“There’s something unique about America. We don’t simply welcome new immigrants, we don’t simply welcome new arrivals — we are born of immigrants. That is who we are. Immigration is our origin story. And for more than two centuries, it’s remained at the core of our national character; it’s our oldest tradition. It’s who we are. It’s part of what makes us exceptional. – President Barack Obama
Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States as the site of the nation’s busiest immigration station from 1892 to 1954. Prior to that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Since 1990, restored buildings on the island host a museum of immigration run by the National Park Service as part of Statue of Liberty National Monument. A 1998 United States Supreme Court decision found most of the island to be part of New Jersey. To see the immigration events of Ellis Island documented in this timeline: http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island_timeline.asp.
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