SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Port of Galveston immigration

The Port of Galveston, in Galveston, was the gateway for tens of thousands of immigrants to the Southwest of United States as an immigrant inspection station. The immigration station located in Galveston brought a vast number of immigrants into the Southwest of the United States while it was in operation from when it opened in 1906 until it closed. Although not as well known as the immigration station on Ellis Island, Galveston is best known for the influx of Jewish immigrants coming from Europe during this period, referred to as the “Galveston Movement”. In addition, many have described Galveston as The Ellis Island of the West” or a “Second Ellis Island.” However, immigrants from all over the world entered the United States through the Galveston immigration station, including those from Central and South America and Europe. The flow of immigrants into the area helped tourism to Galveston and thus, helped keep the city vibrant. Galveston was one of the largest cities in Texas until the hurricane of 1900 that devastated the city.

The immigration station located in Galveston was built on Pelican Island. “When the federal government replaced state administrations in processing immigrants at the turn of the century, efforts began to redirect the flow of immigration from the Northeast to Texas. Pelican Island became federal property, the government constructed an immigration center and quarantine station there." The quarantine center was brought to fruition, as it was for many other immigration stations, because of the basic idea that immigrants brought with them diseases that could be spread to the American people. After an outbreak of yellow fever, the quarantine station on Pelican Island was up and running to ensure the disease did not reach the United States population; the quarantine center was based on the example set by Ellis Island, was not as large or efficient as the station in New York. Although known as “The Ellis Island of the West”, Galveston did not have as many immigrants enter the United States through this port as there had been through Ellis Island.

At a time, Galveston was one of the largest immigration stations in the west. "Between 1906 and 1914 nearly 50,000 immigrants arrived at Galveston, including Bohemians, Galicians, Romanians, English, Poles Italians and some 10,000 Jews."Many immigrants entered the United States though the immigration station in Galveston, the most notable and the immigrant group that receives the most attention was the large Jewish population. “between 1907 and 1914 ten thousand Jews entered the United States through the port of Galveston, Texas.” There was a push for Jewish immigrants to enter the United States through Galveston instead of through the immigration station on Ellis Island in large part because “the vast majority of Jewish immigrants remained in the ghettos of New York “. Therefore, “a project of the Jewish Immigrants' Information Bureau in cooperation with the London-based Jewish Territorial Organization, Jewish philanthropists such as Jacob Schiff supported the Galveston Movement to stop the concentration of Jewish immigrants in the congested industrial cities of the northeastern United States by landing them in Texas instead of New York, assisting them in finding jobs in the West.

”Thus, there was a concentrated effort among the Jewish population to enter the United States through Galveston instead of Ellis Island. There were concerns among the Jewish population that anti-Semitic actions were behind the rejections of Jewish immigrants from these port of entries into the United States and Galveston immigration officials were no exception.“When rejections for “poor physiques” rose in early 1910, an investigation by Henry Berman, manager of the Jewish Immigrants' Information Bureau, disclosed that Galveston medical examiner Dr. Corput had been making anti-Semitic remarks, including a promise to do everything in his power to exclude Jewish immigrants. There were not as many Jewish lobbyists groups located in the southwest in Texas, as there were in New York. Therefore, the Jewish clout had not been established for those immigrants entering through the port of Galveston; the immigration station at Galveston was damaged by storms in 1915 and 1916. It was moved to 21st Street.

WW1 caused a great reduction to the number of immigrants entering in the Port of Galveston. The immigration center was destroyed in 1972. However, the impact of the immigrants entering Texas and the American southwest the Jewish immigrant population, was due in part to the Galveston port. Adam Krout, Silent Travelers: Germs and the “Immigrant Menace” Bernard Marinbach, Galveston: Ellis Island of the West. Diana J. Kleiner, "GALVESTON COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 30, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association

Permanente Quarry

The Permanente Quarry is a limestone quarry in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County, just west of Cupertino, California. The quarry is a limestone and aggregate mining operation and cement plant, owned by Lehigh Southwest Cement, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Cement. Since 1939 the plant has been in operation and is responsible for the production of more than half of the cement used in the Bay Area. 70 percent of the cement used in the communities of Santa Clara County is acquired from the cement plant. Located in the foothills above Cupertino on the northeast slopes of Black Mountain, the quarry runs east-west parallel to the upper watershed of Permanente Creek to the south and to Permanente Ridge and Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve to the north; the limestone rock found in the Permanente Creek valley and on the summit of Black Mountain is unique in the Bay Area. Microfossils in the limestone deposits suggest that the mountain originated as a seamount at 22 degrees north in the tropical Pacific about 100 million years ago and was transported to Los Altos by the Pacific Plate.

These rocks occur as jagged gray boulders and outcrops just southwest of the radio towers on the summit of Black Mountain, as well as in the Permanente Quarry. The quarry was founded by Henry J. Kaiser as the Kaiser Permanente Cement Plant in 1939, taking the name of the business from the Permanente Creek in whose valley it lies. Kaiser intended to use the quarry to provide the majority of the cement used in the construction of the Shasta Dam, supplying the 6 million barrels of cement. Additionally, Kaiser Cement Company built Highway 101, Highway 85 and other major Northern California landmarks from the quarry; the cement plant is the primary reason for the lone railroad line. Hanson Cement acquired Kaiser Cement for $200 million in 1986; the cement company was renamed Hanson Permanente Cement in 1999. At the time of sale, Kaiser Cement was the 5th largest producer of cement in the entire United States. Hanson Permanente Cement filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the US Bankruptcy Court in 2016.

The bankruptcy is related to more than 14,000 injury lawsuits. The previous year Hanson Permanente Cement was ordered to spend $5 million to install an advanced wastewater treatment plant along with $2.55 million in civil penalties. The cement plant at the quarry has been fueled by petroleum coke since 2007, the latter is a major source of mercury emissions; the cement plant is responsible for 29 percent of total Bay Area airborne mercury emissions and was shown to impact a rural site, Calero Reservoir, 20 miles away. Mercury, a neurotoxin and pollutant, concentrated in the aquatic food web, was found to be 5.8 to 6.7 times higher in precipitation near the cement plant than at a control location 2.0 miles away. Groundwater is pumped into Permanente Creek. Selenium pollution in the creek downstream from the quarry ranged from 13 to 81 micrograms/liter. A North Quarry water sample in January 2010 had a dissolved selenium concentration of 82 μg/L, indicating that the quarry is the source of the selenium pollution.

Selenium is bioaccumulated in the aquatic food web. Safety standards for selenium concentrations in fresh water are 5 μg/L under the California Toxics Rule (same as the National Toxics Rule set by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2000 and 2012. Anthropization related to quarry operations and the cement plant have resulted in sediment discharges into Permanente Creek that are 3.5 times what would be expected under normal conditions. Sediment loads in the upper Permanente Creek mainstem are 15 times those in the West Fork Permanente Creek, which drains parkland; these sediment loads could threaten the resident rainbow trout population in the creek. Under the terms of a 1985 reclamation plan, the quarry was not supposed to dump quarry waste materials more than 100 feet higher than the natural chaparral ridge known as Permanente Ridge; this waste material storage area, or WMSA, was piled on and above the Permanente Ridge and this brownish-gray scar is visible from much of the southern Bay Area – despite claims from the 2004 owner, Hanson Cement, that it was hydroseeded annually with native grass mix and that they planted 80% of the area in trees and shrubs, it remains a barren zone, degrading the aesthetic value of the adjacent Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.

This barren ridge line, referred to by Lehigh Southwest as the West Materials Storage Area is visible to much of the Silicon Valley. On December 19, 2011, the Sierra Club sued Lehigh Southwest Cement Company and Heidelberg Cement in federal court to stop its unpermitted discharges of selenium and other toxic water pollutants into Permanente Creek; the Sierra Club maintains that Lehigh has been polluting Permanente Creek in violation of the clean water act for years. Lehigh's own water quality analyses have demonstrated that quarry pit wastewater that Lehigh discharges into the creek has been 16 times higher than Clean Water Act stream standards; the pollution is harmful to aquatic life in downstream areas such as Rancho San Antonio County Park, where selenium concentrations are more than five times more dangerous than state and federal standards allow. On June 7, 2012, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved amendments to the 1985 Permanente Quarry Reclamation Plan for Lehigh Southwest Cement Company, including approval of a new waste material storage area at the east end of the quarry.

The newly approved Reclamation Plan has 89 conditions, calls for higher performance standards for re-vegetation of a