Detainees at Ellis Island

The Isle of Tears...

Where it got the name and who called it that:

For most of the immigrants passing through Ellis Island, it was called the Isle of hope. But for the immigrants who weren't so fortunate it was given the name "the Isle of Tears" The people who called it the "Isle of Tears" were held back or detained. The detainees were detained for many reasons...

Why were immigrants detained?

Most immigrants were detained for medical reasons, like being lame (blind) or having obvious back or foot problems. If you were pregnant you would also be marked with a chalk "Pg" on your shoulder. Other reasons for being detained would be; paper work problems, if you were a war refugee and misplaced persons.




Legal detainees were kept in a dorm room on the 3rd floor. Some were kept in quarintine for a few weeks or even a month! People who were detained for medical reasons were cared for in the Ellis Island Hospital until their report-board said they were well enough to go.

FUN FACTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • After 1924 only people who were war refugees, had problems with their paper work or any displaced persons were detained.
  • 1954 Ellis Island was officially closed!!!
  • U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declared Ellis Island part of the Liberty Monument in 1965.
  • 350 babies were born on Ellis Island!
  • 3,500 people died on Ellis Island:(.
  • Annie Moore, a 15 year old girl from Ireland, was the first to land on Ellis Island.
  • More than 15 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island during the peak of immigration.
  • 40% of all American citizens can trace their ancestory to the immigrants of Ellis Island.