Immigration through Ellis Island

Immigration through Ellis Island

L’Isola dell Lagrime

Island of Tears

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When the first group of immigrants disembarked on Ellis Island in 1892, they found themselves in the grip of a bewildering, though still orderly, regime of bureaucratic procedures.

Newcomers were numbered, sorted, and sent through a series of inspections, where they were checked for physical and mental fitness and for their ability to find work in the U.S.

The consequences of failing an eye exam, or of seeming too frail for manual labor, could be devastating….

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…..one member of a family could be sent back to Italy, perhaps never to see his or her loved ones again, because of a hint of trachoma or a careless inspector. Although less than 2 percent of Italians were turned away, fear of such a separation led some immigrants to rename Ellis Island L’Isola dell Lagrime—the Island of Tears.

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Ellis Island Video Below

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From Wikipedia

Interesting Facts

Ellis Island is an island that is located in Upper New York Bay in the Port of New York and New Jersey, United States Of America. It was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States as the nation’s busiest and most crowed immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. Long considered part of New York, a 1998 United States Supreme Court decision found that most of the island is in New Jersey. The south side of the island, home to the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, is closed to the general public and the object of restoration efforts spearheaded by Save Ellis Island.

Immigration to the United States is a complex demographic phenomenon that has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior.

The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 15-year-old girl from Cork, Ireland, who arrived on the ship Nevada on January 1, 1892. She and her two brothers were coming to America to meet their parents, who had moved to New York two years prior. She received a greeting from officials and a $10 gold coin. It was the largest sum of money she had ever owned.

The last person to pass through Ellis Island was Norwegian merchant seaman Arne Peterssen in 1954.

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