The Secret Life of an Italian Immigrant
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My name is Fernando Sinagoga, this is my family and we are from Italy. I want to take you on our journey to America!
We are traveling by boat. Its so crowded, so many people are on here just to go to America. We don't have that much food and its very unsanitary. Hopefully this will be worth it.
We made it to America! We are at Ellis Island. Its very busy here and doctors are everywhere checking if us immigrants have diseases. We were being asked so many questions and we had to prove if we could make a living here in America. "For most people, Ellis Island was the Isle of Hope", It was for us. We met up with more of our family in the kissing post. "After months or years apart people would kiss, hug and shout with joy and relief to see their family."
We finally made it to the city. It was hard trying to find a place to sleep. We had to stay in tenements. It was so fowl and unsanitary. "The structure housed around 500 people w/o provision for plumbing or heat." We were packed in one tenement like no other. There was not that much food and NO clean water. "America were rooms w/o sunlight, rooms to sleep in, to eat in, to cook in, but w/o sunshine."
I got a job at the factory. We have to work so much. I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. A lot of injuries occur and no one is allowed time off. "Employees were not entitled to vacation, sick leave, unemployment compensation or reimbursement for injuries suffered on the job" Also, kids under 15 work with me in the factory! They are working us like mules. "I didn't come to American to turn into a machine."
My hopes is to have a good life. To make sure my family gets the life they deserve. To supply shelter, food and clothes for them. That they are cared for. It might be tough now, but in the end it will be worth it. America gives us freedom, America gives us a chance.
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