Hi, my name is Claire Aubert; I just arrived in America. I am 18, a female seamstress. I'm originally from Lyon, France, and my destination is Chicago. I decided to leave France for a new, adventurous country and to try and make some more friends, money, and a new way of life. We were on the ship for 11 days, and when it arrived at Ellis Island, there was a huge flight of stairs leading to a building. On each side of the stairs were medical inspectors to watch if any immigrants were sick, short of breath, or limping. I got inspected by a nurse, and she said I had an eye disease so I got detained. Finally I was allowed to board a train to Chicago.
Ellis Island, 1933
Hello, my name is Katrina Nijinsky. I am 19 years old, and I just arrived in the United States. I am so glad to be off that ship! I am fixing to be seated in a room where I will wait until I hear my name being called. When they call my name, I will go into a room where I will be tested to see if I have any diseases, to see if I have been in trouble with the law, or if I am lying about who I am.

I am originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. I've been wanting to some to the United States since I lost my job and my husband left to find a job here. When I got here, I received a letter from my husband, Vadimir, saying that he has a new job in Philadelphia and has rented an apartment. He said he could not leave to come get me for another week. I stayed at the island for that week and then went with him and got a job as a seamstress.

United States inspectors examining the eyes of the immigrants
Inspectors examining baggage.
Immigrants from Europe entering the immigration building, 1926