Ellis Island, in New York Harbor, is where many immigrants to the United States landed in the early 20th century. Some were sent back for reasons including chronic disease. Many of the rest settled in New York, at least for a few years.
Ellis Island is also known as a place where people changed their names. If the immigration officer couldn't spell the original name, they'd come up with an approximation, or something shorter or simpler. This was especially common when the newcomer couldn't read and write English.
Ellis Island now houses a museum, reachable by ferry.