Kid immigrants have been arriving alone since Ellis Island

by Andalé Mono on July 21, 2014 in El Now

kidsellisislandIn 1892, the first immigrant to enter the U.S. at the new Ellis Island immigration facility was an unaccompanied 15-year-old minor.

Not only was she not greeted by howling racists, their faces distorted with unfathomable rage, but she got a certificate and a gold coin.

Bill Moyers reports:

An unaccompanied child migrant was the first person in line on opening day of the new immigration station at Ellis Island Her name was Annie Moore, and that day, January 1, 1892, happened to be her 15th birthday. She had traveled with her two little brothers from Cork County, Ireland, and when they walked off the gangplank, she was awarded a certificate and a $10 gold coin for being the first to register.

anniemoorestatueToday, a statue of Annie stands on the island, a testament to the courage of millions of children who passed through those same doors, often traveling without an older family member to help them along.

Of course, not everyone was lining up to give Annie and her fellow passengers a warm welcome. Alarmists painted immigrants — children included — as disease-ridden job stealers bent on destroying the American way of life. And they’re still at it.

On a CNN segment about the current crisis of child migrants from Central and South America, Michele Bachmann used the word “invaders” and warned of rape and other dangers posed to Americans by the influx. And last week, National Review scoffed at appeals to American ideals of compassion and charity, claiming Ellis Island officials had a strict send-’em-back policy when it came to children showing up alone.

Continued over at BillMoyers.com.

Ellis Island photo via the National Archives.

Annie Moore statue photo via Trip Advisors.

{ 1 comment }

Robert July 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Can we send them back retroactively?

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