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During the 19th century many inventions were being made.

So were businesses, which


meant many job opportunities. The economy was growing rapidly. Immigrants looked at
America as the “Land of Opportunity”. Immigrants coming from all over especially from
Southern and Eastern Europe, and Asia. Many had to leave their home for a better life,
maybe a better job, or just to escape harsh conditions. But, various opinions and
reasons lead to immigrants facing different problems along the way. 19th century
America was not the Land of Opportunity for immigrants because the government had
made it illegal for Chinese laborers to immigrate, there were so many stores, garbage
and poverty filling the streets, and immigrants were forced to live in overcrowded
apartments, some even homeless.

On May 6, 1882 the U.S had decided to come out with the Chinese exclusion act.
This act had would stop accepting any chinese laborers into the country. This act was
enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives. In the document it stated “The
coming of chinese laborers to the United States be, and the same hereby, suspended;
and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborers to come, or,
having so come after the expiration of said 90 days, to remain in United States.” (Doc C)
In this quote it states that Chinese immigrants that were coming into America could only
do so before 90 days after the Act was enacted. This act excluded Chinese immigrants
from the “Land of Opportunity”

When immigrants began to come to America, New York City became even more
crowded even quicker. Which resulted in jam packed apartment buildings, and streets
filled with the homeless. Immigrants had no other choice but to live in the city even with
the horrible living conditions, because of all the job opportunities the city had to offer. In
this document it states “During the Industrial Revolution, millions of immigrants arrived
in the United States, including 13 million between 1900 and 1914. Many moved to cities
to find work and had to live in overcrowded tenement housing”.(Doc A) In the quote it
showed just how quickly immigrants overpopulated cities, and how fast immigrants were
actually coming over to the U.S. The picture shows a bunch of kids out back hanging
clothes and sheets from the railing.
When immigrants decided to come to America, they had a vision. That they would be
rich, and everyone would get along. Believing that anyone can do what they want in
America. Immigrants had gotten a wake up call when they actually arrived in the U.S.
Poverty, overcrowding, fighting, buildings, and factories everywhere. An immigrant by
the name of “Anzia Yezierska” had written down a few words about what her
expectations were when she got to America, but what she actually felt when she had
arrived. In this document she stated “Where are the green fields and open spaces in
America?” cried my heart. “Where is the golden country of my dreams?” All about me
was the hardness of brick and stone, the smells of crowded poverty.” (Doc E) This
quote really showed how much immigrants were let down when what imagined America
would be like wasn’t real.

To conclude, America was not a Land of Opportunity for immigrants. Chinese


laborers were no longer allowed in America. Apartments were overcrowded and filthy.
The streets were filled with garbage, and rodents, and poverty. America was not at all
what immigrant thought was the “Land of Opportunity”.