Angel Island: The Asian Immigrant’s Experience in US



Through the analysis of primary and secondary sources, students will be able to:

  • Provide a summary of the historical context surrounding the Angel Island Immigration Station.
  • Compare and contrast the experiences of immigrants at Ellis Island and immigrants at Angel Island.
  • Analyze the development and application of different policies and opinions regarding Asian immigration
    to the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries.`


Angel Island Immigration Station, or more simply, “Angel Island”, was a prominent immigration processing center on the West Coast. Angel Island was created specifically to filter the immigration of Asian immigrants after the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. This lesson plan explores the consequences of the creation of Angel Island, while exposing students to historical skills such as comparison, analysis, and building defensible arguments. Learning about the history of immigration in the U.S. is an impactful experience for students and helps them understand the sociopolitical structures of modern America. As they supplement their current knowledge of immigration through learning about Angel Island, students will be able to form their own understanding of how immigration experiences varied throughout the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries, along with the resulting consequences.


  1. Why was the Angel Island Immigration Station created, and what was its impact?
  2. What experiences did Asian immigrants face on Angel Island?
  3. How and why did immigration experiences differ between Angel Island and Ellis Island?