Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size




Learn How to Create your Story
Stories by Immigrant's Last Name

Sort stories by 

Leem, Byuen H. : A Failed Attempt to Pass as Filipino: The Case of Byuen H. Leem/”Eduardo Sanchez” by Dennis Nguyen
Year of Arrival 1916

On December 12, 1916, “Eduardo Sanchez” (actually named Byuen H. Leem) arrived in San Francisco on the S.S. Great Northern from Honolulu, Hawaii, claiming he was born in the Philippines.  Because Filipinos were considered “U.S. nationals” and not aliens, they were not subject to the Asian exclusion laws and were usually landed from the ship.  But the boarding officer, suspecting that “Sanchez” was not Filipino but Japanese, decided to send him to Angel Island for further investigation. He was detained at Angel Island for 44 days and when he was found to be Korean, he was returned to Hawaii on January 24, 1917.

Read More


Leong, David : Alone on Angel Island at age eight: David Leong's story by Kelsey Owyang and Olivia Pollak
Year of Arrival 1940

David Leong's story is an amazing one. While he traveled across the Pacific at the age of eight with his distant aunt and cousins, upon arrival in San Francisco he had to go to Angel Island by himself because his relatives were U.S. citizens and not detained. He managed to pass the interrogation process and be released to rejoin his father.

Read More


Leong, C. Tony and May : The Journeys of C. Tony Leong and May Chung Leong to America via Angel Island  by Tony C. Leong, Jr., Ph.D.
Year of Arrival 1914

Tony C. Leong, Jr. contributes a fascinating and detailed account of secrets uncovered in the tangled tale of paper sons so common among Chinese Americans.

Read More


Leong, Quong : From Immigrant to Flower Grower by Helen Leong
Year of Arrival 1915

A life of hard work as a gardener in San Francisco leads Leong Quong to become a prize-winning flower grower in Milpitas, California.

Read More


Lew, Wing Din : We are proud of him by Robert Lew
Year of Arrival 1930

Wing Din Lew was nine years old when he left his mother in China to travel to America to live with a person he had never met, his father.  Three years later, in 1933, Wing’s father died of cancer.  Wing survived the Great Depression as an orphan and ultimately built a thriving family.

Read More


Li, Beleza : On the meaning of being Chinese by Daughter of Beleza
Year of Arrival 1950

Beleza was born and raised in Brazil, and has been living in the Bay Area for over seven years. As the daughter of Chinese immigrants in Brazil and an immigrant herself in the United States, she has witnessed the struggles and difficulties of newcomers. She has seen how cultural and language barriers prevent even the most hardworking from successfully adapting, and how broken immigration laws also prevent high-achieving students from becoming active members in society. Beleza's work towards social justice include teaching  at-risk youth, writing for ethnic media, and mentoring immigrant students.

Read More


Lim, Fook Keung : Biography (January 3, 1909 – February 20, 1986) by Hazel Lim Hoshiko
Year of Arrival 1923

Daughter Hazel Lim shares the wide arc of her father’s life, who was detained on Angel Island at age 15, worked in San Francisco Chinatown restaurants in his youth, served in the Army-Air Force in World War II, and retired in San Gabriel as a grocery store owner.

Read More


Louie, Quan Bang : Student Louie Quan Bang: Barred from Returning to the U.S. by Ethan Gacek
Year of Arrival 1924

Louie Quan Bang and his family were immigrants from Canada, but the Chinese Exclusion Act applied to all who were ethnically Chinese, regardless of where they were born. Read Ethan Gacek's story to learn more about his attempt to return to the United States after a visit to China.

Read More


Louie, Stephen : Chinese Interpreter by Jim Huen
Year of Arrival Born in U.S.

Interview of Stephen Louie
Chinese Interpreter, 1949 to 1954, US Immigration Office, San Francisco

Angel Island Immigration Station operated from 1910 to late 1940 when a fire closed the Station.  The U.S. Immigration office then moved to a temporary location in San Francisco at 801 Silver Avenue and operated there until 1944 when a new permanent immigration facility was built and opened at 630 Sansome Street.  It was also known as the U.S. Appraisers Building, housing other federal agencies.  This facility is still an active immigration office under its current name United States Citizenship and Immigration Services under the Department of Homeland Security.  Little has been written about these two San Francisco immigration facilities.

Read More


Low, Raymond : A Remembrance of Raymond Low by Arthur Low
Year of Arrival 1938

Arthur Low traces the life of his father from humble beginnings in Toisan. China to life in Sacramento, CA.  Despite difficult times, Raymond Low worked hard at two jobs, bought a house and raised four children with his wife Yvonne.  Today, his grandson, Evan Low is the Mayor of Campbell,CA.

Read More


Low, Dick (Ko Shew) : A Tribute to My Father, Dick Low, on his 90th birthday, 1995 by Kenneth Ko Low
Year of Arrival 1921

Ko Shew immigrated to the U.S. in 1921 under the name Dick Low.  He worked hard throughout his life, starting out as a farm laborer and eventually becoming a department store manager.  Kenneth Ko Low reflects upon the many gifts and life lessons his father bestowed upon him.

Read More


Lum, Fong Shee : Sowing Strength in a Strange Land: The Life of Lum Fong Shee by Carla Koop
Year of Arrival 1912

The following is a biography of my grandmother, Lum Fong Shee, who travelled from a village in southern China to the United States as a new bride in an arranged marriage. She was 21 years of age when she left, and spent the remainder of her 78 years in California. I call my grandmother’s story “Sowing Strength in a Strange Land” because of the personal strength she drew upon, living as an illiterate, non-English speaking woman in a foreign culture and land. Despite her challenges, she raised a large family and achieved business success.

This narrative is based on a series of interviews I conducted with my grandmother between 1990 and 1996. Because my grandmother spoke only Chinese and I speak none, my mother, Frances Koop, acted as translator and full participant in the interviews. Eventually I was able to complete a written oral history that gave my grandmother's experience a more permanent voice. I am grateful to have this opportunity to share her experience as part of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation's “Immigrant Voices” project.

Read More


Ly, Andrew : Andrew Ly: From Refugee to CEO and winner of the Immigrant Heritage Award 2011 by Linda Lau
Year of Arrival 1979

We are proud to share the story of Andrew Ly, who fled Vietnam in the aftermath of the U.S.-Vietnam War, and settled in San Francisco. Through hard work and diligent studies and the support of his entire  family, the Ly family enjoys tremendous success in business with the nationally-recognized Sugarbowl Bakery brand.  Mr. Andrew was the recipient of AIISF’s Immigrant Heritage Award on October 1, 2011.

Read More


Page 8 of 14

Donate to AIISF at Network for Good Join our e-news list