Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay Turns 100

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Angel Island Immigration Station Turns 100. Obama declares January 21, 2010 National Angel Island Day. Honor your family & friends today with permanent recognition on the Centennial Wall.

REMEMBERING ANGEL ISLAND

During this 100th anniversary year of the U.S. immigration station, Angel Island, you have a rare opportunity to honor your family and friends with permanent recognition on its Centennial Wall. Your donations will go toward permanent recognition on Angel Island of those who came to build America, from all periods of time, whether or not they passed through Angel Island.

For information on donating and naming recognition on the Centennial Wall visit www.aiisf.org/campaign or contact 415-262-4429 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation states that there may be room for approximately 300 names on the Centennial Wall.

More than half a million immigrants were processed through Angel Island from 1910 to 1940. More than half were detained while being investigated. Some were held there for months. Approximately one third were from China.

The 100th Anniversary of the US Immigration Station at Angel island was commemorated in a program on January 21, 2010 at the Herbst Theater, in San Francisco. The program included appearances from past and present poet laureates Diane DiPrima and Janice Mirikitani, and federal, state and local officials.

President Barack Obama proclaimed January 21, 2010 to be NATIONAL ANGEL ISLAND DAY, 2010

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

One hundred years ago, the Angel Island Immigration Station
in San Francisco Bay opened for the first time, and an important
chapter of the American narrative began. It would be written by
those who walked through the station's doors over the next three
decades. From the cities, villages, and farms of their birth,
they journeyed across the Pacific, seeking better lives for
themselves and their children. Many arrived at Angel Island,
weary but hopeful, only to be unjustly confined for months or,
in some cases, years. As we remember their struggle, we honor
all who have been drawn to America by dreams of limitless
opportunity.

Unlike immigrants who marveled at the Statue of Liberty
upon arrival at Ellis Island, those who came to Angel Island
were greeted by an intake facility that was sometimes called the
"Guardian of the Western Gate." Racially prejudiced immigration
laws of the time subjected many to rigorous exams and
interrogations, as well as detention in crowded, unsanitary
barracks. Some expressed themselves by carving poetry and
inscriptions into the walls in their native language -- from
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to Russian, German, and Urdu.
These etchings remain on Angel Island today as poignant
reminders of the immigrant experience and an unjust time in
our history.

If there is any vindication for the Angel Island immigrants
who endured so many hardships, it is the success achieved by
those who were allowed entry, and the many who, at long last,
gained citizenship. They have contributed immeasurably to
our Nation as leaders in every sector of American life. The
children of Angel Island have seized the opportunities their
ancestors saw from across an ocean. By demonstrating that all
things are possible in America, this vibrant community has
created a beacon of hope for future generations of immigrants.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the
United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me
by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do
hereby proclaim January 21, 2010, as National Angel Island Day.
I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about
the history of Angel Island and to observe this anniversary with
appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord
two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States
of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA