On May 26, 1998, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Ellis Island was mostly in the state of New Jersey—not mostly in the state of New York. Ellis Island is an important part of American history, and both states claimed the tiny speck of land in Upper New York Bay.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Ellis Island was the first place many European immigrants set foot when they stepped off a boat from the “Old Country.” Here, immigrants signed papers, and doctors examined them before allowing them to live in the United States. 
Today, Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and largely controlled by the National Park Service, a federal organization. The Supreme Court ruling mostly impacts sales taxes gained from gift shops at the park, as well as rights to future development.

body of water partially surrounded by land, usually with a wide mouth to a larger body of water.


growth, or changing from one condition to another.


having to do with a nation's government (as opposed to local or regional government).


person who moves to a new country or region.

National Park Service

U.S. federal agency with the mission of caring "for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage."

Supreme Court

highest judicial authority on issues of national or constitutional importance in the U.S.

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