No passports or visas were needed to enter the United States through Ellis Island at this time. In fact, no papers were required at all. More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954—with a whopping 1,004,756 entering the United States in 1907 alone.
What were immigrants checked for at Ellis Island?
Ellis Island doctors were particularly watching for signs of contagious diseases like trachoma, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and other states of health such as poor physique, pregnancy and mental disability.
What did immigrants have to do when they arrived at Ellis and Angel Island?
Upon reaching Ellis Island, passengers were processed through the station, and the vast majority was allowed to legally enter the United States in three to five hours. Still, about 20 percent of immigrants had cases that required more time. These immigrants were forced to stay overnight in terrible dormitories.
What did immigrants bring with them to Ellis Island?
Items that families were able to pack often consisted of clothes, tools needed for a skilled trade, possibly a family Bible and a picture of their parents, family heirlooms, and necessary provisions for the trip.
Why did getting through Ellis Island take so long?
The duration of inspection was based on the reliability of the immigrant’s papers, in case the documents were not in order, it would take much longer for the individual to be cleared. Inspections were conducted in the Registry Room by doctors who checked for physical ailments and medical conditions.
What happened to most immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island?
Despite the island’s reputation as an “Island of Tears”, the vast majority of immigrants were treated courteously and respectfully, and were free to begin their new lives in America after only a few short hours on Ellis Island. Only two percent of the arriving immigrants were excluded from entry.
Is Ellis Island open for visitors?
Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is located on Ellis Island in New York Harbor. Despite the icon, it is only accessible by private ferry. Ellis Island is open every day except Thanksgiving (the 4th Thursday in November) and December 25th.