For those new to the subject, a good place to start is David Gerber’s American Immigration, from the Oxford “Very Short Introductions” series. Reed Ueda’s edited volume A Companion to American Immigration provides a useful reference text with chapters on key issues across immigration history, including policy, demographics, ethnicity, economics, and culture. Many of the books mentioned in this essay also appear in the Immigration Syllabus (http://editions.lib.umn.edu/immigrationsyllabus/) created by historians for the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS), along with numerous other texts and suggested primary sources, organized topically. It is an essential resource, especially for teaching. The IEHS also publishes the Journal of American Ethnic History (mentioned above) with University of Illinois Press, which is crucial for keeping up with new scholarship. Another useful resource for teaching is Major Problems in American Immigration History, now in its second edition and edited by Mae Ngai and John Gjerde, which includes selected primary and secondary sources covering Colonial times to the present.
Anbinder, Tyler. Five Points: The 19th-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World’s Most Notorious Slum. Free Press, 2001 (CH, Apr’02, 394762).
Barrett, James R. The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multiethnic City. Penguin Press, 2012 (CH, Oct’12, 50-1036).
Bayor, Ronald. Encountering Ellis Island: How European Immigrants Entered America. Johns Hopkins, 2014 (CH, Oct’14, 52-1013).
Benton-Cohen, Katherine. Inventing the Immigration Problem: The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy. Harvard, 2018 (CH, Dec’18, 56-1636).
Bodnar, John E. The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America. Indiana, 1985 (CH, Oct’85).
Bon Tempo, Carl J. Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War. Princeton, 2008 (CH, Mar’09, 46-4019).
Choate, Mark I. Emigrant Nation: The Making of Italy Abroad. Harvard, 2008 (CH, Mar’09, 46-4065).
Cohen, Deborah. Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico. North Carolina, 2011 (CH, Aug’11, 48-7011).
A Companion to American Immigration, ed. by Reed Ueda. Blackwell, 2006.
Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. 2nd ed. Perennial, 2002 (1st. ed., CH, Mar’91, 28-4082, HarperCollins).
____. Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882. Hill and Wang, 2004 (CH, Oct’04, 42-1129).
Diner, Hasia R. Erin’s Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century. Johns Hopkins, 1983 (CH, Jun’94).
____. Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration. Harvard, 2001 (CH, Sep’02, 40-0357).
____. Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way. Yale, 2015.
Dinnerstein, Leonard, and David M. Reimers. Ethnic Americans: A History of Immigration. 4th ed. Columbia, 1999.
Ettinger, Patrick. Imaginary Lines: Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882–1930. Texas, 2009 (CH, Sep’10, 48-0461).
Gabaccia, Donna R. Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective. Princeton, 2012 (CH, Feb’13, 50-3504).
____. We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and the Making of Americans. Harvard, 2000.
Gerber, David A. American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, 2011.
Gjerde, Jon. The Minds of the West: Ethnocultural Evolution in the Rural Middle West, 1830–1917. North Carolina, 1997 (CH, Jul’97, 34-6346).
Haines, David W. Safe Haven?: A History of Refugees in America. Kumarian, 2010 (CH, May’11, 48-5397).
Halter, Marilyn. Between Race and Ethnicity: Cape Verdean American Immigrants, 1860–1965. Illinois, 1993.
Halter, Marilyn, and Violet Showers Johnson. African & American: West Africans in Post–Civil Rights America. New York University, 2014 (CH, Feb’15, 52-3280).
Handlin, Oscar. The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations That Made the American People. 2nd ed. Pennsylvania, 2002.
Hansen, Karen V. Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890–1930. Oxford, 2013 (CH, Jun’14, 51-5774).
Hernandez, Kelly Lytle. Migra!: A History of the US Border Patrol. California, 2010 (CH, Dec’10, 48-2280).
Higham, John. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860–1925, 2nd ed. Rutgers, 1992.
Hirota, Hidetaka. Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy. Oxford, 2017 (CH, Jun’18, 55-3743).
Hsu, Madeline Yuan-yin. The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority. Princeton, 2015.
Immigration Syllabus. http://editions.lib.umn.edu/immigrationsyllabus/.
“The Invention of Ethnicity: A Perspective from the U.S.A,” by Kathleen Neils Conzen et al. Journal of American Ethnic History 12, no.1 (Fall 1992): pp. 3-41.
Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. Harvard, 1998.
Johnson, Violet Showers. The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, 1900–1950. Indiana, 2006.
Kang, S. Deborah. The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917–1954. Oxford, 2017.
Lee, Erika. At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era. North Carolina, 2003.
____. The Making of Asian America: A History. Simon & Schuster, 2015.
Lee, Erika, and Judy Yung. Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. Oxford, 2010 (CH, May’11, 48-5292).
Lorenzkowski, Barbara. Sounds of Ethnicity: Listening to German North America, 1850–1914. University of Manitoba, 2010.
Major Problems in American Immigration History: Documents and Essays, ed. by Mae M. Ngai and Jon Gjerde. 2nd ed. Cengage Learning, 2013.
Making the Irish American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States, ed. by J. J. Lee and Marion R. Casey. New York University, 2006 (CH, Oct’06, 44-1129).
McBee, Randy D. Dance Hall Days: Intimacy and Leisure among Working-Class Immigrants in the United States. New York University, 2000.
Miller, Kerby A. Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America. Oxford, 1985.
Minian, Ana Raquel. Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration. Harvard, 2018 (CH, Nov’18, 56-1323).
Molina, Natalia. How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts. California, 2013 (CH, Jun’14, 51-5886).
Mormino, Gary Ross, and George E. Pozzetta. The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Latin Neighbors in Tampa, 1885–1985. University Press of Florida, 2017.
A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: US Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924–1965, ed. by Maddalena Marinari, Madeline Y. Hsu, and Maria Cristina Garcia. Illinois, 2019.
The New Americans: A Guide to Immigration since 1965, ed. by Mary C. Waters and Reed Ueda with Helen B. Marrow. Harvard, 2007.
Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton, 2004 (CH, Oct’04, 42-1149).
Reimers, David M. Other Immigrants: The Global Origins of the American People. New York University, 2005 (CH, Nov’05, 43-1798).
Roediger, David R. Working toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs. Basic Books, 2005 (CH, Apr’06, 43-4875).
Sánchez, George J. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900–1945. Oxford, 1993 (CH, Jun’94, 31-5524).
Schrag, Peter. Not Fit for Our Society: Immigration and Nativism. California, 2010 (CH, Mar’11, 48-3942).
Spickard, Paul R. Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History. Routledge, 2007.
St. John, Rachel. Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.–Mexico Border. Princeton, 2011 (CH, Feb’12, 49-3469).
Takaki, Ronald. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. Little, Brown, 1993 (CH, Dec’93, 31-2312).
____. Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II. Little, Brown, 2000 (CH, Nov’00, 38-1757).
____. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Rev. ed. Little, Brown, 1998.
Wu, Ellen D. The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority. Princeton, 2013 (CH, May’14, 51-5225).