The New Colossus: Immigration into the US

Essay by dacoolestrjHigh School, 10th gradeA, September 2006

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"The New Colossus" (1883), a poem written by Emma Lazarus, engraved on the Statue of Liberty, although it shows much truth does not represent the true attitude of Americans. When immigrants were coming to America many Americans tried their hardest to not even let them in. This was mostly enforced by the US government, which rejected a high percentage of people who tried to enter America. Individual American citizens also played a big role in their attitude towards immigrants coming in to America. Many citizens believed that even though at one time they or their ancestors immigrated here that these immigrants had no right to be allowed in because they were a threat to the society by taking away potential jobs. That is how "The New Colossus" did not truly represent the Americans.

The government makes it very difficult for people to enter the country. After long hard journeys of hardship and suffering many potential immigrants are denied a right to enter the United States.

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", quotes Emma Lazarus in her poem. This quote is the exact opposite of the reality. In truth, a lot of the Americans, including those who completed qualificaitons on them, did not really wish for more immigrants. Therefore the government made it a great chalenge to be allowed to enter. For example at Ellis Island, after arriving, everyone is ushered into a big building. In this building you are forced to wait in a long line that leads up stairs. At the top of the stairs you are checked for dieseases. Government oficcials would stick a button hook in your eyelid and flip it over. Depending on the color of your eyelid you were either ordered to leave on the ship you came...