A trip to the
It is interesting how a country in need of labour accepts or rejects immigrants. First the people were checked for common diseases. Around the beginning of the 20th century mostly this was stuff like influenza, polio, eye infections etc. According to the museum statistics the doctors had about 10 seconds to examine a person!
On the first floor of the building there were a series of rooms where people were brought in for examination. Here each immigrant had to show valid papers to prove that they had a job in Amrika. How they got hold of such papers while living in remote areas in their native countries before courier service and internet, I have no clue. Finally, all of them had to have 25 dollars with them which was equal to one week’s salary. There were other tests done to prove their skills and intelligence. In one case they were asked to draw a perfect diamonds !
Also most of them when they landed, they did not know a word of English. The sick or infected were put on quarantine for several days. Since first and second class passengers were examined on the ships itself, it is the poor who had to stay longer on
As one such immigrant interviewed many years later put it :
“ By the time we came to
The next time you pass through