Immigration To The Land Of Opportunity

1075 words - 4 pages

Immigration to America is often a decision made in order to discover a better life for a family or individual. America’s founding ideals are usually what compel foreigners to move to the US. The stories of America being the “Land of Opportunity” have continued to persuade people to immigrate. Although immigration in the 20th century is much different from recent immigration, the underlying reasons for moving to the US are usually quite similar.
Anna Romano was 24 years old when she, her husband Gino, and her expected daughter moved from Ponza, Italy to the United States in 1971. Her sister-in-law was the first of her relatives to move to the United States, in hopes of finding opportunity for her family. After hearing great things about the United States, she decided it would be best for her family to immigrate. Similar to the America Letters, which were letters from friends and relatives that convinced foreigners to immigrate in the 20th century, she was persuaded to believe that America was the best place to raise a family. Anna and Gino were informed of the vast amount of opportunity and jobs in America. They were fascinated by the stories and great things they were told. The original plan was to move to America, make enough money to be well off in Italy, and then move back to their homeland. However, after arriving in America, they ended up settling in and staying to raise their family. Before leaving for America, Anna and Gino were interviewed by Italian government officials. They were asked questions such as why they were going to America, who they would be staying with, and whether or not they had jobs awaiting their arrival. This is similar to the immigrants in the 20th century who were asked various questions and given health and literacy tests before becoming legal immigrants and American residents. Given that Anna and Gino would be staying with Gino’s sister, who would support them until they had made enough money to live on their own, they were granted permission to immigrate to America. Although they had exceedingly high expectations for life in America, these expectations were met when they arrived.
The lifestyle changes that came along with the transition from the small island of Ponza to the city of Boston were quite drastic. When they first arrived in America, Anna and Gino lived with Gino’s sister and her husband. Shortly after their arrival, Anna gave birth to her first daughter. Seeing as Anna and Gino did not know any English, it was difficult for them to adjust to the American culture and lifestyle. Fortunately, Gino quickly found a job that had many Italian employees, so he was able to communicate with them without difficulty. Anna, on the other hand, did not have similar luck. In Ponza, most women did not work. Therefore, she did not have any experience or specific skill in addition to speaking only Italian. This made it incredibly difficult for Anna to find work. However, she came across a job as a housekeeper, and did...

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