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Interpreting the Evidence

We Are One Nation of Immigrants Rally, 2006

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Contemporary United States (1965 - present)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Civil Rights

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    New York State
    United States

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load We Are One Nation of Immigrants Rally, 2006 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
A rally at which groups are declaring, “We are ONE. A Nation of Immigrants,” April 1, 2006. Donated by photographer Magarita Madera.
Historical Context
Today's immigrants come from all parts of the world. In 1978, the U.S. government set an annual worldwide quota of 290,000 immigrants. This ceiling was raised again in 1990 to 700,000, but immigrants have often arrived at a pace that has exceeded a million new arrivals per year. This, of course, is legal immigration. Illegal immigrants often exceed these numbers. Unfortunately their status leaves them unprotected by the law.

The 2000 Census found a total U.S. population of 281.4 million, 31.1 million (or 11.1%) of whom were foreign-born. Individuals from Latin America represented 52% of the foreign-born population (16 million); from Asia, 26% (8.2 million); from Europe, 16% (4.9 million); and from other areas of the world, 6% (2 million).

Of the 16 million from Latin America, 11.2 million (36%) were from Central America (including Mexico); 3 million (10%) were from the Caribbean; and 1.9 million (6.2%) were from South America. The foreign-born specifically from Mexico accounted for 9.2 million people — 30% of the total U.S. foreign-born population — making Mexico the leading country of origin of the foreign-born.
Essential Question
How do immigrants influence a community?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and evaluate the role of immigrants in a community.
Historical Challenges
Relate this rally to immigrant movements of the past (1950s–1970s). Were immigrants hoping to be seen as part of the whole, or as individuals with particular ethnic identities?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Turn the numbers mentioned in the Historical Background section into bar and pie graphs that have appropriate units that show the differences visually, as well as numerically.
Art: Design and make a poster that represents these national origins. Include flags from the nations that comprise each group (for example, Asia could have flags from any of the countries found in that part of the world). Correlate the number of flags with the percentage of foreign-born population that each ethnic group accounts for.
English Language Arts: Make additional posters that might be seen at a rally where people would want to say they are “all one.” What phrases might be catchy or inspiring?