JFK:The New Ellis Island

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Ellis Island was the first experience that immigrants had to go through once they reached the new land and JFK Airport now serves to be that experience in this age. These two New York ports of entry into the United States have many similiarities yet are very different. For one the paper work to enter was processed differently. At Ellis Island, much of the time spent was to clear the immigrants' medical papers and other documents that were needed. On the contrary, immigration papers are usually taken care of at the immigrants' country of orgin. At JFK Airport, immigration inspectors take the immigration packet that was completed in the immigrants' country and just check it to make sure all the paper work is completed and that the medical papers are cleared. Another difference is that at JFK Airport, everything is done to try to keep the family together. While at Ellis Island, if a relative couldn't get through, the rest of the family went on, without looking back. The main goal of immigration through Ellis Island was to benefit the country by bringing in laborers with skills, who were in demand. Conditions at JFK Airport are much cleaner and safter than they were at Ellis Island because processing has been made more efficient and technology has far advanced. Even the travelling conditions to Ellis Island were unsanitary.The differences in the intentions for the immigrant are because of the many immigration laws passed over time. Most of the United States' immigrants in the early 1900s came through Ellis Island, but the immigrants that come through JFK Airport usually settle in the New York area. Today JFK Airport has more countries world-wide represnted than there were at Ellis Island which leads to a greater number of immigrants. Below are some demographics that represent JFK Airport and Ellis Island.

Immigration Distribution Before 1790

Immigration Through Ellis Island 1880-1930

Ellis Island History of Disease

JFK International Travels 1995-2008

JFK International Travels in 2008