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Lawmakers propose immigration museum on National Mall

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Congressman: The museum would bring together the stories of different ethnicities
  • More than 130 organizations support the legislation, Rep. Jim Moran says
  • A supporter of the idea says the museum would be a "national pilgrimage destination"

Washington (CNN) -- A group of U.S. lawmakers pushed for the creation of a "melting pot museum" on the National Mall, calling Thursday for a presidential commission to study the idea.

The Museum of the American People would focus on the role immigration and migration played in the development of American society, said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, who introduced a bill about the museum Thursday.

"The Museum of the American People would bring together all the stories of the ethnicities that make up the fabric of our society, precluding the need for more and more individual museums representing one particular ethnicity or culture," Moran said in a statement.

The legislation is supported by more than 130 ethnic and minority organizations and 11 other members of Congress, he said.

"The United States was uniquely created and built by peoples from every land," Sam Eskenazi, director of a coalition supporting the museum proposal, said in a statement. "I envision the museum becoming a national pilgrimage destination for all Americans, and for foreign visitors who would learn about natives from their countries who became Americans."

Private donations would fund the presidential commission and the museum's construction, Moran's statement said.