The experience immigrants
had to endure was not only part of history, but also affected their
lives and the generations ahead. Poems were etched on the barracks inside
the building describing their turmoil and regret. The way some words
are used can help determine the psychological point of view. Current
immigrants have responded to the poems and shared their thoughts.
here in 1981: "I felt the pain they were going through with their words
and it was not right what was done to them. They had no justice and
there was too much discrimination. People are suppose to be equal no
matter is they're black, white or yellow people. I can tell that the
Americans were just jealous when the Chinese first arrived. They never
did welcome them with arms wide open, and it was hard to build a life
here in 1980: "I feel lucky now that things are equal and we did not
have to endure the hardship the past Chinese immigrants had to go through.
It's a new generation and things are more equal around us. I do understand
how they felt though. They had their hopes up for America, but when
they got over here they were only treated as if they were dogs. That
was the past, now we can prosper and freedom is bestowed upon us."
emigrated here in 1989: "I felt connected, the words are basically
a repeat of my own. I feel like I've walked in their shoes. I feel what
here in 1990 "I feel their pain through their words. I have felt
what they've went through only on a smaller scale."
generation here in the United States: "This poem is a standard
example of how oppression and discrimination played out for the early
immigrants who were considered less than human. They were subjected
to unusually harsh examinations and treatment. Those that survived are
here to see actual interviews with former Angel Island detainees.