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    In this essay I will be talking about immigration and how it’s more in your life then you would think. Immigration was the start of America, the land we know today only exist because of immigration. Currently 43 million foreign born people live in the U.S, meaning immigration is all around us.     In the late seventeen hundreds immigrants from Europe had sought out to sail to America in hope of a new life. One with religious freedom, political freedom, and a better economy. Thousands of Europeans from Britain, Ireland, France, and Germany left on ships. During the ship ride to migrate, a shipwreck occurred and had killed 1 out of every 10 people on the ship. The remaining people that survived went into America and they brutally took out the original founders, the natives of the American land. With all the new land, the Europeans started to build a life for themselves and ninety percent of them worked as farmers. With so much land, sickness and disease didn’t spread as fast as it did in Europe where everyone was compact and together. This kept the death rates low. And as years continued more British came to America and populated the area, being the most dominant ethnicity, and natives over the years of being taken out by Europeans had almost became nonexistent.     By the time of 1790 immigrants made up 60% of the U.S. population and dominated. That same year a law passed that any white immigrant could become a legal American citizen, the law stated “any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States…”. During the early 1800s European immigrants that claimed to be American sought out to africa and took people by force to become slaves. They took them back to the U.S and forced them into hard labor with no pay and a life without freedom. When this happened the people of the U.S also made new laws that any immigrants in the U.S had to be able to speak english as well as practice the same religion, protestant (Christianity). And by the 1820s it was estimated that the immigrant population was around 1 million.     In the early 1800s the second wave of immigration occurred and more  Europeans had came to America, in hopes to get away from the great famine and great hunger that was going on in their country. They came to America in the same hopes as the first wave, a better life filled with new jobs, food, and land. But this time Asians as well had started migrated to america. And as people from asia started to come in they soon got jobs in restaurants and railroad work. This soon started to bother the ‘americans’ and they felt as if immigrants were stealing their work. People started to protest against asian immigrants and a law passed in 1882 that no asian immigrant could become a U.S citizen. And no immigrant could come before a ‘real American’ in the work field, meaning employers had to favorite white workers before they did someone with color. This led to the Europeans immigrants looking down on asians and they had felt that the asians ‘foreign ways’ were wrong and should be looked down upon because the only religion and culture that was correct were what they believed.     The third wave of immigrants started in the late 1800s and finished in the mid 1900s. The third wave had been the biggest wave immigration the US had ever experienced so far. Most of the population of immigrants that came during this time were Europeans and thousands were sailing in weekly. Just like all the past waves these immigrants had came to America in hopes of a better life, to live the American dream. Europe during this time was having an economic crash and was experiencing famine. They sought out to America, selling all their belongings to afford a ticket to America which had cost twelve dollars, that had been more than a lot of families made and it took a lot of work for them to get that money. Once they purchased their ticket they sailed out to Ellis island. Ellis island was a man made island in New York, it was the beginning step to becoming a citizen in America. For many it was a dream to go to Ellis island and a lot called it “Their first home in America”. But the steps to become a citizen wasn’t easy. Immigrants were put through many test and were constantly inspected to make sure they weren’t crazy. They were asked to know how write and read in their language to show they were well educated and were thoroughly “cleaned” before leaving Ellis island. They were asked all sorts of tricky questions and their bodies were inspected for any health deficiencies. Only two percent of immigrants didn’t pass Ellis islands tests and were sent back to their home land. The rest had made it into America.     The fourth wave started in 1965 and is still present, it is the wave we are currently living. The majority of immigrants that came during this wave was from latin countries and asia. They came in hopes of a better life, to escape poverty, and the US government made it easier for immigrants to enter. Most immigrants that came experienced intense poverty, they had no job, no home, and had a hard time finding a well paying job. Most had no choice but to become farmers or do other hard labor jobs like picking grapes. For housing most went to ‘depressed’ neighborhoods because it was the cheapest and easiest to get into. But because such a large amount moved into these areas it actually helped these areas thrive again and bring in more money and life. Immigration changed a lot in america because there would be no america without immigration. They helped the economy, they do a lot of hard labor, and the country that was known to be mainly white has now become one of the most diverse. It is now known as rainbow country or the land of immigrants.     Overall by now i have a clear understanding that America wouldn’t be what it is today without immigration. And i can answer the driving question, “What role does immigration play in the American story?” The answer is everything. Immigration is the American story, because there would be no America without immigration. All our ancestors our immigrants and we are still known to be the land of immigration. It’s our entire history of America.

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