“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
In the early 20th century, immigrants were, if not welcome, mostly tolerated. They provided an essential labor force to build a rapidly growing country. They were mostly poor people looking for a better life, and many of them had to sell all of their possessions and borrow money just to get here. They didn’t travel first class.
Fourth class travel was often called “Steerage Class” because the passengers were crowded like cattle. But that was nearly a hundred years ago. Immigrants and the way they travel have changed drastically.
Instead of Europeans arriving by ship, today’s immigrants are mostly Mexicans entering on foot or in vehicles.
But sometimes conditions aren’t any better.
Recently, Mexican police found 513 people squeezed together in two trucks just outside Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas – a painful 18-hour-drive away from the nearest US border.
They were caught when the trucks sped through a vehicle scanner at a police checkpoint. After the incredible X-ray image came up on the screen, police gave chase, finding 240 people in one truck and 273 crammed into the other.
The vacationers are being given spacious apartments before being repatriated to their home countries.
Zhang Chuanqiu from Hunan, China was chained to a cowshed in 2005 after an altercation with village officials over a loan to build his house. He was chained so tightly in this clandestine prison that his flesh grew over the shackles and chain.
“The only person who did not give up on me was my mother who waited for her time and rescued me,” he told reporters.
Zhang is trying to raise the 1,000 GBP surgeons have told him he needs for an operation to remove the chains and save his hands from further infection.
“They cause me a lot of pain. They are always inflamed and ooze pus all the time. But we have no money so I have to rely on charity or the good heart of a hospital or doctor to save my hands,” he said.
An 11 year old boy in Martin County, Florida was arrested for farting. The arrest document is below.