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Immigration to America

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Immigration to America

The Immigration Experience

They are our grandparents, our relatives, our friends. They are the immigrants. They came from all over the world for many reasons, such as, religious persecution and racial tension, but the largest reason for coming to America was for freedom. The freedom to live where we want, to own property, to take part in the government and most importantly, the freedom to be treated like a human being. Coming over was extremely difficult. For some, there were good, seaworthy boats, but most boats were overcrowded, dirty, and disgusting. For Jews, the passage was extremely difficult because of the non-kosher ship food. People were pushed together like cattle. Most people became seasick. From one account came descriptions of unsanitary bathrooms. This, surely, must have been torture, but, hopefully, most immigrants found the dreadful trip to be worth the freedom at the other end. Ellis Island, also, was far from sanitary. The people would break down into lines, and walk by a doctor, trying to hide any physical problems. Children over two had to be able to walk by themselves. If the doctor noticed anything wrong he would use a piece of chalk to show the person required further inspection. If, this was indeed the case, the person would be set aside in a cage. Another test was that of sanity. An interpreter would ask each person a few questions just to find a sensible answer to test mental stability. The last and most feared doctor checked for disease by lifting the eyelid. He scared children, and probably spread more disease than the people he checked. From an eyewitness account, his gloves were not sterile, and he did not change or even wash them between examinations. I, myself, found this disgusting, and dangerous. Then, immigrants filed into lines by nationality to be questioned. The questions scared many people. Should they tell the truth or lie. Which answer would make sure that they could stay in America. Later, for Jews, help came. A group called the ?Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society,? (HIAS) told them to tell the truth, and helped them through the period between leaving the boat and getting settled in the west. Some officials were corrupt, and allowed bribes. This makes me wonder, if this was the land of freedom and justice as it had been claimed. Through the ordeal, one thing is certain. All of the immigrants passing through Ellis Island were scared and confused. It was one feeling that most of these people would probably be exposed to for the next few months. There were many restrictions. People with certain diseases would be sent back. Laws, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, would not let certain nationalities into America. In the early twentieth century it was decided that Japanese people would not be allowed into America. This was surely not the land of liberty that had been promised by our forefathers. One of the nationalities traveling to America were Jews. They were treated somewhat differently. This was probably because many of their countries would not accept them. The first Jews in the new world were Morranos from ...

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Keywords: immigration to america 1800s, immigration to america 1900s, immigration to america from pakistan, immigration to america history, immigration to america from uk, immigration to america from south africa, immigration to america 1700s, immigration to america 2022

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