Ellis Island

The federal government wanted to take control of immigration so it could make sure that immigrants didn't have diseases and were able to support themselves once they arrived in the country.

After 1924, the inspections were done before people got on the boat and inspectors on Ellis Island just checked their papers.

Ellis Island started out as a small island of only around 3.3 acres. Over time, the island was expanded using landfill. By 1906, the island had grown to 27.5 acres.

At its peak, the island was a crowded and busy place. In many ways, it was its own city. It had its own power station, a hospital, laundry facilities, and cafeteria.

Passing the Inspections

The scariest part for newcomers to the island was the inspection. All immigrants had to pass a medical inspection to make sure they weren't sick. Then they were interviewed by inspectors who would determine if they could support themselves in America. They also had to prove they had some money and, after 1917, that they could read.

The people that passed all the tests were usually done with the inspections in three to five hours. However, those that couldn't pass were sent home. Sometimes children were separated from their parents or one parent was sent home. For this reason, the island also had the nickname the ""Island of Tears.""

Source: Ellis Island
This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2024, All Rights Reserved.

Back to top