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America's Heritage: A History of U.S. Immigration
A Traveling Exhibit
Last updated April 9, 2007

America's Heritage: A History of U.S. Immigration
A Traveling Exhibit

The traveling exhibition, America's Heritage: A History of U.S. Immigration, provides a comprehensive overview of American immigration history and laws.

The exhibit examines centuries of immigration to the U.S., starting with the colonial period. Each of twelve easy-to-install panels describes the social and economic conditions of a particular period and the ensuing laws that were enacted to regulate entry into the United States. The exhibit explains, for example, how the Naturalization Act of 1795 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1789 were the first public laws to restrict immigration to the new nation. The exhibit also explores European immigration and its impact on American economic prosperity in the latter half of the 1800s.

Other critical periods are highlighted, including the rise of the Know Nothing Party, the Red Scare of the 1950s, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act that finally abolished national origin quotas, and the changes of the 1990s that revised employment-based categories for immigration and placed severe restrictions on the rights of immigrants. This story of U.S. immigration law and policy is told through vintage photographs, accompanying text, and instructive timelines.

The American Immigration Law Foundation is making this exhibit available free of charge to small museums, public libraries, civic and community centers, associations, and other institutions. Through this traveling exhibit, we hope institutions nationwide can bring the history and lessons of U.S. immigration into their communities.

Take a virtual tour of the exhibit:
(Click on the following links to view the exhibit's panels)

Panel 1: America's Heritage: A History of U.S. Immigration

Panel 2: The Founding of America

Panel 3: Early Immigration Laws

Panel 4: Anti-Immigrant Fervor in America

Panel 5: America's Gateway

Panel 6: Wartime Rules

Panel 7: Post-War Immigration

Panel 8: Refugees & Undocumented Workers

Panel 9: Immigration Reform in the 1990s

Panel 10: The Threat of Proposition 187

Panel 11: A Promising Future for America

Panel 12: Famous Immigrants

Click here to view the exhibit specifications.
Click here to view exhibit venues.

For more information on how to bring America’s Heritage: A History of U.S. Immigration to your community, please e-mail us at

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American Immigration Law Foundation
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