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Immigrants came from all over the world for many reasons such as religious persecution and racial tension but the largest reason for coming to America was for freedom The freedom to live where we want to own property to take part in the government and most importantly the freedom to be treated like a human being Groliers Online EncyclopediaComing over was extremely difficult For some there were good seaworthy boats but most boats were overcrowded dirty and disgusting For Jews the passage was extremely difficult because of the non-kosher ship food People were pushed together like cattle Most people became seasick From one account came descriptions of unsanitary bathrooms This surely must have been torture but hopefully most immigrants found the dreadful trip to be worth the freedom at the other end 1991 Interview with Nathan LaksEllis Island also was far from sanitary The people would break down into lines and walk by a doctor trying to hide any physical problems Children over two had to be able to walk by themselves If the doctor noticed anything wrong he would use a piece of chalk to show the person required further inspection If this was the case the person would be set aside in a cage 1991 Interview with Nathan LaksAnother test was that of sanity An interpreter would ask each person a few questions just to find a sensible answer to test mental stability The last and most feared doctor checked for disease by lifting the eyelid He scared children and probably spread more disease than the people he checked From an eyewitness account his gloves were not sterile and he did not change or even wash them between examinations 1991 Interview with Nathan LaksThen immigrants filed into lines by nationality to be questioned The questions scared many people Should they tell the truth or lie Which answer would make sure that they could stay in America 1991 Interview with Nathan LaksLater for Jews
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