To read this 102-year-old article is to understand that the inhumane conditions of today's alien detention centers on the Southwest border are a part of a larger continuum in American history. This article addressed the atrocious conditions that could be found at Ellis Island in 1921:
"Go down to Ellis Island! You will find:"
• Immigrants herded like cattle in the ill-ventilated, fetid detention-room.
• No separate quarters provided for mothers with babies in arms.
• Vermin on the walls and floors of detention-room and in dormitories.
• Immigrants forced to sleep indiscriminately two in a bed or on the floors.
• Only 1,100 beds, although the overnight population averages from 2,000 to 3,000 and often is as high as 4,500.
• No mattresses for beds - only blankets spread over strips of steel; bunks built in tiers, three high.
• Only six bathtubs for use of all the women and small children.
• No bathtubs for men; thousands forced to use sixteen shower/bathtubs.
• Lavatories so inadequate that they are a menace to the general health.
• Many wash-basins on the upper level lack a water supply.
• Water pumps that are thoroughly inadequate to combat fires..
• Only 40 medical inspectors to examine the thousands who pour-in weekly.
As a result of the first World War killing so many European men, the women on that continent looked to America for husbands. Click here to read about the vast number single women who moved here in 1920.
Click here to read about the U.S. Border Patrol in 1940.