National Immigrants Day is celebrated on Oct. 28 to honor the migrant community whose contribution to the nation's culture and economy paved the way for greater development.

The U.S. is home to immigrants from at least 195 sovereign nations and takes pride in being the melting pot of different cultures, customs and traditions. 

Opening doors to immigrants from all parts of the world and allowing them to blend in the culture and take an active part in nation-building is what distinguishes the U.S. from other countries in the world. One of the defining characteristics of the nation is that it preserves the rights of those migrating to the land through federal law, thereby easing their efforts to live, learn, work, build families, start companies and pursue the American dream. 

History of National Immigrants Day: 

America is a nation built by immigrants who massed the nation with an aim to earn citizenship and affiliate themselves to the same constitution. A person is eligible to have American citizenship by birth or by choice, which makes the nation a land of freedom and opportunity. 

The celebration of National Immigrants Day has a long history, dating back to 1890 when European nationals began fleeing their land in record numbers to escape puritan religious laws and bad economic conditions. In view of the massive influx of immigrants burdening the individual states, 42 individual states then comprising the United States of America stepped in to regulate the flow of arrivals. It was then that Ellis Island in New York emerged as America’s first federal immigration center. 

National Immigrants Day was first proclaimed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan, the then-American president on the 101st anniversary of the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty, urging the people of the U.S. to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities. 

Below are some quotes about immigrants that prove how the country has benefited from immigrant influx. (Courtesy: Goodreads.com)

  • "Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • "Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country."- Theodore Roosevelt
  • "The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than people born here."- Chuck Palahniuk
  • "Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me."- Carlos Fuentes
  • "“A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out."- Tony Blair

First things first -- before they head off for a spin, a group of immigrants learn how to apply the brakes First things first -- before they head off for a spin, a group of immigrants learn how to apply the brakes Photo: AFP / Alessandro RAMPAZZO