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Sample Essay on Immigration to America: What Makes People Give up on Their Home

September 8th, 2017

Immigration is a complex issue, which has been controversial ever since the Pilgrims first sailed to Plymouth Rock. Many of the motivations behind immigration to the US have remained the same throughout the centuries. This article can guide you as you craft an essay on this relevant and complex topic.

The history of immigration to the United States spans hundreds of years, yet most of the reasons for the mass exodus to America have remained constant: the search for greater economic opportunity, an escape from intolerable conditions in their own countries, and the desire for political and religious freedom. Sadly, many immigrants were forced to come to the United States as slaves or indentured servants.

During the earliest wave of immigration in the 1600s, many Europeans found that the price of passage to the United States was more than they could afford. These immigrants chose to barter their freedom in exchange for a one-way ticket to the US, and became indentured servants. They earned their freedom after a four-to-seven year term of labor. Unfortunately, thousands of people from West Africa were forcibly kidnapped and brought to the US as slaves, beginning as early as 1619 and continuing until after the Civil War. While we no longer chain other humans and force them to come to the US, the modern-day equivalent still exists in undocumented migrant workers forced to work without pay.

The draw of cheap or free land and independence of resources drew thousands of immigrants during the 1600s. The period of westward expansion in the 19th century opened up more opportunities for migrants from Ireland and Germany. The California gold rush drew in both Europeans and Asians. Today, many Asians still migrate to the US to pursue opportunities in fields like research, engineering, law, and medicine which are unavailable to them in their own countries.

During the 19th century, many Irish immigrants came to America to flee the devastation of the Irish Potato Famine, in which 1.5 million Irish people died. They were not the only ones who came to America to flee terrible situations in their home countries. Overcrowding and disease in many of the cities of Europe brought people of all nationalities to seek a new life in the US. Wars and pogroms in Mexico, Turkey, and Russia brought immigrants who needed the safe haven from violence and persecution. Today, the US offers a refuge to those fleeing violence or natural disasters.

Of course, the very first immigrants were the Pilgrims, who sailed to America from Britain in 1620 seeking religious and political freedom. This desire for freedom was echoed by a later wave of immigrants: intellectuals who migrated from Europe after the failed revolutions of 1848. Today, the US still provides asylum to people in other countries who are persecuted for their religious or political beliefs.

Although much has changed throughout the history of the USA, the reasons that people come here have remained fundamentally the same. Immigrants still seek freedom, refuge and, opportunity.

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