Coming from a life of poverty and despair would be enough cause for anyone to search for a better life; a life in which there is a belief that all of your biggest dreams can come true. This is the belief that many immigrants have about the United States. They naively believe for it to be the “land of opportunity”. Originally the United States was founded and settled by immigrants. Many immigrants, such as Mexicans, Eastern Europeans, Jews, and others from countries around the world came to America to escape war, poverty, famine, and/or religious prosecution. Some also chose to immigrate to take advantage of the opportunities and promises that America held. One such major group of people is Mexicans. Being a border line country neighbor to a country full of new opportunities has had a major influence on Mexicans and what they want in life. “During the late eighteenth century and early to mid nineteenth century, there was a [great] migration of people from China, Europe, Canada, Japan, and Mexico moving into the United States” (Henderson, 2011). This was a time period of growth in the United States, usually referred to as the Industrial Age. Skilled and unskilled labor was bountiful at this point in time; unfortunately the pay rate was very meager. Some of the jobs that were made readily for immigrants were Coal mining, Construction, railroad work, and manual labor jobs like farming. These were some of the jobs that immigrants had to pick from upon coming to this country. All of them were hard working jobs with terrible work conditions, that didn’t pay a decent enough wage. “The average immigrant worker would receive anywhere from a $1.25 a day to $6.25 a week, which would calculate to be a hourly wage of about 30 cents” (Henderson, 2011). Almost all immigrants to the United States around this time were generally desperate for any job that they could get their hands on to and would do anything to get it. The immigrants were so used to the terrible conditions and...
Cited: * Gutierrez, D. G. (1996). Between Two Worlds: Mexican Immigrants in the United States. n.p. Scholarly Resources Inc.
* Henderson, T. J. (2011). Beyond Borders: A history of Mexican migration to the United States. Molden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell.
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