Until 1890, each state had jurisdiction over admitting immigrants. Ports of entry were five main cities:
New York Castle Island served as the port for New York City 1830-1892; thereafter Ellis Island served port of entry (1892- 1954); Boston (customs passenger lists through 1899); Boston (customs passenger lists through 1899); Philadelphia (customs passenger lists through 1899); Baltimore (customs passenger lists through 1891); and New Orleans. through 1902)
Ellis Island, NY
Approximately, 40 percent of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island.
There were also several minor ports, e.g. Mobile, Al., Bath, Me., and Galveston, TX.
Shortly after the U.S. Civil War, some states started to pass their own immigration laws, which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in 1875 that immigration was a federal responsibility. Chy Lung v. Freeman (92 U.S. 275, 1875)
However, the states continued to pass legislation on immigration entry. The Immigration Act of 1891, however, stopped all state incursions into immigration matters. Legislation authorized the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration (Treasury Department), responsible for processing immigrants.
At the beginning of the 20th century the Hamburg Shipping Lines (Hapag) built an emigrant's "city" in Veddel, in the port area, as a refuge. It could accommodate 5,000 people awaiting departure of their ships. It included a kosher canteen and a synagogue.
In Russia’s larger Jewish communities, assistance agencies arose in response to the enormous emigration.
In 1891 in London by Baron M. Hirsch of London, has an idea that Jews should become agriculturalists, something denied
in Europe. Accordingly he established a society to benefit of those who wished to take up work in agriculture. He and the
Russian government agreed to relocate Jews up to 3,250,000 Jews emigrating over a 25-year time period.
Baron Hirsch also sponsored sixteen agricultural development in the United States, of which Woodbine, NJ was a successful.
In 1907, the Jewish Territorial Society established in Warsaw. This society was a break-off of the Zionist movement. It wanted to relocate European Jews wherever they would be accepted; not exclusively Palestine. However, it closed its doors the very next year, although the organization, itself, continued to exist.
Jewish Emigration Society - Russia
The Jewish Emigration Society, 1909 operated from Kiev, with numerous offices in other centers of the Russian Empire. Its mission was regulation of Jewish emigration to redirect Jews outside the overpopulated large cites, (New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Chicago) to the southern and southwestern states of North America, where there seemed to be more economic opportunity.
It assisted the Jewish emigrant from departure from Russia to establishing his new location in another country to the extent that they no longer need assistance.
Supported by well-to-do Jews, one of their experiments was immigration to Galveston, Texas. A middling success, in 1909 (773); 1910 (2,500); 1911; (1,400). By 1913, the threatened competition to nativists and the ‘strange’ religious rituals Jews exacted political retribution from the Texan communities.
When the Jewish refugees arrived in America, The Hebrew
Emigrant Aid Society (HEAS), heavily supported by Jacob
Schiff, provided shelter on Ward Island in the New York
harbor and Greenpoint, in Brooklyn. See Sacher, p. 128
Initially, the Jewish agencies in Hamburg, Berlin, Antwerp and London supplied immigrant needs. However, the flow developed into a torrent.
The constant flow of Jewish immigrants from Russia gave birth to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in 1881. An international organization, HIAS rescues, relocates, relocates families through resettlement.
HIAS officially started in 1881 as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society – HIAS. Operating out of New York, it provided shelter for immigrants disembarking from Castle Garden, up to the opening of Ellis Island in 1892.
The Society helped immigrants find employment in New York and New Jersey and established agricultural colonies in other states to provide land on which they could settle.
HIAS advocated for those Jews who were initially screened out of the immigration process, arguing before the Boards of Special Enquiry to prevent deportations. It lent needy Jews the $25 landing fee, and obtained bonds for others guaranteeing their employable status.
The Society also searched for relatives of detained immigrants in order to secure the necessary affidavits of support to guarantee that the new arrivals would not become public charges, the lack of which detained the immigrants.
Many of the Jews traveling in steerage refused the non-kosher food and came to the U.S. in weakened condition. To correct this, in 1911, the Society installed a kosher kitchen on Ellis Island.
In 1909, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society merged with the Hebrew Sheltering House Association and became universally known as HIAS. By 1914, HIAS had branches in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and an office in Washington, D.C.
Every community had a different story. In the case of Eishyshok in Belarus, near the Ukraine, an 1895 fire the dwellings and markets to which the Rothschild’s, both the Vienna and Parisian branches of the Rothschild family helped to restore the village. (James Mayer de Rothschild (1792–1868), in Paris and Salomon Mayer Rothschild (1774–1855) in Vienna. Seeing outside help, the town fathers asked for additional help when the larger portion of Jews wanted to escape the persecution that the Russian government imposed. See Yaffia Elliach
There were also local organizations such as Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, founded in 1879. In Trenton, there was the Hebrew Mutual Aid Society, the Jewish Sheltering Home and the Hebrew Free Loan Society, among others.
It is remarkable that only, while the total figure was that 26% of immigrants to U.S. retuned; for Jews, 7%. See James
Encyclopedia Judaica, http://www.cf.jiddisch.org/kehilot/moldova/pogrom-kishinev.htm