Helena Jaeger

Mrs. Jaeger

8 S.S.

21 October 2020


Immigrating to the US

¨More than 27 million people entered the U.S. between 1880 and 1930¨ (The long fight over Immigration). A lot of those people entered through Ellis Island, especially people from Europe. It was a long and difficult journey these people had to take and all for the promise of a better life. Many people still believe that promise and journey to the U.S. today. Immigrating to the US is easier today than it was back in the 1800ś because of more convenient transportation methods, an easier citizen process, and the greater availability of jobs.

 Coming to America is simpler today because of the different methods of transportation to get here. In the 1800’s the only way to get to America from Europe was to take a boat across the ocean. According to A Virtual Voyage to Ellis Island, the boats that immigrants had to take were very crowded with very bad conditions. The journey was a long trip, and the immigrants had to leave a lot behind. These boats were very dirty and unsafe. Many people got sick during their journey and had to be on these boats for months. Today planes are an option immigrants can take to the US and receive benefits like a system of safety or regulation (In-Flight entertainment). Taking a plane or even a boat are also safer and quicker than they were before. After traveling to the U.S., the next step is to go through the process to become a citizen.

Becoming a citizen today is easier because there are many more ways to do so. In the 1800’s 12 million people became a citizen by going through Ellis Island (Ellis Island - History to the U.S.). When they arrived on the island, they had to have a medical check done to make sure that they were not bringing any unwanted diseases to the US and to make sure they were in good enough condition to work. If they did not pass the checkup, they could be sent back to Europe. The police would move and show immigrants where they needed to go on Ellis Island and they would separate the men and women to get their medical tests done. However the immigrants were scared of the police because where they were from, they didn’t trust police. Most of the immigrants did not speak english so it was very hard for them to understand what anyone from the US was talking about. Most of the time the immigrant families had to be split up so that made this experience a whole lot worse. When immigrants come to the US now, they have four ways to become a citizen. They can have citizenship through naturalization, marriage, parents, or military (File Right). Most people who are trying to become citizens know english which also helps them with this experience. The next step after becoming a citizen is to find a job so they can afford to live and provide for themselves.

Immigration is easier today based on availability of valuable employment. In the late 1800ś many people worked in sweatshops and lived in unsanitary conditions in tenement apartments (Discovering Our Past pg. 113). Sweatshops were very unsafe and dangerous and most of them did not have fire regulation laws or other laws to keep people safe. Most of the people who worked in these factories lived in Tenements. Tenements were unsafe, dirty, crowded apartments that were most likely the only affordable place for some people to live (Discovering Our Past pg. 113). Today, immigrants are open to more jobs in the US, and factories and buildings are a lot safer and cleaner than before. Apartments are also less crowded and are safer and more affordable. According to New Immigrants share their Stories the average amount of money an immigrant makes in a month in America is equal to the average amount of money they would make in a year in China! So coming to America is a big improvement for a lot of people. Once immigrants are secure in their employment they can enjoy the better life in which they worked so hard to achieve.

 In conclusion, easier transportation methods, a simpler citizenship process, and more job availability make immigrating to the U.S. easier today. Many people still immigrate to America today and are still looking for a better and safer life. For millions of immigrants, America has fulfilled that vision. According to an immigrant passenger, as he sailed into New York Harbour, “America appeared like a flag and was thought to be like heaven,” an attitude which reflects that of many immigrants, past and present (Ellis Island - History of Immigration).

Works Cited


“4 Ways to Become a U.S. Citizen.” FileRight, 23 Sept. 2020, www.fileright.com/blog/4-ways-to-become-a-u-s-citizen/.

“In-Flight Entertainment.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-flight_entertainment.