In the 19th and early 20th centuries, millions of Europeans migrated to the USA seeking a better quality of life for themselves and their families - they wanted to achieve 'The American Dream'.
America was a land full of opportunity and it needed a steady flow of immigrants as the economy had expanded rapidly after the end of the Civil War in 1865.
The American government adopted an ‘open door’ policy on immigration. This is summarised on the inscription at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door'.The Statue of Liberty