The Ellis Island officials are making elaborate
preparations to-day for what they expect will be one of the biggest
crushes of immigrants that they have had to deal with in years.
Eight immigrant carrying ships will come in
to-morrow, many of them from Mediterranean ports, and the advance
information is that their steerage room is choked with men, women
and children. Besides this several steamers are looked for to-night
whose immigrants cannot be landed until to-morrow, so that,
altogether, the officials at Ellis Island will have a hard time of
Commissioner Williams said to-day that it was a
little early yet to feel the effect of the cut rates for steerage
passengers. By Tuesday or Wednesday of next week the first of the
great horde of cheap immigrants that is expected will get in here,
and what is expected to be the hardest summer in the history of the
Immigration Department will really begin.
1,400 ARRIVE TO-DAY.
The Savoie, from Havre, and the Panonia, from
Gibraltar, got in to-day and brought 1,400 immigrants. This is a
little below the figures for the corresponding Saturday a year ago,
but Mr. Williams says it is only the calm before the storm. Those
who went through the Ellis Island inspection today were about the
usual type. None of them had bought his ticket for this country
after the cut rate went into effect.
Some idea of the business the Ellis Island people
will have on their hands to-morrow can be gathered from a list of
the ships which will empty their steerages to-night and to-morrow.
The St. Louis will get in to-night from Southampton, the Etruria
from Liverpool, the Bleucher from Hamburg, the Arabic from
Liverpool, the Gallia from Naples, the Adria from Christians and, the
Columbia from Glasgow, the Bremen from Bremen and the Frieda from
GREAT CROWD LANDS TO-MORROW.
The number of immigrants that these steamers will
turn over to Ellis Island is estimated to run up into the thousands.
No estimate can be made of them now, but Mr. Williams says that he
has been informed that the ships from Naples, from Christiansand and
from Gibraltar are fairly jammed with people.
Ellis Island is used to handling large numbers of
immigrants and will not have serious trouble in dealing with the
situation to-morrow, no matter how large it is. But next week is
what Mr. Williams and his assistants fear. There is no doubt in
their minds that the cut rate will bring an enormous number of
immigrants here, many of them of an undesirable class. However,
there are regulations and they will be strictly lived up to. If the
big steamers bring people here who do not come up to the standard of
what the United States believes is desirable in citizens, they will
have the pleasure of taking them back again at their own expense.