< Go back to Immigration Daily
[Congressional Record: July 10, 2000 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, each year the American Immigration
Law Foundation and the American Immigration Lawyers Association sponsor
a national writing contest on immigration. Thousands of fifth grade
students across the country participate in the competition, answering
the question, ``Why I'm Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants.''
In fact, ``A Nation of Immigrants'' was the title of a book that
President Kennedy wrote in 1958, when he was a Senator. In this book,
and throughout his life, he celebrated America's great heritage and
history of immigration as a principal source of the nation's progress
As one of the judges of this year's contest, I was impressed by the
quality of writing that was presented and the great pride of these
students in America's immigrant heritage. Many of these essays told the
story of their own family's immigration to the United States.
The winner of this year's contest is Kaitlin Young, a fifth grader at
St. Anne Elementary School in Warren, Michigan. She wrote about her
diverse immigrant background and how this diversity enriches her life.
Other students honored for their creative essays were Shayna Walton of
Arizona, John Klaasen of Washington, Allison Paige Sigmon of North
Carolina, and Christa Conway of Connecticut.
I believe that these award winning essays from the ``Celebrate
America'' contest will be of interest to all of us in the Senate, and I
ask that they may be printed in the Record.
The essays are as follow.
Immigration & Me
(By Kaitlin Young, Warren, MI, grand prize winner)
If it weren't for immigration, the diversity in me
I might be a Who-not on my family tree.
English, Irish, Dutch, American Indian too
Italian ancestry in the mix, a family tree in bloom.
America welcomed my ancestors-a promise to be free
Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty are symbols dear to me.
Our country's promise, the freedom to worship here
Practice our family customs and belief we hold dear.
The promise of America rings throughout me
The Torch of Freedom helped shape my family tree.
My Grandmas and Grandpas are from here and there
So when Mom married Dad, I came from everywhere.
I eat different foods from across the world
Irish stew, potatoes and pasta that is curled.
Salmon steak, pot roast, and Dutch Apple pie
Egg rolls, pizza, a menu diversified.
Soccer, Bocce Ball, and Cricket too.
Without immigration, you might not play the sports you do.
Without immigration what would you hear?
The same old sounds filling your ear.
If it were not for immigration, what would we see?
All the leaves the same on my family tree.
That is why I am so happy for diversity,
Because of Immigration--I am me!
Why I'm Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants
(By Shayna Walton, Tucson, AZ, finalist)
Hooray Hooray for the U.S.A.
Life is good the American Way.
Immigrants come from far and near
To have a much better life right here.
They come in hopes of a freer life.
Sometimes they come to leave their strife.
What a better place we have become
because of all that immigrants have done.
They've shared their different ways they cook
and written many stories in a book.
The unique styles that they wear--
now you see them everywhere.
They've brought us lots of delicious foods
which certainly has improved our moods!
They've created dances, songs and art
Which has caused happiness in my heart.
All the immigrants' different languages are so neat
To learn them all would be quite a feat!
In this country you can have your say
You can give your opinion and talk all day!
We are all immigrants in our own way--
I'm so glad that we're all here to stay!
Why I Am Glad That America Is A Nation Of Immigrants
(By John Klaasen, Olympia, WA, finalist)
Enter Looking for
Open arms into our
Legal residence and
Why I Am Glad America Is A Nation of Immigrants
(By Allison Paige Sigmon, Sparta, NC, finalist)
Movies, medicine, music, melting pot
Medical breakthroughs, marketing
Innovations, instruments (musical)
Global diversity, gods, government
Racial equality, restaurants, religion
Ancestors, agriculture, architecture, artists
News, Nobel Peace Prize, nationalities
Teachers, theatre, trade, technology, transportation
Space travel, sports, science
All of these words are what I think immigrants have brought
to our country to make us a strong and powerful nation.
Why I'm Glad America Is a Nation of Immigrants
(By Christa Conway, Manchester, CT, finalist)
What do the people bring when they come to America's shores?
What do the people bring on their boats rowing with oars?
What do the people bring in their trunks, bags, and cases?
What do the people bring?
They bring a world of new faces.
The first sight that they get of land, is like a cavern of
They see all brand new faces, all both young and old.
They see the green fresh grass, or see the glittering snow,
What do the immigrants see?
They see a new world to know.
What were the gifts they brought?
They weren't gold, riches and powers!
They brought just simply their culture,
Which now we proclaim as ours.
Music, festivals, stories,
Which we can now enjoy.
Everyone will enjoy it!!
Every girl and every boy!!
So why I'm glad America
Is a nation of immigrants true,
Is something that really matters,
It matters to me and you.
Immigrants are what make America whole,
What makes it pure and unique.
This melting pot of cultures,
Will never spring a leak!!!
Share this page
Bookmark this page
The leading immigration law publisher - over 50000 pages of free information!
© Copyright 1995- American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM