House Passage of Angel Island Immigration Station Legislation
-- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced today that the
full House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by Congresswoman
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Pelosi to restore the historic Angel Island
Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, also known as the Ellis
Island of the West.
Congresswoman Woolsey for her leadership in advancing this legislation.
The House of Representatives today recognized the importance of
preserving and restoring the Angel Island Immigration Station,"
Pelosi said. Angel Island speaks to us across the years, telling
the stories of immigrants from around the world. We are a nation
of immigrants, and we must treasure that history while remembering
that every individual must be treated with dignity and respect.
Immigration Station Restoration and Preservation Act authorizes
up to $15 million in federal funds, in addition to state and local
funds, to support ongoing efforts to preserve several historic buildings.
The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, the State of California,
and many dedicated individuals have been working to save these buildings
from decay. Companion legislation has been introduced by Senators
Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and must be passed by the U.S.
from countries around the Pacific Rim passed through the Angel Island
facility between 1910 and 1940. Many Chinese immigrants, whose entry
into the U.S. was severely restricted by the Chinese Exclusion Act
of 1882, were held in detention at Angel Island for months and sometimes
years. While many found a better life for themselves and their families,
others encountered discrimination and disappointment. As they waited
to learn whether they would be allowed enter the United States or
be sent back to China, they turned their hopes, fears, and despair
into poetry carved in the walls of their barracks.
has served as a place of contemplation and education since becoming
a California State Park in 1963 and was declared a National Historic
Landmark in 1997. More than 50,000 people visit the Angel Island
Immigration Station every year.