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Scholarly Musings: Australasians & US Immigration Restriction, 1921–1940

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State Library of NSW

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

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‘Devil’s Island’: Australasians & US Immigration Restriction, 1921–1940

With Anne Rees

In late 1924, the steamer Maunganui passed through San Francisco’s Golden Gate and docked at Angel Island Immigration Station. The Australians and New Zealanders onboard, restless from 20 days at sea, looked forward to clearing border control and finally disembarking. To their horror, the 18 men and women were not permitted to leave the island. After weeks of incarceration, they renamed the immigration station ‘Devil’s Island’. This talk explains how well-heeled Australasians became unlikely targets of American border policing, and considers the incident's impact on relations between the US and the British world.

Anne Rees is a David Myers Research Fellow at La Trobe University. She holds a PhD from ANU and an MA from University College London.


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State Library of NSW

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

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