Podcast: How to Get Processed Through Ellis Island In 2 Hours or Less

Podcast: How to Get Processed Through Ellis Island In 2 Hours or Less

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Podcast: How to Get Processed Through Ellis Island In 2 Hours or Less



European immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, 1915

The podcast History Unplugged has an episode on immigration processing on Ellis Island.  It offers some interesting immigration background, including some background on immigration history (such as the Chinese exclusion laws) as well as the basics on the process for immigrant admissions on Ellis Island.  Here is a description of the episode:

“More than 12 million immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island during its years of operation from 1892 to 1954. Those that came typically spoke no English and fled religious persecution, famine, or epidemics in their homeland.


But what was it like to actually get processed through Ellis island? In some senses it was more tolerable than we expect. Interpreters were on hand to accommodate you in almost any language. Few were turned away for medical reasons. Processing typically only took a few hours And contrary to folk legend, inspectors did not force anyone to change their name to something Anglicized.


Nevertheless, some faced challenges entering America. Two percent were held up for physical or mental illness; some were detained for weeks or months in Ellis Island’s medical ward. If a child were not admitted, parents faced the unbearable choice of returning with them across the ocean or sending them back alone to live with extended family.


But for the vast majority of immigrants, they walked through the doors of Ellis Island to begin their new lives in America. Today, over 100 million are descended from immigrants who passed through this immigration checkpoint. Learn about its legacy on immigration and political life in this episode.”




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Published at Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:24:14 +0000