There is nothing but hunger for me in Ireland. I'm going to leave for America with my family.
We're leaving? But it's so cramped in here!
Ellis Island and Processing
No, sir, I'm not an Anarchist.
Many immigrants left because of what we call “push-pull” factors. Some of these factors include plague, famine, and the promise of a better job in America.
Moving on to America
I can't believe we made it!
People looking to gain citizenship often came over to America in unfavorable conditions. The voyage, typically taking around 2 weeks, was spent in a cramped living space full of disease and death.
But I need to pay for my son's journey!
The very first place immigrants set foot on after their trip was Ellis Island, a processing center. Here they were asked questions and given health checkups. Those who produced bad results were sent back to their countries.
My mom came over from Ireland when she was just a little girl.
After processing, immigrants who were allowed to become citizens moved onwards and waited for a family member to retrieve them. Families with no patriarch were required to wait; those with one had no such rule.
Many immigrants were poor; often, people of the same heritage would live close by in low-quality housing. Immigrants also needed work. That is, for many, where factories came in. These factories were rarely safe, but campaigning for your rights could mean getting placed on a blacklist. For immigrant workers who often needed to pay for families in their home country, this was not good. This led many to become scab workers.
After a few generations, many European immigrants have completely lost the culture they once had. This is the current state of the ancestors of those that came over in the mid-1800s and early 1900s.