By Erika Lee
From 1910 to 1940, the Angel Island immigration station in San Francisco served because the processing and prison for over a million humans from world wide. the vast majority of rookies got here from China and Japan, yet there have been additionally immigrants from India, the Philippines, Korea, Russia, Mexico, and over seventy different international locations. the entire background of those immigrants and their reports on Angel Island is informed for the 1st time during this landmark publication, released to commemorate the immigration station's a hundredth anniversary.
Based on vast new learn and oral histories, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America examines the nice variety of immigration via Angel Island: chinese language "paper sons," eastern photo brides, Korean refugee scholars, South Asian political activists, Russian and Jewish refugees, Mexican households, Filipino staff, and so on. jointly, their tales provide a extra whole and complex historical past of immigration to the United States than we have now ever known.
Like its counterpart on Ellis Island, the immigration station on Angel Island used to be one of many country's major ports of access for immigrants within the early 20th century. yet whereas Ellis Island was once commonly a processing heart for eu immigrants, Angel Island used to be designed to detain and exclude immigrants from Asia. The immigrant event on Angel Island-more than the other site-reveals how U.S. immigration regulations and their hierarchical therapy of immigrants in accordance with race, ethnicity, type, nationality, and gender performed out in day-by-day practices and judgements on the nation's borders with genuine effects on immigrant lives and at the kingdom itself.
Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America is formally subsidized by means of the Angel Island Immigration Station.
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A few even died. One immigrant inspector declared the place a “veritable ﬁre trap,” while another referred to the detention shed as having “inhuman” conditions. ” Wong Ngum Yin, a Chinese immigrant detained in the shed, charged that the American “barbarians” had “neither mercy or compassion and are like the lions and the tigers. ” In 1902, Chinese frustration with the conditions at the shed neared riot proportions. Several immigrants, in transit from Latin America back to China, had been detained for over seven months.
And even though they immigrated to the United States during a period of intense anti-Japanese sentiment, the Japanese had the lowest rejection rates among all the immigrant groups (see Appendix, Table 3). These two contradictory sides of American immigration history are rarely told together. Indeed, for many Americans, the celebratory story of the twelve million immigrants, most of them European, coming through Ellis Island resonates with Emma Lazarus’s famous couplet, “Give me 22 • Angel Island your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and has come to represent America’s immigration history in its entirety.
Immigration policies that treated immigrants differently based on their race, nationality, gender, and class as a way of identifying which ones were ﬁt to enter the country and become Americans and which ones were not. These laws were just one part of a larger system of racial segregation and discrimination for immigrants and people of color in the United States during the twentieth century. The history of immigration on Angel Island illustrates the very real consequences that these policies had on immigrant lives and communities.
Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America by Erika Lee