America's Story: An Immigrant Story

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Nearly one of every four Americans—70 million people—is ​an immigrant or the child of parents who came from another country. Some fled war, persecution, or environmental disaster; others pursued the American ideal of opportunity for all.  Carnegie Corporation of New York is please to present this interactive feature that examines the state of immigration in the United States today.

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The United States, throughout its history, has benefitted greatly from the arrival of new people who bring with them fresh energy, ideas, and ambition. But immigration also brings thorny questions and political quandaries: Who stays and who goes? Who qualifies to be a citizen and who decides? Earning citizenship takes years, and even when it is achieved, it is not the end of the story. Andrew Carnegie was resolute in his belief that American democracy thrives only when citizens participate actively and knowledgeably in civic and political life.

Carnegie supported the institutions people need to succeed; in his words, “ladders on which the aspiring can rise.” Citizenship for Carnegie was not an exclusive privilege, but another ladder—an ongoing and inclusive process that would help new Americans become full members of the country’s civic and economic life.

Integrating and empowering new Americans is central to the mission of Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Corporation supports grantees who are encouraging citizenship and civic participation and working on strategic communications, effective policy solutions, and grassroots coalition building.