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Running Head: IMMIGRATION

Immigration

Luke Hayden
History 109

Running Head: IMMIGRATION

Introduction
The immigration into the United States through Ellis Island during the 1900s
is similar to the current day immigration from Mexico into the U.S., both endured
hardships and difficulties that were surprisingly similar to one another. When
viewing immigration, both immigration officers and current citizens treated
immigrants coming through Ellis Island and current day immigrants from Mexico
poorly. Being treated poorly by immigration officers was little of their problems.
Immigrants of both times lack job opportunities, they were taken advantage of,
abused in the work force, and overall just disrespected.
Immigration through Ellis Island
This year we studied immigration through Ellis Island and into big cities
where immigrants were often lost in the mix. The Jungle is a novel about immigrants
coming to the United States in the 1900s who have terrible experiences. These
immigrants have trouble finding housing, and when they do find a place to live they
are scammed by the landlord and are paying 3 times the rent for a house with
terrible plumbing, electricity, and is overall poorly constructed. These immigrants
are also discriminated against and are the victims or racial crimes. When it comes to
work the immigrants in The Jungle have hard times finding jobs. They are underpaid
and overworked if they are lucky enough to work. They are easily injured and their
bosses do not give them paid leave or help pay their medical bills, so if they miss
work they lose their jobs.
The mistreatment the characters in The Jungle experienced is realistic to the
immigrants coming through Ellis Island. Immigrants coming through Ellis Island

Running Head: IMMIGRATION

couldnt find jobs, were taken advantage of by landlords, and were disrespected by
U.S. citizens. Immigrants coming through Ellis Island often had their names changed
on accident by Immigration officers, who wouldnt take the time to write down their
names correctly. (History of New York's Ellis Island, 2014) Immigrants couldnt find
jobs, and would often become homeless, living on the streets until they could
acquire jobs. They were victims of discrimination; citizens would verbally attack
immigrants for not being fluent, telling them to go back to their country of origin.
(Ellis Island, 2014)
Immigration from Mexico
The experiences of immigrants in the 1900s coming through Ellis Island are
similar to what both legal and illegal immigrants coming from Mexico today are
experiencing. They are a being discriminated against, called derogatory names and
are treated as if they are not people. Immigrants from Mexico are also taken
advantage of in the work force. They are underpaid and have no benefits. Often
immigrants will work in poor conditions and be injured, and their employers will
not cover their medical bills because they do not put the immigrants on pay roll to
avoid paying taxes.
Mexican immigrants are fleeing to the United States in search of job
opportunities and a better life. They are fleeing the violence and poverty of Mexican
cities. They leave all they have behind, including their family in search of a new start.
Many immigrants flee Mexico to the U.S. to support their family back home; they will
send their entire paychecks back to Mexico. The problem these immigrants are
facing is the environments they are working in. These immigrants are working in all

Running Head: IMMIGRATION

manual labor industries. (Zong, J., & Batalova, J, 2014)The majorities are working as
field hands, construction workers, and landscapers. The field hands spend countless
hours in 100-degree heat picking crops and tending the fields for below minimum
wage. On top of this they are deprived of adequate water and food. It is not the
immigrants fault they are in terrible work conditions. Their bosses underpay them
and the immigrants have no opportunity to quit and find a new job because of their
lack of money. The style of work immigrants are enduring can be considered
modern day slavery. (Mexican Immigrants in the United States, 2014)
On top of terrible working conditions, immigrants are being discriminated
against. They are being told to go home by citizens who are against immigration
because they are taking American jobs. They have no assistance in housing, they
end up living in an overcrowded apartment where they are overpaying on rent but
have no other options. Sadly it may be a step up from their lives back home, but it is
a sad situation in which immigrants are being taken advantage of. ((Zong, J., &
Batalova, J, 2014)
Similarities
The immigrants from Ellis Island had an extremely similar experience that
modern day immigrants from Mexico are experiencing. Both were extremely
mistreated. Going through immigration can be a difficult process, especially when
hundreds of people are coming in at one time, however these immigrants were
treated poorly. They were disrespected and often physically abused by immigration
officers. (Immigrants, legal groups harsh treatment at U.S. border, 2014) Getting
through immigration wasnt the biggest worries of their problems. The lack of jobs

Running Head: IMMIGRATION

were a common issues between both groups, and when they found a job the
conditions were poor and the pay was under minimum wage. On top of no jobs, and
little income the housing market was poor. People in charge of the housing
immigrants were able to afford took advantage of them, charging them well over the
actual cost. Creating an even worse life style for them.
Conclusion
The time period between immigrants through Ellis Island and modern day
immigrants from Mexico are hundreds of years a part. The immigration into the
United States through Ellis Island during the 1900s is similar to the current day
immigration from Mexico into the U.S., both endured hardships and difficulties that
were surprisingly similar to one another. The improvement of laws in todays
society will slowly improve the conditions of immigrants, but until then the process
of immigration from Mexico into the United States is surprising similar the
immigration process of the 1900s through Ellis Island.

Running Head: IMMIGRATION


References
Ellis Island. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2014, from
http://www.history.com/topics/ellis-island

History of New York's Ellis Island NewYork.com. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4,


2014, from http://www.newyork.com/resources/history-of-new-yorks-ellis-island
Illegal Immigration from Mexico. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2014, from
http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/illegal-immigration-from-mexico.html
Immigrants, legal groups allege harsh treatment at U.S. border. (n.d.). Retrieved
December 4, 2014, from http://www.pri.org/stories/2013-08-01/immigrantslegal-groups-allege-harsh-treatment-us-border
Mexican Immigrants in the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2014, from
http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/mexican-immigrants-united-states
Selected Images of Ellis Island and Immigration, ca. 1880-1920. (n.d.). Retrieved
December 4, 2014, from http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/070_immi.html
Zong, J., & Batalova, J. (2014, October 9). Mexican Immigrants in the United States.
Retrieved October 30, 2014, from
http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/mexican-immigrants-united-states