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Immigration - Page Text Content


BC: Bibliography Ellis island photograph new yor city htpp://

FC: Coming to America

1: The story of Francesco Torrez and his family

2: In the late summer of 1922. I lived in a house in a small village in Italy that looked across the river and the plain mountains of Milan. I'm a farmer in Italy. I'm married to my wife Adriana who is 25 years old. We have a son his name is Alessandro who is 7 years old. I don't like the kind of life that we have. I work 7 days a week and my wife doesn't work. My wage is so bad sometimes we don't have enough food to eat. I want to feed my family very well. The working conditions are really bad. It's hard to work out with sunny days and with just a few bottles of water. I feel bad for my family the kind of live that I'm giving them. I have been thinking about to find another job to help my family try to give them something better because right now this is the only thing I can offer them.

4: There are not jobs available. It's hard to find a job in Italy during these days. I spoke to my family about it. I told them how I felt about this situation that we were having. I said to them I wanted to emigrate to America to find better jobs, equal opportunities to improve our lives. I said to them our lives will be better over there. My wife didn't say anything we had a good relationship "Whatever you think is better for us," She said "We will be leaving in a week." I said. The week had arrived and we prepare our stuff. Some food and bottles with water that was all we had. It was July 5th of 1922 we had to board the boat. I knew I was going to miss my homeland and I didn't know what to expect about the life in US.

6: There was a lot of people waiting large lines. Finally we were on the boat. It was getting dark and the boat was about to leave. "Let me go to find a spot to stay for the night." I said "Ok" said Adriana. There were a thousand of people on the boat. There were a few beds and a 2 bathrooms. I knew some of us had to sleep on the floor. The Capitan said to cross the Atlantic it would take six weeks with adverse winds or bad weather the journey could take as long as fourteen weeks.

8: Four weeks have passed since we left Italy. The conditions were getting bad. We didn't have enough water and there was not food available. People started being sick. "What are we going to do?" "Conditions are really bad and I'm nervous about our son Alessandro," This boat is scared" My son said. "I don't know what to do." "I'm afraid to die" Adriana said. "We wont die" I said. Just calm down. It took us six weeks to cross the Atlantic as the Capitan said. Many people died during the journey.Our first contact with America was the Ellis island that afternoon in august 17th of 1922. We only had 2 suitcases we didn't have a lot of stuff with us. We arrived to Ellis island that afternoon.

10: I looked around the place I wanted to know where we were. There was a big line to get into the building it took us 2 hours to get in. We get to the baggage room where we left our suitcases. After we climbed the stairs. We passed through the great hall. We get to the medical exam station. There were doctor examining people. They made us physical and mentally exams. "You guys are alright" Said the doctor. All immigrants were supposed to be examined the proposed of these exams was to find persons with diseases or conditions that would make immigrants unable to work. I saw that some people were sent to the islands hospital. I asked to one of the officers why are they going to the hospital? "They have diseases but they are curable." The officer said. After we got to the big salon called "The great salon" I could see many people and benches where people would sit. A officer said you will have to wait here for your interviews with a legal inspector. "you think we will be accepted in here?" Adriana asked. "We will be fine." I said.

12: It took us 5 hours to see our interviewer. "your name?" He said "Francesco" I said. "how do you spell it? "I don't know how I don't know English" "you will be called frank" I was surprised because he changed my name but I didn't care i just wanted to be accepted here and I thought that would be a good start to my new life with a new name. He asked me 29 questions some of those questions were" "Whats your name, your occupation your final destination? do you know anyone here? how much money do you have?" All questions pertained to my values as potential citizen. I saw how they rejected immigrants with criminal record. Thanks god everything went right to us. "We must go to get some American money." I said to my wife. We went to the money exchanged area. We needed to change our money from Italy. We got 20 dollars for the money of our homeland. After we went to New York city to began our new life.

14: In september 17th 1922, We were stablished in New York city. We lived in an apartment with my wife and my son Alessandro. We had to share the apartment with another family, because the rent was so expensive that we cant afford it. There are a lot Italians in my neighborhood. One year has passed since we arrived America. I have found a job in a factory. I earn $12.65 a week. It's not too much but is enough to live. We began to practice our religion. My family is happy. They say they love being here. The working conditions are not too good but they are better than in Italy. At least my expectation of being free and having a better life here was true. Alessandro is going to the school and learning English. My wife is practicing her religion freely. I miss my homeland but this was a sacrifice that we had to take. I will gather enough money to go back to my homeland and buy some lands. We have been through bad situations but so far we are happy.

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  • By: josue m.
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Immigration
  • Experiences coming to america
  • Tags: None
  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: over 6 years ago