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July 28, 2008



Where did the rejected ones go, if they didn't have the funds for a return trip back to their country of origin? Were they stuck on Ellis Island?


The steamship companies were required to take them back, so they effectively bought a return ticket when they departed on the westbound trip. The steamship companies were also originally responsible for doing the screening paperwork and questionnaires and preventing undesirables (like disabled people, for instance) from making the trip.

It was (percentagewise) relatively rare for anyone to be rejected at Ellis Island, but of course over time it added up.

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