Immigrants were screened for defects upon their entrance to America, based on a popular belief that immigration politics should be based on eugenics principles to protect the "superior race".
Mental and moral defects were of more concern to authorities--immigrants deemed mentally or morally inferior were mandatorily excluded from entrance to the US. Physical defects were also of concern, as George Lydston stated that physical defectiveness was a primary factor in the causation of crime.
Head over to the image gallery from Ellis Island to see pictures of the screening process.
Dramaturgy for the Ragtime musical and novel.
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