From the Pale to the Golden Land
How Our Families Came to America


Destination: Ellis Island,
Immigrant Lists

Journey by Sea:
Voyage of Opportunity

U.S. Immigration
Policy: A Short History

A Multitude
of Immigrants

Castle Garden
and Ellis Island:
Port sof Immigration


HIAS : Hebrew Aid Immigrant Society

Castle Garden:
The First Entry
Point to America
In 1891, the federal government took over control of immigration into the United Sates. 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 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.

Immigration reached its peak in 1906. Then, in 1924, with a new immigration law in effect, those wanting to enter the U.S. had to visit the U.S. consulate in their own country to obtain a visa. There they would be screened, eliminating the necessity for Ellis Island to do so. By the time Ellis Island had stopped processing new immigrants, twelve million arrivals had passed through its doors.





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