immigration quotes

Immigration Quotes from Great Americans

immigration quotes from great americansImmigrants make the United States great. Immigration reform will help the best and brightest doctors, engineers, entertainers and entrepreneurs stay in the U.S. It will also help us stay true to our founding fathers’ wishes. Share these immigration quotes from great Americans.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy

“Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.”
Robert F. Kennedy

“We came to America, either ourselves or in the persons of our ancestors, to better the ideals of men, to make them see finer things than they had seen before, to get rid of the things that divide and to make sure of the things that unite.”
Woodrow Wilson

“Mr. Speaker, our Nation depends on immigrants’ labor, and I hope we can create an immigration system as dependable as they are.”
Luis Gutierrez

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges…”
George Washington

President George W. Bush

“Nearly all Americans have ancestors who braved the oceans – liberty-loving risk takers in search of an ideal – the largest voluntary migrations in recorded history… Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.”
George W. Bush

“They are willing to fight for a country that they weren’t even citizens of. I wish all Americans felt that way about their country.”
Captain Kirk Thorsteinson during a naturalization ceremony in Kuwait, June 2007

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Emma Lazarus

President George Washington

“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.”
George Washington

“The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources–because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.”
Lyndon B. Johnson

“We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.”
Mitt Romney

“Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.”
John F. Kennedy

“He doesn’t like my name… Of course we couldn’t all come over on the Mayflower… But I got here as soon as I could, and I never wanted to go back, because to me it is a great privilege to be an American citizen.”
Anton Cermak

“People come here penniless but not cultureless. They bring us gifts. We can synthesize the best of our traditions with the best of theirs. We can teach and learn from each other to produce a better America…”
Mary Pipher

President Ronald Reagan

“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.”
Ronald Reagan

“The greatest nations are defined by how they treat their weakest inhabitants.”
Jorge Ramos

“Citizenship to me is more than a piece of paper. Citizenship is also about character. I am an American. We’re just waiting for our country to recognize it.”
Jose Antonio Vargas

“More than any other nation on Earth, America has constantly drawn strength and spirit from wave after wave of immigrants. In each generation, they have proved to be the most restless, the most adventurous, the most innovative, the most industrious of people. Bearing different memories, honoring different heritages, they have strengthened our economy, enriched our culture, renewed our promise of freedom and opportunity for all….”
Bill Clinton

“It says something about our country that people around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to America. Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped make America the leader of the world. And our generation will ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hope fill society this world has ever known.”
George W. Bush

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright


“I’m troubled by [the immigration debate]. When [my family] came from England during the war, people said, “You are welcome here. What can we do to help?” I am a beneficiary of the American people’s generosity, and I hope we can have comprehensive immigration legislation that allows this country to continue to be enriched by those who were not born here.”
Madeleine Albright

“The United States should be an asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty.”
Thomas Paine

“[Let] the poor the needy and oppressed of the Earth, and those who want Land, resort to the fertile lands of our western country, the second land of Promise, and there dwell in peace, fulfilling the first and great commandment.”
George Washington

“I’ve always argued that this country has benefited immensely from the fact that we draw people from all over the world.”
Alan Greenspan

“Immigrant families have integrated themselves into our communities, establishing deep roots. Whenever they have settled, they have made lasting contributions to the economic vitality and diversity of our communities and our nation. Our economy depends on these hard-working, taxpaying workers. They have assisted America in its economic boom.”
Senator Edward M. Kennedy

General David Petraeus


“When you enlisted into the armed forces you swore to support and defend a Constitution that did not yet fully apply to you. You chose to endure the same sacrifices as your fellow comrades in arms to preserve the freedom of a land that was not yet fully yours. You accepted that you might have to pay the ultimate price on behalf of a nation to which you did not fully belong. Now, you will officially become citizens of the United States, a country to which each of you has already borne true faith and allegiance in your hearts and your deeds.”
General David Petraeus addressing a naturalization ceremony for 161 at Camp Victory, Iraq, on Independence Day, 2007

“Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules. That these rules shall be as equal as prudential considerations will admit, will certainly be the aim of our legislatures, general and particular.”
Thomas Jefferson