Essay On Ellis Island Immigration

661 Words3 Pages
In the late 1800′s and early 1900′s there were massive waves of immigration to America. These new immigrants were largely Italians, Hungarians, Jews, Serbians, Irish, and Slovaks. Fleeing such hardships as poverty, religious persecution, and political unrest in their homelands, immigrants journeyed to the United States in search of freedom and opportunity.During their voyage from their homelands to Ellis Island, many immigrants suffered. Traveling by steamships, voyages lasted anywhere between seven days to a month. Many immigrants ate off of tin plates with only soup or bread to choose from. To alleviate themselves from the unpleasant smells on the steamships, immigrants went on deck for some fresh air. At times many of the immigrants…show more content…
Each passenger had to answer a series of about 30 questions that were recorded on lists. These questions included name, age, sex, marital status, occupation, nationality, etc. Several immigrants didn’t know how to write or spell their own names, so immigration inspectors created one for them. Passengers were inspected for contagious diseases such as small pox, yellow fever, scarlet fever, and measles. The cultural habits of immigrants were frequently targets of criticism, especially when the new arrivals came from a different background. Numerous immigration officers looked down upon these immigrants. Immigrants were told to “sit down and shut-up.” Many families were separated. If family members were with one another , their lives were considered to be tolerable. With only little food to eat, the immigrants were supplied a dining area to eat with 3,000 others joining. Americans looked at these people with hatred and disgust. They saw only the awkward clothing, the strange foods eaten, and the different languages spoken by these immigrants. At Ellis Island up to as many as 5,000 immigrants each day would be checked, questioned and sent on their way. This process took between three and five hours possibly further. For others, a longer stay meant additional testing, and for an unfortunate two – percent, exclusion and a return trip
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