Ellis Island, New York (AFP) – Immigration history has long been a source of controversy.
But now it has a new dimension.
The Ellis Island Immigration History Museum is hosting a three-day exhibition celebrating the legacy of the city’s infamous immigration program.
Organised by the US government’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the exhibit includes documents and photographs of the period from 1882 to 1946, as well as a replica of the island’s original terminal, Ellis Island Terminal One.
“This is a rare opportunity to explore the stories of the immigrant community at Ellis Island and its history, the people who came here and the impact they had on this city,” museum curator John Lacey said.
“We hope this will provide an insight into the people and the history of this island.”
He said the exhibition will feature films and interviews from the history books and also highlights the efforts of those who worked to ensure the island was a welcoming place for immigrants.
“Ellis Island is one of the first cities in the US to implement a public housing system, which helped establish a solid community,” he said.
“The city and the state have invested a lot of effort and effort into Ellis Island.”
The exhibition opens on Wednesday and runs until April 25.
It includes artifacts and photographs, including a pair of original passports and a set of original postage stamps.
“The idea of the museum came from the fact that I was thinking about what we need to remember about Ellis Island,” Lacey told AFP.
“It was a place where people were fleeing the Holocaust and trying to find a better life.”
So when we are talking about this period of time and the people that came here, we want to tell a little bit of their story.
“In the 1880s, New Yorkers began taking in immigrants from Germany and other Eastern European countries in hopes of improving their lives.
After World War I, Ellis was home to many of the camps of German concentration camps that held Jews, Poles and other people deemed a security threat to the US.
After the war, Ellis became a magnet for refugees fleeing the war and the US internment of Japanese-Americans.
Some Ellis Island residents and descendants claim that the island became an unofficial American enclave after the Japanese-American internment.
Many families still have their belongings left on the island and its many former homes.
A statue of a young boy sits on a plaque near the old Ellis Island terminal.
The city also had an unofficial registry of immigrants who came to Ellis Island.
The immigration system was abolished in 1946.
It was the first of its kind in the country, but was not until 1959 that a formal registry was established.
Immigration to the United States was initially limited to the first 10,000 people that applied.
But under President Harry Truman, Congress passed legislation to create a national registry of people who had entered the US illegally.
The law required that the registry include the names and addresses of anyone who entered the country illegally.
It is estimated that the US imported around 2.4 million immigrants in the 20th century.
In the 1940s, Congress created a new category of illegal immigrants called “indeterminate” immigrants.
These were those who had not been convicted of a crime.
But it was not clear if the new law would apply to indeterminate immigrants, which was the category of immigrants with no criminal record.
In 1954, the first state law on Ellis Island was passed, setting up a temporary settlement in the island.
The island became the first US state to admit immigrants from the war.