THE NEW DEAL
ELLIS ISLAND is, first and last, the main entrance to America. In its half century of existence, passing on the right of approximately twenty-five million foreigners to enter this country, its errors are understandable in the face of its enormous achievements.
An island too small and inadequately equipped for the work confronting it, has made the best of its limitations and, in spite of its handicaps, accomplished one of the biggest and most trying jobs in the whole history of our country.
It has gone through a period of changing attitude toward the foreigner, and changing attitude of Americans toward the Island and its function, and to-day, thanks to a sympathetic administration in Washington, is in accord with the liberal policy I so earnestly set out to pursue.
Many mistakes blot the record of Ellis Island and great have been the hardships, the humiliations and the exploitation suffered by the immigrant. Yet, I am sure, there have also been instances of exaggeration in which the vitriol of the public and the press has been unwarrantedly directed at a Service which, in a last analysis, has been more sinned against than sinning.
Such blunders as came to light in the examination of the Cathcart and other cases narrated in this volume, were due more to the