From the Pale to the Golden Land
Ellis Island: Port of Immigration

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Immigrants on the dock at Ellis Island.

In 1891, the federal government took over control of immigration into the United States. In New York, this meant that the immigration center in New York Harbor, called Castle Garden, previously run by the state, would be closed down, and a similar facility on Ellis Island would be built.

The Congress passed laws that would affect those trying to immigrate from overseas, but did nothing to prevent anyone from crossing the borders from either Mexico or Canada. Once the purview of the state, the government now assumed the burden of providing services for the new immigrant.

Before we talk more about Ellis Island, let's first discuss Castle Garden.  next ►►


--photo courtesy of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.





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