Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

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Inspired by Angel Island

The poems that were carved on the walls of the Immigration Station by Chinese immigrants continue to move people.  Those poignant, angry, reflective and visceral expressions are universal declarations of the human spirit  In the coming months, we will share some recently translated poems written by Japanese immigrants to Angel Island.  Written both by men and women, these poems were sent to Bay Area Japanese newspapers from 1910 to 1930.

As part of the celebration of the Immigration Station’s 100th anniversary in 2010, we will publish the works of contemporary poets who have been inspired by the Angel Island poems.  Nancy Hom and Leon Sun are artists and community activists as well as poets. We are pleased to share their work with you. 

If you would like to submit poetry to be posted on our website, please write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Visit Angel Island

Angel Island Co LogoIntroducing the NEW Angel Island Tour Adventure! The Angel Island Company has been in business since 1995 and specializes in large, group events of 15 or more. One call is all it takes to create a memorable experience for your group. We make it easy for you by coordinating all the arrangements for the round-trip ferry service from either San Francisco or Tiburon, arranging shuttle and/or tram service around the island, reserving space on the NEW United States Immigration Station docent-led tour and providing full service catering and reserved seating for you on the Harbor View Deck. Book your event today with the Angel Island Company by calling 415-897-0715 or click here for more information.

A Tribute to Him Mark Lai

by Felicia Lowe

Him Mark LaiNoted scholar, historian, writer and advisor to the Angel island immigration Station Foundation, Him Mark Lai, passed away on May 21, 2009. A memorial program will be held on Saturday, June 22 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco.   In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the “Him Mark Lai Digital Archive Project” of the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA), the “Him Mark Lai Heritage Fund” of the Chinese Culture Foundation (CCF), or Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA).

In memory of Golden Gate National Recreation Area Superintendent Brian O’Neill

by Kathy Lim Ko

Brian O'NeillSuperintendent of the GGNRA since 1986, Brian O’Neill served as a tireless advocate for parks and open spaces.  From childhood, he was a lover of the National Parks and dedicated his life to making parks accessible to all people.  We will always remember Brian’s smiling face and well wishes as he joined us on Angel Island for the Grand Reopening of the Immigration Station on February 15, 2009.  AIISF Board President Kathy Lim Ko offered this tribute to Brian O’Neill.


Immigration Past and Present: A Conversation with Bill Ong Hing

By Greg Marutani, Program Committee, AIISF
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Bill Ong Hing, Professor of Law and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis. With the re-opening of Angel Island taking place in 2009, I asked him for his views and thoughts about the significance of Angel Island.
When I asked him why the Chinese wanted to come to the U.S. he said it was in response to war in Asia, rice famines, and the overall poor conditions and they heard about the opportunities for a better way of life in the United States.

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