Forgotten Ellis Island
About This Episode
During the great wave of immigration, 22 medical buildings sprawled across two islands adjacent to Ellis Island, the largest port of entry in the United States. Massive and modern, the hospital was America's first line of defense against contagious, often virulent, disease. In the era before antibiotics, tens of thousands of immigrant patients were separated from family, detained in the hospital and healed from illness before becoming citizens.
This is a powerful reminder of the best — and worst — of America's dealings with its new citizens-to-be.