Checking from Coast to Coast

Chinese immigrant getting checked at Angel Island, San Francisco Bay

Immigrants receiving a skin test for infectious diseases at Ellis Island.

These images both portray immigrants being subject to checks of their current health. Whether you are coming form the East coast at Ellis Island or the West coast at Angel Island, immigrants get their health checked for any infectious diseases. Immigrants had to pass through numerous examinations before they can enter the States. It goes to show how much of a struggle it is to migrate to the United States. It’s a struggle just to leave your country, but then once you arrive, you must go through different examinations before you can enter.

5 thoughts on “Checking from Coast to Coast

  1. It’s always ammusing to find racism in comparing pictures. However this isn’t the first time I’ve come across pictures depicting immigration inspections in Ellis Island being more humane than those on the West Coast and wonder if it’s because Ellis Island saw a influx of predominetly white-europeans (less racist emotions than towards the West Coast influx of Asian and Latin peoples), or if Ellis Island just had better control over the photographs that were to be published.

  2. Thats actually quite interesting, the difference between the inspection on Ellis Island and Angel Island. It probably was different because of the immigrants’ background that called for other types of examinations.

  3. I agree with Fillip and Wong.

    Another point I want to make is how come immigrants like Asian and Jewish immigrants made their mark in the US and gained some type of respect and prestige after being oppressed but Africans and immigrants of African decent are still fighting their oppression.

    How come America was a place for everybody to run to escape their own country where they were mistreated but Black Americans had no where to run to escape America?

  4. It just goes to show how regardless where you’re from, you’ll still have to be checked before entering the country.

    And to Dayana, I see where you’re coming from with that but I believe African Americans are getting treated better now.

  5. I do also find it interesting that there were such differences in the inspection process however, these pics were taken at different stages of the process; so for sake of argument the actual process may have been the same. I do agree that the process was more probably more “dignified” when dealing with European immigrants due to the abundant racism of the time. Regardless, this pic is a great representation of what people were willing to do in order to gain their freedoms. Great Pics!

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