Illustration by Kristian Knutsen and Scott Gordon; azimuth projection map via NS6T/Tom Epperly

Series: Wisconsin's Diverse Waves Of Immigration

Many distinct and ongoing waves of immigration have indelibly shaped communities across Wisconsin. The 19th-century influxes of immigrants from Germany, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe are strongly associated with the state's cultural identity, but the immigrant experience in Wisconsin is far more varied. Canada has been a small but steady source of immigrants throughout the state's history. Several increasingly large phases of immigration from Mexico and other nations around Latin America have left imprints around the state, ranging from Milwaukee to dairy and vegetable farms in rural areas. In recent decades, immigrants from Asia have likewise increasingly made their home in the state, with Hmong communities standing out. As new groups of immigrants arrive in Wisconsin, their civic, religions and economic contributions adds to the state's diversity.
 
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Before Martha Stewart and Ina Garten, there was Lizzie Kander and The Settlement Cook Book .
As one of the state's largest industries and the core of its Cheesehead identity, dairy production is heavily dependent on immigrant workers.
Milwaukee's first community of Mexican immigrants flourished briefly but was shattered by the tragedy of the Great Depression.
La Movida is Wisconsin's first Spanish language radio station, and the husband and wife who run it sad they're looking to debunk rumors and calm the fears of many undocumented immigrants in the community.
Around 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 in a classroom on Madison's south side, a group of mostly Latino immigrants and English as a Second Language teachers sat in a circle listening intently as two special guests answered their questions.
The first week of the Trump administration brought a hail of executive orders, including two that marked an abrupt shift in U.S. immigration policy.
In the rural Wisconsin city of Abbotsford, on the border of Marathon and Clark counties in the middle of the state, about 500 of 2,300 residents are Latino, drawn there to work on the dairy farms, in the factories, and at one of the region's big employers, the Abbyland Foods meat processing company.
Immigration and diversity are very much rural issues in Wisconsin. Some of Wisconsin's ethnic and racial minority groups are clustered in specific geographic areaa, but Hispanic people are widely distributed across much of the state.
Few people would consider Wisconsin an ethnically diverse state, unless they're considering various strains of European ancestry. That is factually correct, but Wisconsin has seen many waves of change over the years.
For many Upper Midwesterners in the 21st century, not much could seem more familiar than the marks of Scandinavian influence on regional culture. But there was a time in North American history when Norwegians, Swedes and Danes were considered peculiar outsiders.