Immigration Story

By: Ana Dobeck

Hi Im Sophia. Im from Italy and I am 12 years old. We have recently came to the United States. My family came because of the poverty in Italy, and there was rumor you could "restart" your life in America. Along with being in poverty the government had recently came in and taken out house. My parents had been thinking about leaving for a while so they had saved enough to get me and my mom to the United States. We would send money once we were in the United States to get my dad over.

My trip started with a long trip on foot to the seaport so we could get to Ellis Island. The first day we went with a few others. We didnt have alot of money and food with us so we had to ration it. Everyday we ate one meal. The food only lasted a few days, so we had to scavange for food around. We spent the nights on the ground with a few blankets. It took about 1 week to get to the seaport. When we finally did we pilled on the steam boat with about 3,000 other people in the steerage.

The steerage was hit and sweaty with little room to move around. They fed us little food when we were there. Most of the food was for the Upper class people. It took two week of being close together, with little room, and not many places to go to the restroom. When we got to the United States the first thing I saw was the statue of liberty. It gave me hope of freedom eventhough I was tired from the trip.

Before we could go to Ellis Island, for immagration process, we had to be checked out by a health inspector for disease. This process took hours. When we got there we got tags, and where sent to the baggage room to put our sacks of clothes in. After we put our belongings away we were sent upstairs for medical and legal inspections. The doctors loked for people with a hard time breathing, walking or had any other health issues.

We then left to the registry room. Here was so loud I could bearly hear myself think. They checked our eyes for another disease called trachoma. If you had this you were most likely going to be sent home. I was scared because if I went back I would go back to starving and begging for anything I could get. There where many more medical tests then we finally got the legal test. They asked all sort of questions about my life.

Me and my mom were one of the lucky people and we only had to wait a few days to go to the hearing room. After reviewing the case me and my mom were one of the few people who got to go to the United States and begin out journy. We walked to a hallway and exchanged our euros for US money.

We finally had made it to what people call the "kissing post" because thats were everyone met their family. My Aunt had made it over about a month ago so she met us there. We then went to her tiny one bedroom house, and stayed there until my mom and I got jobs in a sewing factory. The job didn't pay much and we worked long hard hours everyday. This job took several months to find because so many immagrants were coming over. We got turned down by 7 other buisnesses. We took three years to get enough money for my dad to get here. Once we got him to the United States it took 2 more years to get a one room home like my Aunts.

The trip for me and my family was long and tiring, but we all made it here safely. We are one of the few lucky families that made it to the USA. I am thankful for this every day and I hope that every other person from a different country will one day have the same oppertunity I did.

Works Cited:


"Ellis Island." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.

"Ellis Island Internment." Ellis Island Internment. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.

"Travelling Steerage - the Evolution of Steering Systems." Catamaran Concepts. N.p., 20 Sept. 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.