National Ellis Island Family History Day – April 17, 2020

Paralegal Rebeca Garcia and Attorney Abigail Mabry

Today is National Ellis Island Family History Day!  If you’ve been to New York City or know anything about New York City, you likely know about Ellis Island.  Ellis Island is a tiny island off the coast of New York between New York and New Jersey.  Ellis Island served as America’s largest immigration station from 1892 to 1954.  The Ellis Island immigration station processed more than 12 million immigrants in 62 years.  Historians also estimate that more than 40% of Americans can trace their ancestry to a relative who entered the United States through Ellis Island.  How incredible!

During World War II, Ellis Island served as a detention center and a training facility.  The U.S. government closed Ellis Island as an immigration processing center in 1954 and opened to the public for tourism in 1976.  Visitors can go to the island and look through thousands of arrival records.  Many visit the museum at Ellis Island with the hopes of finding arrival records for their own ancestors.  While I do not know much about when my ancestors immigrated to the United States, I know they came from Scotland and Ireland and may have entered the United States through the Ellis Island immigration station.

Ellis Island Family History Day encourages Americans to explore their ancestry and family immigration history.  This country is, after all, a nation of immigrants who trace their origins from hundreds of nations and regions across the globe.  America has, for many years, and still serves as a haven for countless immigrants fleeing unimaginable persecution.  My immigration clients recount experiences of atrocities and trauma that no person should have to endure.  While immigration policy in the United States continues to shift and alter according to political pressure and contrasting ideologies, asylum remains a foundation of our immigration law and policy.

I have the incredible honor to help those fleeing severe persecution obtain asylum.  I have seen how a grant of asylum completely transforms my clients’ lives, providing opportunities for a better life they never dared to dream was possible or within their grasp.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to help clients outside of asylum proceedings who are seeking other forms of immigration relief or permanent immigration status in the United States. 

Today is National Ellis Island Family History Day—a day for you to explore and celebrate your family’s immigration history.  Maybe you or someone you know has an immigration legal need.  Cobb Law Group is here and eager to speak with anyone with immigration needs to see if we can help!  Perhaps you are familiar with your ancestors’ immigration history, or even have a wonderful story about how your family entered the United States through the Ellis Island immigration station.  Please share in the comments if you feel inspired to do so!  We would love to hear from you!

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