"Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America. Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history," wrote historian Oscar Handlin. Immigrants and generations of their descendants have defined the American nation from its beginning and continue to provide America'scharacteristic diversity, representing practically every race, nationality, religion, and ethnic group around the world. Some immigrants came to the New World in search of economic gain. Others were brought in chains. Still others found refuge in America from religious or ethnic persecution. This single-volume encyclopedia includes more than 300 entries, covering multiple aspects of immigration history and policy: * ethnic groups, including census and immigration statistics, major periods of immigration and areas of settlement, predominant religion, and historical background * key immigration legislation, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, Immigration Act of 1990, and Refugee Act of 1980 * terms and concepts, including green card, quota system, citizen, naturalization, picture brides, and nativism * categories of immigrants, including refugees, indentured servants, children, and exiles * immigration stations: Angel Island, Castle Garden, and Ellis Island * religious groups and churches, such as Amish, Huguenots, Muslims, and Eastern Rite churches * further reading lists and cross-references follow each entry An introductory essay provides a cogent overview of the entire scope of the book. More than 150 photographs and illustrations complement the entries. Statistical boxes supplement the articles with key information. A list of immigration, ethnic, and refugee organizations; a guide to further researchthat includes books, museums, and websites; and a detailed chronology conclude this useful resource for research in American history, ethnic and multicultural studies, and genealogy.