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  1. According to the records at Ellis Island, over 1 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island for entry in 1907, with a peak day of 11,700 entering the US. A hundred years later, the US seems to be incapable of processing a fraction of that along the southern border at a multiple locations. Why?

  2. All those folks who entered the US at Ellis Island were absorbed into New York City before traveling onward to other destinations. Is there something that prevents a large number of immigrants from being absorbed (at least temporarily) into the multitude of cities adjacent to the several southern border places?

ETA: Source: Ellis Island Foundation Ellis Island

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    immigration laws are not the same as they were 115 years ago. Asylum claims, which is most of the current activity along the southern border, are quite complex to process.
    – dandavis
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 19:46
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    This doesn't seem like a very reasonable or researched question. Circumstances are different, the laws are different, employment vs education profiles are different, possible welfare support costs are different (there was little welfare in 1900) etc... as commented above. Most of all the country, as a whole, is not seeking immigrants per se, unlike 100 years ago. You may or may not agree with other people wanting to restrict immigration, but a bare minimum of research would lead you to identify those big differences as making a direct comparison pointless. VTC, mostly for a pushy Q. Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 20:02
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    What is the source of your statistics? Are you certain that the numbers do not include nonimmigrant visitors? What are the numbers these days on the southern border? Also, some of the people who entered through Ellis Island will have been in New York for no more than a few hours as they will have proceeded directly to the train station to reach their ultimate destination. Also, "handling immigrants" is quite a different process for someone making an asylum claim compared to someone just being admitted with all their paperwork in order for permanent residence.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 23:03
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    Have you considered that it may not be a question of technically being able to process a number of immigration applications but rather a question of wanting that? "Is there something that prevents a large number of immigrants from..." Yes, it's the border. It's not open. Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 23:03
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    @DavidHammen a million what? It looks like roughly a million people a year have gotten green cards in the last few years, but the number of immigrant visas being issued has been around 600,000. The balance must be people who adjusted status, meaning they didn't arrive as immigrants, meaning they aren't relevant to this question.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 0:02

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According to the records at Ellis Island, over 1 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island for entry in 1907, with a peak day of 11,700 entering the US. A hundred years later, the US seems to be incapable of processing a fraction of that along the southern border at a multiple locations. Why?

Lack of funding

All those folks who entered the US at Ellis Island were absorbed into New York City before traveling onward to other destinations. Is there something that prevents a large number of immigrants from being absorbed (at least temporarily) into the multitude of cities adjacent to the several southern border places?

Not really. Many states, like California, are in need of more people ("labor") as evident by the endless stream of press and corporate complaints along those lines, eg today: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/labor-shortage-these-are-the-states-with-the-most-job-openings-141405503.html

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  • Also unspoken is the fact that due to low birth rates, we need much larger amounts of immigration to keep the population growth high enough to sustain social security payments.
    – dandavis
    Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 22:03
  • Not to mention military budget and "keep saving the poorly management companies / investments" budget which has gotten terribly expensive consequent to our flooding the market with fuel for the last 15 years.
    – Ram
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 16:07

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