What could be the difference between the immigration of the late 1800's to the early 1900's and now? Well, for one thing, back in the day people were fleeing poverty, social unrest, and were being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Most came through Ellis Island, were processed and, if they were lucky, already had family here. They lived in overcrowded apartments and worked for low wages, most as unskilled laborers. They had to learn English, or they stayed in their ethnic neighborhoods. Their lives were hard, but they were free, and appreciated being in America.