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If I understand correctly, if your airplane or boat arrived on Shabbos, you're stuck within a ~half-mile radius of the boat or plane until after Shabbos because of techum. (I'd heard some discussion about how Ben Gurion Airport is set up for this situation?)

I assume theoretically the same would apply to those who arrived at Ellis Island on Shabbos, which I'm sure happened. Do we have any written sources that specifically discuss immigrants arriving at Ellis Island vis-a-vis the halachos of techum on Shabbos? Could be anything from a halacha sefer to a random newspaper article reporting on the predicament.

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    UWYA. Do you want to know if people would get stuck, or if they did, or perhaps something else? – Scimonster Jun 24 '15 at 10:46
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    @Scimonster It may be worded strangely, but it sounds like OP is asking whether there are written sources discussing the halachos of techum vis a vis immigrants arriving at Ellis Island on Shabbos. I'll edit the question to reflect that. – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 24 '15 at 11:02
  • Now that I think about it, I'm not sure they would exist, since the gemara specifically discusses arriving via boat to a dock on shabbos, and it depends upon whether the shore was visible from the onset of shabbos (otherwise, you use the techum/daled amos of the boat). – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 24 '15 at 11:04
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    My ancestors arrived to the states (after Ellis Island days) on a Friday evening, and stayed there (the port?) all of Shabbos because they refused to sign the required release documents on Shabbos. – intuit Jun 24 '15 at 14:05
  • @intuit thanks for the info! The laws of techum (not walking past the city limits) may have kept them stuck even if there were no papers to sign -- but good point, there usually were. – Shalom Jun 24 '15 at 14:31

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