The Political Aspect of Italian Immigration
Much has been told and written about the discrimination that Italian immigrants were faced with in the United States of America. However, these facts should be measured against what kind of trace they have left in the US government and its politics.
At home, Italians left underemployment, poverty and high rates of mortality, absence of medical care as well as no schooling at all. There was just one way out – the land of dollar. But the truth is that becoming an American is a quite difficult task even for the immigrants of the present days. The process is complicated and requires a lot of patience and time. But Italians seem to get over it and to have perfectly assimilated to the US people.
However, the policy towards Italy was changed significantly in the times of the Second World War. The point is that some of the Italian immigrants often chose to wait for some time before getting the status of the naturalized citizens. To speak more clearly, they simply delayed their absolute inclusion into the civic and political life of the United States of America. According to the historical findings, a lot of Italians were naturalized between 1939 and 1941 as the Second World War hit the European continent. And since the US was found in the war conflict with Italy, the immigrants that were not naturalized were seen as illegal aliens and enemies for the American society. To add more, in the postwar time Italian immigrants were strictly criticized for organized crime or the good old Mafia in the period between 1950’s and 1960’s. However, Italian Americans found their name highly tarnished by the crime, even at the moments, when they seemed to be at the top of the socioeconomic ladder.
With an explosion of the development of mass media after the end of the war, the immigrants from Italy became visible everywhere. Every segment of business and politics seemed to be related to Italian Americans. Andrew Cuomo, who was the 56th NY governor, was the son of Mario Cuomo – the former NY Governor. The man served as the United States secretary of HUD and worked as the attorney general in the New York City.
The representative of the working-class – Geraldine A. Ferraro – was an Italian American and the first woman to run for the United States vice presidency. She also worked as an assistant district attorney before the election as a Democrat to the House of Representatives of the USA in 1978.
Nowadays, Italian Americans can be seen all over the USA, from the National Academy of Science to the Supreme Court. After almost one hundred years after the time of great immigration start, the grand children of the first Italians in the US go on celebrating the rich heritage left by their grandfathers.