Immigration at the Golden Gate

Immigration at the Golden Gate

Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel Island

Book - 2008
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Perhaps 200,000 immigrants passed through the Angel Island Immigration Station during its lifetime, a tiny number compared to the 17 million who entered through New York's Ellis Island. Nonetheless, Angel Island's place in the consciousness of Americans on the West Coast is large, out of all proportion to the numerical record. This place is not conceded fondly or with gratitude. Angel Island's Immigration Station was not, as some have called it, the "Ellis Island of the West," built to facilitate the "processing" and entry of those welcomed as new Americans. Its role was less benign: to facilitate the exclusion of Asians-first the Chinese, then Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and all other Asians.

Book News
It was not designed to welcome those who came to it. In fact, Angel Island's primary purpose was to find reasons why those immigrating to the west coast of the US should never get there. Barde (business and economic research, U. of California, Berkeley exposes the real story behind what has been erroneously called the "Ellis Island of the West," describing Angel Island's true mission and its contexts from 1910 to 1940. He finds the island featured outright bureaucratic and judicial obstruction, conveniently bad medical science (many emigrants were detained because, without proof, authorities assumed they had exotic diseases) and exclusion caused by irrational fears of powerful people. Barde carefully explains how the economics of exclusion worked and makes good use of original sources, including eyewitness reports, photos and period illustrations. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2008
ISBN: 9780313347825
Characteristics: xiii, 283 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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