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We can give thanks to immigrants for countless numbers of things. Their role in shaping America is not just remarkable, but full of beautiful stories of the journeys taken by the immigrants themselves. Most immigrants that came from the west did so by Ellis Island (inspection gateway). Ellis Island was the busiest gateway, for over twelve million immigrants were inspected before being given access to New York. Ellis Island was spread out across three connected islands; these islands contained a hospital and contagious disease wards. The question is, why would anybody want to leave their home country in which they were born, raised, and where most had family? Most immigrants were trying to escape religious persecution, political oppression, and most commonly, economic hardships. Compared to their home country, America seemed to them a safe-haven and a place full of opportunity. Although, opportunity wasn’t always on their side as they arrived. Jim Burden (One of the main characters of Willa Cather’s “My Antonia”) traveled by buggy and train through cold weather to get to his grandparents. Most of the immigrants traveled by boat; a hazardous, overcrowded boat which caused food and water to become scarce and hard to share. "We were put on a barge, jammed in so tight that I couldn't turn 'round, there were so many of us, you see, and the stench was terrible. And when we got to Ellis Island, they put the gangplank down, and there was a man at the foot, and he was shouting, at the top of his voice, "Put your luggage here, drop your luggage here. Men this way. Women and children this way." Dad looked at us and said, ", we'll meet you back here at this mound of luggage and hope we find it again and see you later.” This was quoted fro... ... middle of paper ... ...ease. Pizza, pastas and tacos are prime examples of foreign foods enjoyed by Americans that were brought over by the immigrants themselves. However though, immigration does have its disadvantages. Immigrants came to America in expectation of a higher standard of living. For some immigrants, this goal was not met; this caused higher poverty levels in the cities and rural areas. With higher poverty level comes a higher crime rate, thus hurting the economy. A big part of the shaping of America is owed to the immigrants that traveled across seas and land to follow their dreams and to escape the cruel treatment of their homeland. When immigration is looked at in an individual manner, and the hardships and obstacles they faced are seen, it is almost impossible not to see the beauty of their integrity and refusal to give in despite what hardships were thrown their way.

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