New Photos Emerge Showing What Ellis Island Immigrants Really Looked Like

Do you know how our country started?

As the 2016 United States presidential elections approach, the issue of immigration is one of the hottest talking points in the country.

According to Pew Research Center, 52 percent of Americans viewed immigration as a top priority in January, up from 40 percent the year before. After Donald Trump's vile comments about Mexican immigrants, the conversation only intensified. In the first Republican debate, immigration was discussed extensively. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey, 11 million Mexican immigrants now live in the United States. 

But have we lost touch with our roots? One major talking point from the Democratic party is that our country was founded on immigration — immigrants are not a nuisance, in fact, they are what makes us so great. Many people, however, probably don't remember what immigrants even looked like in the days of Ellis Island. Thanks to a series of public domain photographs from the Open Knowledge Foundation, we can travel back in time to see the immigrants that helped build our country in the 1900s.


A German stowaway.

Three Dutch women.

Three women from Guadalupe.

A Greek soldier.

A woman from Lapland, Finland.

An Algerian man.

A Danish man.

A young Hindu man.

Dutch children.

An Italian woman.

Another woman from Guadalupe.

Three Russian Cossacks.

Let these photos be a reminder of the great diversity of our country. 


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