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is now associated with the Statue of Liberty, the universal symbol of America's freedom and brotherhood with all nations and all peoples. While historians have struggled with exhibits at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum to present the many facets of immigration, the old notions the public has about emigrants and the reasons why they came have changed little. One could question the effectiveness of the new social history at elucidating the complexities of immigration in a museum setting, but what might be more illuminating is to examine members of society. They are the ones who must ultimately accept or reject historians' new ideas, and, because they want to believe it or because for some of them it was true, the public insists on holding fast to the romantic notion of immigration as a search for freedom and liberty. As historians develop new ways of viewing America's history, as those who actually passed through Ellis Island become fewer in number, and as Ellis Island fades to the back of Americans' memories, the debates over Ellis Island's symbolism will surely continue. Ellis Island's restored main building has not seen the end of conflicting hopes and frustrated tears, nor will it for many years to come.

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