Ever since its founding in 1776, and even before then, the United States has attracted immigrants from around the world. For well over two centuries, people have flocked under this nation's protective wings as opportunists, sojourners, missionaries, refugees, and even illegal aliens. With the Statue of Liberty greeting Europeans entering Ellis Island, and The Golden Gate Bridge greeting Chinese and other Asians into San Francisco, the U.S. has long since been a refuge of the world, with opportunities abound and freedom for all. Over time, millions around the world have found emigrating to the U.S. as the only alternative to starvation, death, or a life full of hardship and suffering. With thousands from nations spanning the globe, America has become a mosaic of people, culture, and hope.