Screening of Destination America Episode 1: The Golden Door by Stephen Stept and David Grubin. In this first episode from the acclaimed four-part series on immigration, historians Donna Gabaccia and Janet Nolan, among others, provide a historical context for America’s longstanding and sometimes conflicted relationship with immigrant labor. Reflecting that “once, there was no such thing as an illegal immigrant. If you could get here, you could stay,” Prof. Gabaccia notes that, from the start of U.S. history, immigrants were recognized as necessary to the country’s economic growth. The film focuses on three groups’ histories of immigration to America, looking at their reasons for emigrating, where they settled, and what kinds of work they contributed.
Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience. The Becoming American series is a three-month public program featuring documentary film screenings and moderated discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.