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100 Years Ago


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Not Everyone Wants to Stay In the U.S.

Before 1920, about 30% of all immigrants to the United States later returned to their native country. Today, about 15% return home. Some immigrants arrive intending to stay here temporarily before returning home, while others go back because they find adjusting to a new society too difficult. Complete statistics on immigrant departures by nationality were not begun until 1908.

During the depression, for the first time since the exodus of the United States Empire Loyalists (thousands of colonists, loyal to Great Britain during the American Revolution, who became exiles and eventually permanent settlers in Canada and other North American areas under British control ) the year 1931 saw more persons leaving America than entering. In that year, 43,000 immigrants arrived and 89,000 departed. There appear to be no records indicating whether immigrants returning back to native lands had a negative impact on Shelby County. It can only be assumed that the county was not immune to this phenomenon and that some of its immigrant residents returned to their homelands.


'Immigration' segment written in November, 1997 by David Lodge

 

[ Back to Immigration Index

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