Ellis Island is open on a limited basis while repairs continue.
Ellis Island has reopened on a limited basis. Due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, parts of the historic Main Building and museum remain closed at this time. The museum's artifacts remain in off-site storage. More »
Catherine Remembers Her First Day in America
Catherine Remembers Her First Day in America (Transcript)
Interviewee: Catherine Hannon English
English (First Impression of America):
There were children coming from school. And they were so sloppy looking. I thought they were orphans or something. I had visions of beautiful ribbons on their hair and the kids didn't have uniforms or anything. Then we got out at, we came up to 63rd Street and then they, the streets were so dirty. Garbage all around the place and I couldn't get here fast enough, that everything was so beautiful and clean and all this. But it, I soon broke in with the whole thing.
Did You Know?
Many government agencies have administered the Ellis Island immigration depot. The Bureau of Immigration, later called the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS), inspected immigrants. The agency was restructured in 2003 under the new Department of Homeland Security and is now 3 entities : U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services.