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Ellis Island Belongs to N.Y., Court Rules

February 05, 1992| Associated Press

NEW YORK — Ellis Island belongs to New York, even sections built with landfill on New Jersey bedrock, a federal appeals court has ruled.

An 1833 agreement gave the three-acre island to New York and the surrounding underwater land to New Jersey. Since then, the federal government has enlarged the island with landfill to 27.5 acres.

The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the added sections belong to New York because the agreement did not say anything about the island's size.

The federal government had sought to declare part of the island under New Jersey's jurisdiction to avoid a lawsuit over a worker who was injured there in 1986. If the accident had occurred in New Jersey, that state's laws would have barred the suit.

Ellis Island was used as an immigration station from 1890 to 1954.

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