Earliest Foundation Essay

Submitted By clark2ja
Words: 801
Pages: 4

From its earliest foundation, and through continuous development, immigration has been the driving force that has characterized the United States. Beginning from the colonial period until the present, Italians have irregularly migrated to the American Nation. Throughout modern history, Italy has been the source of immigration. In recent years, Italy’s population has stabilized and immigration to the United States has been minimal. When immigrants migrate to a new land, they not only become incorporated into a new society, but they also transform it. Italians first migrated to America in hopes to advance to a better life in a free society that is protected by a Constitution in which the rights of individuals are supreme. Immigrants from the 1880-1920’s were often characterized as extremely poor individuals with an illiterate educational background categorizing this culture as unskilled people. More currently, we can find that Italian immigrants are more stable, tend to commonly arrive by jet plane, are better educated, retain their language, and are proud of their national heritage. It was not always this easy for immigrants on a quest to find a better future. Historically, about three quarters of the immigrants who entered the United States between 1892 and 1924 started off going through the Ellis Island immigration station, which was built on a small island in New York Harbor. Shipping companies made large profits by carrying “human cargo” to the United States. These companies would bring cotton, wood, and crop cargoes to Europe and on the return trip would bring immigrants back to America. If an immigrant had to be sent back to his country of origin for any reason, it would then be up to the shipping company to bear the cost. Once the immigrants successfully arrived in New York, they were greeted by a state quarantine inspector who was in charge of approving the passengers before they entered. Immigrants disembarked with all of their belongings and were each tagged with a number that designated which ship they traveled on. Then they were passed on to a member of the medical staff who was responsible for identifying any obvious deformities or handicaps. Whenever a case aroused suspicion, a large ‘X’ would be marked on their coat as well as another symbol such as ‘L’ for lameness, ‘G’ for goiter, ‘Pg’ for pregnancy, and so on. Lastly before being accepted, they were tested to determine mental deficiency, which if failed, could be grounds for deployment. It seemed as though the staff would discriminate against the uneducated and those with disabilities because they would be of no use for the United States society. The United States wanted to accept those immigrants who would be of great use to them and provide a sense of help and success rather than a burden that they might face with those who are not fully capable or educated. The hostility that greeted the Italian Immigrants grew out of a rising anxiety about large scale immigration. Most Italians who came to America at the turn of the century were farmers. Even though being skilled in farming, due to the inability to trust Americans and many other reasons, they chose not to farm in America. Italian immigrants were weary of…