• Immigrants awaiting inspection in front of Ellis Island's Main Building

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

The Workers of Ellis Island

On a typical day at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, immigrants came face to face with inspectors, interpreters, nurses, doctors, social workers, and many others. As a large federal facility employing approximately five hundred employees at a time, Ellis Island was a well-organized workforce.

The complex work of processing thousands of immigrants a year required a full complement of staff. Some names are known; others remain anonymous, but all of them contributed to the primary function of the Immigration Station on Ellis Island to make sure that newcomers to the United States were legally and medically fit to enter the country.

Learn about the types of work performed on Ellis Island and some of the individual employees who worked in these jobs.

 

Did You Know?

Old Elliscropped

When Ellis Island was opened in 1892, the facility bore little resemblance to the Renaissance Revival/Beaux Arts structure that people have come to know today. Made out of Georgia pine, the complex caught fire on June 15, 1897 and burned to the ground in about 6 hours. The current building was opened on December 17, 1900.