1905 was a period of heavy immigration from Europe to America before laws were passed restricting the flow of immigrants. Almost every character in this movie is a recent arrival. Tisa has been in America only four months, yet she is holding four jobs to save enough money to pay for her father's boat passage to America. She works in a garment factory in Greenwich Village owned by Mr. Grumbach, who is studying to pass his citizenship test. Denek, a brash young man, tries to help her but gets her into trouble and her deportation is ordered by an immigration judge.