the consequence of both recent and long-term political, economic, cultural, social, demographic and technological developments. Despite increased efforts to limit its size and consequences, migration has wide-ranging impacts upon social, environmental, economic, political, and cultural life in countries of origin and settlement. Such transformations impact not only those who are migrating, but those who are left behind, as well as those who live in the areas where migrants settle....The Handbook of Migration Studies offers a conceptual approach to the study of international migration, exploring clearly the many modes of exit, reception and incorporation which involve varied populations in disparate political, economic, social and cultural contexts. How do these movements also facilitate the transmission of ideologies and identities, political and cultural practices and economic resources? Uniquely among texts in the subject area, the Handbook also provides a section devoted to exploring methods for studying international migration....Featuring forty-seven essays written by leading international and multidisciplinary scholars, the Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies offers a contemporary, integrated and comprehensive resource for students and scholars of sociology, politics, human geography, law, history, urban planning, journalism, and health care.

Undocumented immigrants in the United States : an encyclopedia of their experience / Anna Ochoa O'Leary, editor.  Santa Barbara, California : Greenwood, [2014]  2 volumes.   JV6475 .U48 2014 : The question of who “desirable” immigrants are has been part of political debate even before the founding of the nation. In more contemporary times, the discussion has focused on immigration quotas and undocumented immigration. This work focuses on undocumented immigration and touches upon the social dimension of immigration.

United States immigration : a reference handbook / E. Willard Miller, Ruby M. Miller.  Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c1996.  304pp.  JV6465 .M55 1996eb  Online    Also available in print : Provides an overview of the roots of immigration, the development of US immigration policy, trends in legal, illegal, and refugee immigration, and changing attitudes toward immigrants. Includes a chronology, summary of laws and regulations, a directory of organizations, annotated lists of print and nonprint resources, and a glossary.

U.S. immigration and education : cultural and policy issues across the lifespan / Elena L. Grigorenko, editor.  New York : Springer Pub. Co., [2013]  388pp.  LC3746 .U7 2013  Online : This handbook helps readers to both understand and craft policies to aid the successful acculturation of immigrants in the US. It is an excellent road map for researchers in immigration and education, as well as educational and developmental psychologists, sociologists, economists, and public policy makers. An immigrant from Russia, Dr. Grigorenko weaves her first-hand experiences and strategies into this unique text. It encompasses all available research on immigration and acculturation, from new information on bilingual education to studies of low-skill versus high-skill workers. Key Topics: Immigration and America: current snapshot of US immigration policy and a demographic profile Immigration and education: Pre-K though grade12, higher, and adult education, and the labor market Immigration and incorporation into society: Implications for human development, health, and policy

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