The Pros And Cons Of Immigrants In America

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America is known as a melting pot for its richness in diversity. Immigrants have been coming to America since the beginning of its existence. They come from all over the world; Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Central America. Each group had their own reasons for coming to America whether it was to flee religious persecution political differences, or escape their own poverty-stricken countries. However, each group thrived (or failed) in different ways; which group of immigrants prospered the most? Looking at the different time periods, the reasons an ethnic group came to America, the life they have here, and how they were treated/viewed by Americans will provide insight into the groups that did the best and the worst in America.
European
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Due to the crowded cities and large number of immigrants, job opportunities were limited. Their primary source of work lay in the least skilled, lowest-paying jobs that New York City had to offer; laboring on the docks as longshoreman, in the factories as unskilled operatives, as porters, coachmen, boatmen, ferrymen, stage drivers, carters, and undifferentiated common laborers. Doing these jobs earned them one dollar for a ten hour day of work. They would work for six days a week, depending on the economic supply and demand as well as the seasonal weather. Other jobs that were more skilled, such as bakers and carpenters earned around nine dollars per week. Working in domestic work, as a waiter or bartender, earned them not much more than an unskilled laborer (five dollars per week). Working such low paying jobs made it difficult for immigrants to pay the cost of living and feed their families. This forced immigrants of all ethnic backgrounds to live in tenement houses. These houses contained multiple families in one narrow room. Each room had little ventilation, no heat, and no toilets (located outside with one toilet for every twenty residents). The tenements had health risks for every resident and were disease ridden for tuberculosis, among other ailments. The tenement house rent cost approximately four dollars a month, or one week’s pay. This was the harsh reality for most immigrants from European nations; tenement housing, low wages, and poverty. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that tenement houses became a thing of the past, and outlawed by the

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