Surviving Ellis Island

By: Oliver Vanjaria

What to Pack

There are multiple things you will want to bring on your journey to America. A few tips on what to bring are two extra pairs of clothes, a spare pair of shoes, and three extra pairs of socks. You will also want to bring a book or two because it will get boring on that boat with so many people. Make sure to pack all these things in a bag without a frame because you can use the bag as a pillow. The last two thing you want to bring are a blanket because it gets cold some nights on the boat. The second thing you should pack are some light belongings such as your famous pasta recipe or some pictures that are important to you.

Ellis Island

The First 3 Stops

When you arrive at Ellis Island you will go though six checkpoints. The fist is called the arrival. You will still be on the boat and medical inspectors will look for any signs of disease on the boat. If your boat passes the inspection, they you advance to the second checkpoint.

At the second checkpoint, called the baggage room, you will leave your belongings in this room so that they can be inspected to make sure they are safe. After you drop your bags off in that room you will walk up a flight of stairs to the next room. Do not breath heavily on the stairs of do anything that shows and sigh of weakness or you will be sent back. The stairs are the third checkpoint.

The Last 3 Stops

The Registry Room is where officials will decide whether or not you can come into the country. They might check you for trachoma, an eye disease. They check for this with a tool called a buttonhook that lifts your eye so they can see if you have it.

After surviving the registry room, you will go to a station where they give you a medical exam that only takes six seconds. They note if you are limping or if you are coughing. If they think you are a risk to public health, they will quarantine you until you are better.

The last stop, the Legal Inspection, it fairly easy compared to the other station that you have survived. You fill out a sheet with all these fairly common question. After you are done filling out the questions, you hand the sheet into the gaurd in the booth. He will ask you all the same questions that you answered and if you answer the questions correctly, you are a United States citizen!

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Additional Tips

If you have any medication, bring it on the boat and throw it into the harbor when you arrive in New York. You will have to find a way to get the same medicine in America. Also, do not bring liquids, knives, foods, or guns into the country. You will either be detained or sent back.


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Ellias, Paul. American Flag. Digital image. N.p., 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 7 May 2015.