Ellis Island was an immigration station which opened in 1892 with the purpose of screening all immigrants to identify and exclude the ones having a mental deficiency. Because many of the workers at this island were passionate about the eugenics movement, they became ideologically extreme to the point where they felt it was their duty to single out disabled immigrants in order to prevent what they considered to be genetically inherited criminal behaviours. By the time the island closed in 1954, 12 million immigrants had been processed, many of them under the Immigration Act 1924. Ellis Island’s history provides humanity with a reference to what xenophobia, discrimination, and inequality are about.; and how white supremacy has existed since before the world wars.
Immigrants being inspected at Ellis Island (1904).