Tenement Museum has played a significant role in displaying the immigrants’ lifestyle in the early days since its foundation in 1988 (Robbins, 2020). The Museum is located in the Lower East Side and embraces the rich history of American immigration. The US received several immigrants who went to realize the American dream. However, they met several problems in the early days ranging from lack of proper healthcare, inadequate settlement, discrimination based on colour, religion, and origin. The US laws during the time prohibited the immigrants from receiving essential services such as medical cover due to a lack of citizenship. The rules considered them outsiders and inferior individuals that never deserved to enjoy equal rights to the Americans. The immigrants lived in quotas where the US secluded them in the urban areas. The immigrants, as shown in Tenement Museum, lacked several rights leading to their continued problems. They suffered a lot due to their lack of essential benefits from the government.
One of the individuals who played an essential role in the immigrants’ lives is Ms Lillian Wald. In 1893, Ms. Wald founded Henry Street Settlement (Robbins, 2020). Her motivation was the suffering of the immigrants in New York when she found a woman dying from childbirth since the hospital rejected her for failure to pay for the hospital care. Ms. Wald treated the woman and saved her life from death before embarking on a mission to treat the poor immigrants along New York’s streets. She was emotional upon seeing a new mother left to die on the roads due to a lack of hospital bills. It was one of the dark experiences that the American immigrants experienced in the US before reforms that later changed their lives. Wild was phenomenal in changing immigrants’ lives as Henry Street Settlement ensured that the poor immigrants received essential services such as healthcare that they could not afford from their pockets. Currently, most immigrants have the same rights as the natives, and it could be pretty challenging to imagine that such experiences happened before.
Another great experience from Tenement Museum is Adolf Baldizzi, who migrated to the US in 1923 but failed to take his wife due to the 1924 Immigration Act (Robbins, 2020). Baldizzi decided to bring his wife to the US illegally since he had no choice. During Great Depression, Adolf Baldizzi risked accepting the government’s benefits to feeding his kids. The immigrants were highly in need of essential support such as food during the time. However, Adolf Baldizzi knew that he would be in trouble if he accepted the government support, his only hope to feed the children. Since Baldizzi had no option, he received government relief, enabling the government to realize his family’s true story. Many immigrants faced the same ordeal as the government failed to recognize their migration to the US, terming them illegal. Hence, they could not get the essential services. The inclusion of the Baldizzi story in the Tenement Museum is a significant capture of the immigrants suffering in the US.
Through the visit to Tenement Museum, people can learn about the problems that faced the immigrants in the US in the early years. There has been significant improvement due to the numerous reforms. However, few immigrants continue to face various problems currently. It is an excellent capture of the population health of the US. It took time for the US to include immigrants as part of its society with equal benefits.
Robbins, L. (2020). New York City Museums teach the history of immigration. Four places on the Lower East Side provide immersive experiences for visitors and also explore US laws. The New York Times.Order Now