Things That Matter

26 Photos that Show What Immigrants Looked Like at Ellis Island

Want to see some cool AF outfits? Well, thank Augustus Sherman, an amateur photographer who worked as a registry clerk on Ellis Island. During the height of immigration into the US during the 19th and 20th centuries, he took several photos of immigrants upon their arrival. From fur vests to awesome Dutch hats and even tattoos, Sherman recorded these traditional awe-producing looks that will give you serious fashion-inspo.

Russian Cossacks

Russian Cossacks
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Basically, these guys were gypsies from the Ukrainian/Russian region who claimed no nation…until they came to America and became Americans.

Women from Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe Women
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Guadeloupe is an island and French territory in the Caribbean Sea that still exists today.

Cossack Man

Cossack Man
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

During the 19th and 20th centuries, there were so many people coming in to the United States that the federal government had to get involved. Sound familiar? Well, you’d be wrong because the government responded in creating Ellis Island to make immigration through New York easier and more efficient. Yes…the federal government once welcomed immigrants because our damn country was built by them.

Dutch Women

Dutch Women
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Here you see three women wearing the traditional bonnets of Holland (now the Netherlands).

Pipers

Pipers
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Complete with fur vests before they were all the rage.

Dutch Children

Dutch Children
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Still wearing the traditional clogs because they just came from Holland.

READ: 9 Ways Immigration has Hurt Young People

Italian Woman

Italian Woman
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Italian Woman

Young Italian Woman
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Pictured with her headdress that you won’t find on many current Italian-American women.

Greek Soldier

Greek Soldier
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Pretty sure we can all agree we don’t see Greek men strolling the streets in this outfit anymore.

Romanian Piper

Romanian Piper
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

The hat might still work today, but the rest of the outfit fell to the wayside as he family became more Americanized.

Romanian Women

Romanian Women
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Their attitude was reflected in the clothing they wore but is probably too hard to find now.

Romanian Shepherd

Romanian Shepherd
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Pretty sure most people now own a coat like this. Yet another thing brought to the US by an immigrant. You’re welcome, America.

READ: Donald Trump Reveals His Plan for Immigration Reform: Everyone GTFO

Ruthenian Woman

Ruthenian Woman
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Ruthenia was a region between Solvakia, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, and Romania. They had a distinct culture different than the Pols or Ukrainians and the region held the name until the mid-1900s.

Lapland Children

More Lapland Children
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Lapland Woman

Lap land Woman
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Lapland Children

Lapland Children
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Lapland is the northern most region of Finland. At the time, it was mainly populated by native people.

Albanian Soldier

Albanian Soldier
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Albania went through a series of different owners from the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire. It became an independent state in 1912, but suffered intense wars after. Clearly, some people had to flee, you know, for safety…

Slovak Woman and Child

Slovak Woman and Child
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Slovakian Women

Slovakian Women
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Did you know that Eastern Europeans also rocked the headscarf look in the late 19th early 20th century when they were migrating to the US?

Norwegian Woman

Norwegian Woman
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

A woman wanting to be American wearing her country’s traditional garb.

Bavarian Man

Bavarian Man
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

This is an outfit you will probably only see at Oktober Fest, but it was the only clothing this future American knew.

READ: Jorge Ramos Responds to Trump’s Immigration Reform Plan, then Drops the Mic

German Stowaway

German Stowaway
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Basically, an immigrant with blonde hair, light eyes, and freckles.

Algerian Man

Algerian man
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Rocking the turban while pursuing freedom halfway around the world.

Guadeloupean Woman

Guadeloupean Woman
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Hindu Boy

Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Seriously, how many cultures have influenced American society? Answer: A LOT.

READ: People Who Cross the Border: See Their Faces and Hear Their Voices

Danish Man

Danish Man
Credit: Portraits from Ellis Island / Augustus Sherman

Another future American just trying to make a better life for himself and his family.

Do you think people should start truly embracing the immigrant culture of America? Share this story so you can show your friends what immigrants looked like 100 years ago.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

Entertainment

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

The media advocacy group Define American recently released a study that focused on the way immigrant characters are depicted on television. The second-annual study is entitled “Change the Narrative, Change the World”.

Although the study reports progress in some areas of onscreen representation, there is still a long way to go.

For example, the study reported that half of the immigrant characters depicted on television are Latino, which is consistent with reality. What is not consistent with reality, however, is how crime-related storylines are still an overrepresented theme in these storylines.

The study shows that on television 22% of immigrant characters have crime storylines show up as part of their narratives. These types of storylines further pedal the false narrative that immigrants are criminals, when in reality, they’re just everyday people who are trying to lives their best lives. Ironically, this statistic is an improvement on the previous year’s statistics in which crime themes made up 34% of immigrants’ stories on TV.

These numbers are further proof that the media feels stories of Latino immigration have to be about sadness and hardship in order to be worth watching.

According to Define American’s website, their organization believes that “powerful storytelling is the catalyst that can reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.”

They believe that changing the narratives depicted in entertainment media can “reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.” 

“We wanted to determine if seeing the specific immigration storylines influenced [viewers’] attitudes, behavior, or knowledge in the real world,” said Sarah Lowe, the associate director of research and impact at Define American to Variety. “And we were reassured and inspired to see the impact it had.” 

Define American’s founder, Jose Antonio Vargas, is relatively optimistic about the study’s outcomes, saying that the report has “some promising findings” and the numbers “provide [him] with hope”. He added that there are still “many areas in which immigrant representation can improve”.

via Getty Images

Namely, Vargas was disappointed in television’s failure to take an intersectional approach to immigration in regards to undocumented Black immigrants. 

“Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups,” Vargas told Variety. “But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” 

“Change the Narrative, Change the World” also showed that Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants are also under-represented on television compared with reality. Also worth noting, male immigrants were over-represented on television compared to reality, while immigrants with disabilities were also under-represented.

The study also showed that when viewers are exposed to TV storylines that humanize immigrants, they’re more likely to take action on immigration issues themselves. 

The effect that fictional entertainment narratives have on viewers further proves that representation does, indeed, matter. What we watch as entertainment changes the way we think about other people’s lived experiences. And that, in turn, can change the world.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A Group Of TPS Beneficiaries Are Touring The Country In A Bus To Save The Crucial Immigration Program

Things That Matter

A Group Of TPS Beneficiaries Are Touring The Country In A Bus To Save The Crucial Immigration Program

tps_alliance / Instagram

Updated September 23, 2020

A coalition of people is coming together to stand up for Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries. Federal judges recently gave the Trump administration the approval to end the status for 300,000 people in the U.S.

A group of Temporary Protect Status holders is on a road trip to save the program for 300,000 people.

The National TPS Alliance is driving across the country to engage voters about the need to protect the program. The “Road to Justice” road tour started in Los Angeles and will be stopping in 54 cities in 32 states. The tour ends in Washington, D.C. where the TPS holders will petition Congress directly to save the program.

The program was started in 1990 and offers safe refuge for people who’s countries have experienced disaster, civil unrest, or other extraordinary circumstances. Some people who have been granted TPS in the U.S. include Central Americans after Hurricane Mitch, the second-largest hurricane in the Atlantic, devastated large swaths of the region in 1998. Haitians were also given TPS after the earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince in 2010.

The organization is hoping to engage voters and get them to care about the immigration crisis facing the nation. Activists have already praised the group and pledged to support their cause at the ballot box.

“We are going to vote for justice, for the TPS community,” Angélica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told NBC News. “President (Trump) and his administration are racist and do not care about the damage they are causing to our community.”

Original: A federal court just handed a huge ‘victory’ to the Trump administration, which has been eager to restart mass deportations. Despite a global health pandemic, the administration has been pressing forward with plans to deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

Until now, many of these migrants were safe from deportation thanks to Temporary Protected Status, which shields some immigrants from deportation under humanitarian claims. However, the recent court decision – in San Francisco’s 9th Circuit – gives Trump exactly what he wants right before the elections.

But how will it affect immigrant communities across the country? Here’s everything you need to know about this major decision.

The 9th Circuit Court just ended TPS for more than 300,000 undocumented immigrants.

A California appeals court on Monday gave the Trump Administration permission to end Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan, clearing the way for officials to force more than 300,000 immigrants out of the country.

The decision affects people from all walks of life, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, have U.S.-born children and have been considered essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week’s ruling from the circuit court comes after a district court (also in California) temporarily halted Trump’s plan to end TPS in late 2018 after a group of lawyers sued, arguing that Trump was motivated by racial discrimination.

“The president’s vile statements about TPS holders made perfectly clear that his administration acted out of racial animus,”Ahilan Arulanantham, a lawyer for the ACLU of Southern California, wrote in a statement. “The Constitution does not permit policy to be driven by racism. We will seek further review of the court’s decision.”

But today’s 2-1 decision reversed the district court’s temporary order and allowed the federal government to take away TPS protections while the court case continues.

ICE and DHS has promised to wait several months before taking away TPS status if the agency won in court. As a result, the ACLU told NPR that it expects the protections to start ending no sooner than March, meaning that Joe Biden could reverse the administration’s decision if he wins in November, though the organization plans to fight back in the meantime.

Temporary Protected Status was created to protect people in the U.S. from being sent back to dangerous places – and it’s saved lives.

Credit: Daniel Ortega / Getty Images

The TPS program was first introduced in 1990, and it has protected immigrants from more than 20 countries at various points since then. More than 300,000 people from 10 different nations currently use the program, some of whom have lived and worked in the United States for decades.

Trump has sharply criticized the program, sometimes along racial lines, and in one infamous and widely criticized incident two years ago, the president reportedly referred to the program’s beneficiaries as “people from shithole countries.”

TPS provides protection for short periods of up to 18 months, but the federal government has continuously extended it for the countries mentioned in the lawsuit “based on repeated findings that it remains unsafe to return.” 

As a result, it said, most TPS holders have been living in the U.S. for more than a decade, contributing to their communities and raising their families. Many of the more than 200,000 U.S.-citizen children of TPS holders have never been to the country their parents are from and would have to choose between their families and their homes.

The ruling will have a major impact on migrant families and communities across the U.S.

Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Immigration advocacy groups are slamming the court’s ruling, noting it will impact hundreds of thousands of TPS holders as well as their families and communities. In a statement, Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said the decision will “plunge their lives into further turmoil at a time when we all need greater certainty.” 

As the global pandemic stretches on, immigrants with protected status make up a large portion of the country’s front-line workers. More than 130,000 TPS recipients are essential workers, according to the Center for American Progress. 

“TPS recipients have deep economic and social roots in communities across the nation,” said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “And, as the U.S. responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, TPS recipients are standing shoulder to shoulder with Americans and doing essential work.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com