Pamela A PascualHIS 120October 23, 2014Immigration ExperienceLeaving your own country to go to a foreign country is not easy. Immigrants just hope that they will have better life than what they had when they were growing up. Families as well as individuals have been seeking for a different ways to migrate here in the United States for a better life and opportunities. Most of us Italians seeking for new opportunities with the hope of getting better in life. Due to poverty, overpopulation, and natural disaster are the reason why Italians migrate to America where there’s a lot of job opportunities.
In the early nineteenth century, three million Italian people migrate here in the United States and my family were one of them. On that era, we were the largest nationality of new immigrants. It took us one week in our journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a cargo ships, which before it took them 40 days. Passenger paid thirty dollars each, we rarely allowed to go to deck where we can get fresh air. We slept in the same clothes near our luggage where there’s no room, it was crowded. They provided us stew or soup, and we had to wash ourselves with salt water which sometimes caused irritations and infections. But this doesn’t matter because I can see the Ellis Island, which was the point of entry, the immigration station in New York. As soon as we landed, the New York inspector quarantine us on the ship and wait for the approval, it took hours. They had to inspect Native Americans first then they go straight to New York while immigrants were taken in barges for processing. We had to leave our belongings and they tagged us with numbers according to the ships were on, then we had to walk in the baggage room. Then we had to file single line to go to the Registry facility, which there’s medical inspector. They inspect immigrants making sure that no diseases or deformities, which is a ground for deportation.
My family had a little bit of money, and needed shelter. We found this tenement housing which was 12 by 12. There were twelve men and women living in the housing with no partition nor furniture. We lived in the worst town in Mulberry Street, New York but it was near the factory and many Italian family lives there, where everybody speaks our language or dialect. The community that we lived in was clustered, isolated with immigrants. The housing that we can only afford at that time doesn’t have water sometimes, pipes are frozen, and bed bugs were common. We lived in enclosed space where we eat, sleep and others work in their own room. Percentage of family immigrants work in their own room as piecework, they stitch garment together and some, handling machinery. Because of long hours, this people do not see sunlight.
Americans discriminate Italians where they don’t want to sell groceries to Italians. Americans do not want to rent their properties to Italians hoping that they just leave the country. Italians were not also welcomed by union movement. The unions were afraid that they will work for any amount of money. Americans felt threatened and Federation of Labor stated