The Immigrants of Angel Island

The Immigrants of Angel Island

This 11-minute film produced by Time, featuring scholars Erika Lee and Russell Jeung, introduces the history of Angel Island, the immigration station on the west coast that was a hub for people arriving from Asia. The film contrasts the experiences of immigrants at Ellis Island and Angel Island while providing a compelling overview of the role that Angel Island played during the Chinese Exclusion period and extends the story by discussing the impact of discrimination against Asian immigrants after arriving in the United States.

If you are considering using this film in a lesson or unit on migration, use the Understanding Migration Curriculum Checklist and Reflection Tool  to help place this resource within the larger context of migration to the United States.

Teaching Ideas

This short film can be used to explore several questions from the Re-Imagining Migration Learning Arc including:

What do people experience as they move from one place to another?
● In what ways are people’s migration journeys similar and different from one another?
● How much control do migrants have over their journey and what are the choices and
dilemmas they face during their journey?

How do borders impact people’s lives?
● What is the purpose of borders?
● How do the visible and invisible borders that people encounter shape their lives?
● How can borders work in an ethical way?

What are the conditions in the new land?
● How might the environment in the new land help or hinder newcomers’ inclusion?
● How do newcomers come to understand the new land and their place in it over time?

You might also use the film to provide context for an inquiry using resources from our Chinese Immigration Collection.

Use these Project Zero thinking routines selected to connect the film to the dispositions and habits of mind from the Re-Imagining Migration framework,

For additional resources related to this film see: