[:en]But who was the first Albanian in America?[:]


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[:en]Albanians are the most recent group of Europeans to immigrate to the United States and their numbers have remained small. Prior to World War I, Albanians migrated to America because of poor economic conditions, political concerns, or to escape military conscription in the Turkish army. Many Albanians (between 20,000 and 30,000) who fled Albania for political reasons returned to Albania between 1919 and 1925. Many of these same Albanians re-migrated to the United States, intending to remain permanently in America. Another wave immigrated after Albania came under Communist control in 1944. After the fall of communism, Albanians began entering the United States in increasing numbers between 1990 and 1991. There are no accurate immigration statistics on the most recent immigration. According to U.S. immigration statistics, between the years 1931 and 1975, the total number of Albanians entering the United States was 2,438. After 1982, the official number of Albanians entering the United States is as follows: 1983 (22); 1984(32); 1985 (45); 1986 (n/a); 1987 (62); 1988 (82) 1989 (69); 1990 (n/a); 1991 (141). These immigration figures do not reflect accurately the number of Albanians living in the United States. The 1990 population census reports the number of people claiming at least one ancestor as Albanian at 47,710, although the total population in the United States may range from 75,000 to 150,000 or more. In 1999 the United States granted legal alien status to about 20,000 Kosovar refugees. They joined their families, friends, or charitable sponsors in America, but some only until the conflict in Kosovo subsided. But who was the first Albanian in America? Few Albanians came to the United States before the twentieth century. The first Albanian, whose name is lost, is reported to have come to the United States in 1876, but soon relocated to Argentina. Kole Kristofor (Nicholas Christopher), from the town of Katundi, was the first recorded Albanian to arrive in the United States, probably between 1884 and 1886. He returned to Albania and came back to the United States in 1892. In The Albanians in America, Constantine Demo records the names of 16 other Albanians who either came with Kole or arrived soon after. They came from Katundi, located in southern Albania.[:]

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