Brian, Grade 9
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Brian, 9th Grade Student
Poly Prep Country Day School
Brooklyn, NY

MY IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE

From the lesson Immigrant Experience.

I have recently immigrated to the United States from Italy. It was a rough trip but it was worth it. I remember how the boat rocked back to and fro as it neared the giant copper woman, Lady Liberty. This is the start of a new life for me. A new life of freedom and opportunity. I choked on the stale air as we slowed down and came to a stop on Ellis Island. I had waited my whole life for this moment but yet I was saddened by it. Now I would venture into the unknown. I couldn't believe I was in the land of opportunity.

After passing my physical exam on Ellis Island, I was in search of a place to stay, a job, and the start of my new life. First, I would go to the unemployment office, and get a job and then I would go house hunting.
I had but one problem; I was lost, alone, and scared in a strange place. I began to panic until a young Irish immigrant, named Joe Walsh calmed my fears. He was like a shepherd and I was his sheep, and my pasture was New York. He guided me through the maze of streets and avenues and to the unemployment office.

I thanked him upon arriving and was amazed at his generosity. The long line at the agency moved slowly like a slithering snake. After a wait of two hours I reached the front of the line where a young woman asked my name. I said, "My name is Eric DiNapoli," and she replied, "What experience do you have, Mr. DiNapoli?" I told her that I was an experienced factory worker and she said that I was in luck. I thanked her and asked when I could start. She told me to go to the Acme shoe factory the next morning.

Now I had a job but nowhere to stay. So I wandered around the streets for a while until I found an old Italian landlady sitting on her front porch. I walked up to her and asked her if she had any rooms for rent. She began speaking Italian to me. She asked me if I was new here and I told her that I was. I told her that I was going to start working tomorrow and she said that we could work out payment when I got home. I thanked her and brought my few belongings into the apartment.

That is my experience immigrating into the U.S.A.