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.