Coming to America


On this day in 1892, Ellis Island opened and began processing immigrants into the United States. It operated as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. Over 12 million immigrants were processed through Ellis Island.


The average processing time was between 3-7 hours. For many immigrants, it was an “Island of Hope” as it was their doorway into a new country and a new life. But it was also an “Island of Tears” as families were separated and people were denied entrance into the country.

Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum are now operated by the National Park Service as part of the Statute of Liberty National Monument.

Ellis Island is currently closed and has been since damage sustained by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.

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