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CHAPTER I

A BRIEF IMMIGRATION BACKGROUND

In an interesting article on "Race Mixture in the Homan Empire,"l Professor Tenney Frank quotes in translation these words from the third Satire of Juvenal:

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While every land

daily pours
Its starving myriads forth. Hither they come
To batten on the genial soil of Rome,
Minions, then Lords, of every princely dome,
Grammarian, painter, augur, rhetorician,
Rope dancer, conjurer, fiddler, and physician.

At first reading, the thought that stands out is the rather jealous one of the "battening” on Rome's genial soil. Then comes perhaps a bit of wonder at the gifts the strangers bring; for though we may question the rope dancer, surely the grammarian and the rhetorician, the physician, the painter and probably the augur too, all had their parts to play in making the “greatness" which was Rome. But our thinking cannot stop here. It goes further and dwells longest over the line:

Minions, then Lords, of every princely dome.

In every immigration development, these three points of view seem necessarily present. They are present today in the United States. We have come to see the "bad" clearly; we dimly and intermittently catch a glimpse of the good, and if the "minions” are to be “Lords,” we have waked up to the idea that the possibly inevitable outcome may be in some way influenced by us even though its inevitableness still remains. To study the question if only on one small side, opens a very far-reaching field of interest and of work.

For two months during the summer of 1922—August and September-and again for two months in 1923-July and August

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the writer had the privilege of being every day at Ellis Island, * the Immigrant Station in New York Harbor, where about 75 per cent of the entire immigration to the United States, is checked, examined, watched, held for a time if necessary, and then either sent forward on its way, or returned to the country from which

it came:

To gain some knowledge of two things, seemed specially important. The first thing was the kind of human material that the countries of the world were sending to the United States. The second was the kind of human material that the United States was accepting. It was of interest to know how the selection was made, and under what physical and emotional conditions. It was of interest to know what standards could be set and lived up to, and also if there were standards which could not be set, others which though set, could not be lived up to. It had seemed that while any study of the Immigration question must be based on a first hand understanding of the actual conditions of admission, a study on the psychological side without such knowledge would be without one of the most important factors.

As the present immigration regulations were known to be temporary, and as legislation in regard to some permanent policy was imminent, a gradually increasing public interest had been aroused in the entire immigration question. There had been much writing, there had been talking. Both had been in many cases uninformed, in many cases biased. Both had been purposely colored at times; at times unintelligent; because facts clearly at hand were ignored. Yet along with this disturbing because inaccurate agitation there had been scientific studies and

* On August 1, 1925, there was inaugurated an immigration experiment that will be subject to the most careful official scrutiny. This is the experiment of having no examination at Ellis Island for immigrants from Great Britian and Ireland previously examined and passed by the United States authorities at their home ports. This experiment is being tried, it will be noted, with English speaking immigrants.

On November 5, 1925, it was stated in the public press that five other nations-Belgium, Germany, Holland, Sweeden, and Denmark-had suggested informally to the State Department a further extension of this plan which should give to their nationals the same treatment accorded to those of Great Britain and Ireland.

reports, articles in magazines and the daily press, editorials and notices, all showing not only the intent to find the truth, but also the intent to put the truth as far as possible before the people of the country, with the hope that there might be worked out a solution which in use would prove itself to be based on wisdom, and on a thinking directed solely to the good of the country. The question, as one would expect, centered around quantity and quality. It might perhaps be vaguely wondered whether, if quality were well settled, quantity might not take care of itself. At any rate, the question of “kind” was no new one in the matter.

In a "Special Report on Immigration''3 by Edward Young, Chief of the Bureau of Statistics, published in 1871 the introductory sentence says: “In a country like ours, possessing rich and undeveloped resources, the advent of intelligent labor has in general been cordially welcomed.” The phrase is not merely "labor" in general. It has the limiting adjective “intelligent,” to show what desired immigration should be.

In 1914, Dr. Williams, a former Chief Medical Officer at Ellis Island, goes further still.. "It may not be too much to hope," he says, “that the day is not far distant when the intending immigrant must present a clean bill of health, physically and mentally, and a clean bill of character as well, through agencies to be devised by the scientist and the statesman of the future.” The idea of science behind legislation, of instruction leading public opinion, of character, mind, and body, as all necessarily to be investigated in the determining of a sound whole, shows the general trend that investigations into kind have taken.

Quite aside from the general economic and labor conditions, though naturally bound up with them for all time, has come a progressive study of the individual in the mass, a wish to know both what he is, and what for the good of a country he ought to be. Mr. Young, in his report of fifty years ago, just quoted, really wrestled with the notion, even though economic and theological considerations seemed more to the fore, than in Dr. William's definite call for science and legislation. Still the faint

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idea is surely there; for later in Mr. Young's report we find these sentences:

The difficulty of determining the pecuniary or material value of the foreign population who come yearly to this country is not inconsiderable, as no data are accessible by which it can be accurately ascertained. Indeed the very attempt to do so may appear derogatory to the dignity of human nature. To regard man as merely an automatic machine, computing his productive power, minus his running expenses, places a low estimate on a being made in the image of his Maker, and seems an insult alike to the Creator and the created. The muscular power of a laborer may be measured; but where is the meter that can mark the activity of his brain or indicate his moral force?

In 1871 the question was "where is the meter," while in 1914 the idea had changed to "the meter must be found.”

In a study of race differences by Professor Woodworth, there is a most significant reference to the immigration question. This article was published in 1910, when Professor Woodworth's work at the St. Louis Exposition had led him to a consideration of what races and their movements might mean to a country where immigration was a constantly growing, though slowly recognized problem, and it is of special interest here not only because of its direct reference to immigration; but because, as Professor Pintner? points out, Professor Woodworth for the first time used a test that approximates more to a test of intelligence than any of the sensory and psycho-motor tests that had up to that time been used. In speaking of migrations Professor Wood

worth says:

When individuals leave their group to go to a new country it would seem that those who emigrate must differ on the average from those who remain behind. An adventurous and enterprising spirit perhaps, would be characteristic of the emigrants, and so of the new people which they helped to form. On the other hand, the ne'er do well and the criminal might also be induced to emigrate. The selective influence of migration would not be all in one direction, and the net result could not easily be predicted. Since we are now witnessing though little comprehending this process of migration, as it contributes to form a people of the future, information regarding the kind of selective influence exerted by migration would have a practical value. Wisdom would dictate that the nation which is in process of formation should exert some selective influence on its own account; but from all the facts in hand, the part of wisdom would be to select the best individuals available from every source, rather than trusting to the illusory appearance of great racial differences in mental and moral traits, to make the selection in terms of races or nations.

This was written before the war. That the immigrant question at the end of the war, when it was expected that our immigration numbers would mount again, to equal if not surpass the peak of 1907,8 should have changed from a simmering state to one of definite activity is due to many things.

In the first place it must never be forgotten that the "simmering' was there. Then public knowledge in this country had widened in regard to European affairs, not only because of the war with its attending familiarization of places and ideas before unknown, but also because of the individual home coming and story telling of thousands of returning American men. In Europe itself there lay perhaps at least a three fold reason as a basis for the expected tide. American relief had made even more widely spread than before, the belief that America furnished unlimited opportunity. Next, the ordinary yearly flow of people to America, practically stopped during the war, would naturally have the added size that a dammed up force must have when released; particularly, as in some cases, money on this side of the ocean, more abundant in certain lines of work because of the war, gave a chance to send for families in their entirety, in a way which before might have been impossible. As a last reason, perhaps the basic one, Europe was facing a set of uncertain conditions more wide spread than any economic ones which had at previous conspicious times increased our immigration. If it is said that a sort of fear developed in the country as to what the immediate future would show in our immigration facts, it is perhaps not an overdrawn statement, yet with a real fear, there was in all probability the manufactured fear of those interested from labor, or racial, or even personal reasons.

In the Congressional Record of December 23, 1920, we find three rather interesting quotations. I give them merely to show that in 1819, in 1835, and again in 1845, spoken fear had its part in immigration deliberations. In 1819 the fear was voiced in these words: “As to the immigrants from foreign countries, the managers are compelled to speak of them in the language

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