JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen US Immigration 19 & 20th Century #general

ms nodrog

Dear Genners,

Sally Bruckheimer has raised an interesting point
in her posting and one that was discussed at a
recent group get together. I feel that this
relates to our Jewish genealogy searches.

In light of the immigration situation which now
exists in The United States, were our ancestors
illegal immigrants? What did the laws state in
the late 19th and early 20th century when so many
of our ancestors left their homeland for the US?

Sally states, "In 1900, before that, and for some
time after, only a ticket was needed" (see
posting below). Any information or research
leads would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Hope Gordon,
Intermountain West

Subject: Re: 1900-era documents for immigration to USA
From: "Sally Bruckheimer" <>
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2006 09:47:54 -0400

A question about 1900 era immigration said:

"If you were not in good health, or were otherwise thought likely to
become a public charge, you could be refused entry upon arrival."

In 1900, before that, and for some time after, only a ticket was needed. A
woman needed a male family member to get her >from the ship, if the woman
travelled alone.

If the person came in steerage, the quoted statement above applied. If a
person came 2nd class or 1st class, there was no inspection, so anybody
could come to the US if they were in a cabin-deaf, lame, trachoma-infested,
blind, ancient, whatever. There are stories of people in steerage being
sent back to Europe, but the family saved up for a cabin-class ticket to
bring them to the US to rejoin the family.

Sally Bruckheimer
Bridgewater, NJ

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