Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

1

Doctor LAUGHLIN. An official appointment and credentials signed by the Secretary of Labor, authorizing me to go abroad as a United States immigration agent to Europe, to make certain scientific researches.

Mr. SABATH. As an agent of the United States ?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Yes, sir; and specifically as an agent of the Department of Labor.

Mr. SABATH. With what department are you connected? Are you connected with the Department of Labor ?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. I am a member of the scientific staff of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and a volunteer investigator for the Department of Labor of the United States Government.

Mr. SABATH. You went over there for the Labor Department as a volunteer, and you are not a paid employee?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. No, sir; I am not a paid employee of the Government.

Mr. Box. Except upon the one dollar per year basis?
Doctor LAUGALIN. Yes, sir. That is correct.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me explain that several persons have had such commissions during the last few years. One person—a wellknown minister--recently returned and, after making a report to the Secretary of Labor, offered to make one to our committee, but we did not have time to hear him, for which we are sorry.. We had to be content with permitting him to file a digest of it with us.

Mr. SABATH. I did not know whether the present speaker was officially connected with the Department of Labor or was merely a volunteer. As I understand it, you are connected with the Carnegie Institute ?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Yes, sir. The Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The CHAIRMAN. Before we proceed further, I suggest that, inasmuch as Doctor Laughlin's previous reports represented a great deal of study, and inasmuch as it is the desire of the committee that reports of this kind be prepared with great care, the doctor should have authority to revise his words as taken down by the stenographer to-day, and to insert such explanatory statements as may be necessary to cover the charts and tables which he will submit. Without objection, that will be considered as ordered.

Will you proceed now with the report of your scientific researches, Doctor Laughlin ?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, as United States immigration agent to Europe, representing the Department of Labor, I visited 11 European countries, beginning in Sweden in September. I went as far north as Uppsala, where the University of Sweden is located, and which maintains a department known as the “State Institute for Race-Biology.” This institute, which is directed by Dr. Herman Lundborg, is supported by the Swedish Government, and is devoted to the investigation of problems which bear upon national racial fortunes in much the same manner as the Eugenics Record Office of the Carnegie Institution of Washington makes researches, unofficially, in and for the United States.

From Uppsala, Sweden, I proceeded to Denmark, Germany, Holland, and Belgium. In the latter country I located my head

[ocr errors]

quarters and office at the Solvay Institute of the University of Brussels. From this center, as the guest of the institute and of the Belgian Eugenics Education Society, I transacted a considerable portion of the business I had to do. After starting the several European surveys and researches in Brussels, I went to France, then to Switzerland, then to Italy, and down as far south as Naples; then to Marseille, then to Algiers, then into Spain, then back to Paris, then again to Brussels, where I had established my central office. I went also to London, and, all told, spent about a month in England. Here I had several conferences with the commissioners of immigration for the different British Dominions.

Their immigration problems are practically the same as those of the United States—that is, the countries of Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were, like the United States, founded and first peopled as modern States by northwestern Europeans. And, further, all of these self-governing dominions are still relatively sparsely populated; consequently, from over-populated Europe, they are still receiving immigrants. They are very much interested in maintaining a high quality of the population by admitting only the best European immigrant stocks for the settlement and development of their lands.

After accomplishing the purpose of the first field researches and laying the foundation

for a more extensive and thorough study of the biological side of human migration, I returned to America in February.

The CHAIRMAN. The value of first-hand field data skillfully collected and scientifically analyzed is very great. Facts of this nature are the basis upon which the American people must develop their permanent immigration policy.

EUROPEAN FIELD STUDIES IN IMMIGRATION

Doctor LAUGHLIN. In my European field studies I had three definite problems in human migration.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you enumerate them!

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Yes, sir. First, in reference to selective immigration, the problem was to trace the line of demarcation in the emigrant's country, according to both the theory and practice of international law, between the authority of the home government of the prospective emigrant and the authorized rights and activities of our consuls.

Second, to find out whether it would be possible to secure, concerning the would-be emigrant to America, his individual history and basic facts concerning the family stock from which he springs. And if such studies were possible, to plan, as nearly as possible, an ideal outline of the facts desired, and, practically, to test the legality and practicability of the plan by making several first-hand individual and family history investigations of persons who had been granted passports by their home governments to emigrate to America but whose passports had not yet been viséed by the American consuls.

Third, to initiate first-hand scientific researches in each of the several American consular districts in Europe and the Near East for the purpose of determining the fundamental facts of history, geography, ethnology, statistics, economics, and social conditions

which bear upon human migration, with particular reference to migration between the particular district and the United States.

The CHAIRMAN. Do all of these three problems seem capable of being attacked by purely scientific methods without recourse to politics or contention?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Yes, sir. My province was that of a scientific investigator, and these problems were attacked in the purely scientific spirit. The first thing to do is to outline the problem, then to gather authentic facts bearing upon the situation, and, finally, to systematize, analyze, and coordinate these facts in orderly fashion. I hope to show in this report that this method of investigation has been adhered to throughout the researches, and to present to the committee some first-hand facts which may be of service.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course we may expect some dissention, and we will welcome discussion.

AMERICAN CONSULS AND IMMIGRATION SERVICE

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Wherever I went I got in personal touch with the American consuls, and from my principal headquarters in Brussels I soon established contact with the remainder of our consulates in Europe and the Near East, of which there were, at the time of my researches, a total of 123. Among numerous other duties, the American consuls have charge of our immigration service in foreign countries. The American consular service is a function of the Department of State, but when the business of administering our immigration laws calls for authority and activity in the United States, it ceases to be a function of the Department of State and becomes a function of the Department of Labor and of the Public Health Service. The Department of Labor gave me a commission to make immigration researches in Europe, and also secured cooperation on the part of the Department of State, because it required the collaboration and authority of both of these two departments in order to gain the facts needed.

The primary object of working in the field, instead of in the laboratory and library, was to tap new sources of first-hand information. It was necessary to secure and to analyze data which had not heretofore been made available for study. One great source of information is the American consul. He, of course, makes periodical reports on the matter of immigration, as well as on trade and industrial situations, to the Department of State. But he possesses also a great deal of information which, because of the lack of time, he has not been able to bring together in systematic form. The consuls, because of their intimate acquaintance with economic, social, and racial conditions in their respective districts, were able also to place the American scientific investigators in touch with other sources of information on the subject of emigration. Thus, by organizing our re

, searches in Europe and the Near East on the basis of the territorial regions covered by the several American consulates, we secured much first-hand data from consuls directly, and established valuable contacts for extending the investigation to the most direct and fruitful

sources.

At this point let me say that the American Nation ought to be very proud of the type of men whom she has secured in her Consular Service for representing her business interests abroad. These men are thoroughly American; they are competent and able and have a vital interest not only in American business but in the American people and family stocks. Without exception, they sense the very great part which immigration plays in relation to determining American life. Immigration, passport, and visé matters in different forms consume a great portion of the time of the Consular Service. With the consent of the Department of State, the consuls, as a rule, were glad to aid in the scientific study which planned to cover Europe and the Near East in relation to the fundamental historical, statistical, geographical, racial, economic, and social factors of human migration.

I visited 25 consulates in person, and conducted correspondence with the rest of them. I thus soon found out what sort of data could be secured by their aid. The American consuls in Europe are spending from 5 to 75 per cent of their time, depending upon the place and the season of the year, in passport and immigration business. The American consul has to visé every passport that a foreign government grants to a would-be emigrant to the United States. But the making of that visé is at present mostly formal and perfunctory, except in so far as it is a check on quota numbers, and except also in cases of suspected white slavers, anarchists, or Bolsheviks. As a rule, except for the occasional secret sign added to a passport, which gives a hint to the Ellis Island authorities, the visé does not imply anything about the immigrant.

One of my particular researches consisted in making some first-hand studies into the extent and methods by which fundamental facts could be found out about a would-be emigrant to the United States. For this purpose I went into the home territory of the prospective immigrant who had received a passport to emigrate to America from his own government, but which passport had not yet been viséed by the American consul, because the quota of the particular country had been temporarily exhausted, or, perhaps, the consul doubted the admissibility of the particular emigrant.

Now, this time between the granting of the passport and the giving of the visé would give the American consuls a sufficient length of time, if they had the authority, the responsibility, and the facilities, to investigate the basic nature of the would-be immigrants to the United States, to determine facts concerning desirability or undesirability, which could not be found out at Ellis Island alone, no matter how skilled the latter's examiners might be.

The CHAIRMAN. Is it not true that the consuls, in spite of the fact that they are not especially authorized to deal with immigration matters, are, by the very nature of things, obliged to give a great deal of their time to the handling of immigrants ?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Without any particular instructions in connection with it in our present immigration statutes ?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. Box. That is true especially as to their passport visé control ?

Doctor LAUGHLIN. Yes, sir. It is a normal function of our Consular Service.

The CHAIRMAN. That is to say, whether the consul is particularly instructed in regard to this immigration work or not, he is obliged to do it in pursuance of the law which governs our Consular Service in general. Well, our new bill will enlarge the consul's instructions and strengthen his authority in this respect

[ocr errors]

THE THREE HISTORIC IMMIGRATION POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES

Doctor LAUGHLIN. We are now far enough along in our national history to get a fair perspective of the several American policies in reference to immigration. History shows that we have developed three distinct dominating views on the matter. The first theory of immigration control was that of affording an asylum, so that anyone who wished to come into our territories was welcome. From this charitable point of view we said, "All men are created equal, and therefore let anybody come to the United States that cares to.” The Declaration of Independence did not mean that all men were the same height nor that all were of equal understanding or courage, but that all men, regardless of natural or acquired differences, were entitled to equality before the law and equal political opportunity. This doctrine of extreme charity, which was called "the asylum ideal,'' held for a long time in the colonial and early national periods. In the earliest times it worked well. This country needed immigrants very badly, and because only the hardiest individuals would venture to the new country, and because transportation was expensive, only a few immigrants came. The economic and political conditions differential between Europe and America were the principal factors which determined who would come to this country. We especially welcomed the oppressed in the Old World, because, like the founders of the Republic, we felt that the oppressed stood for high moral qualities, high intelligence, honesty, altruisme, democracy, a sense of fair play, and other traits which we value in the American character.

The United States always has offered, and perhaps always will give, the world an asylum for those particular individuals who are oppressed politically or religiously and who are characterized by splendid intellectual and spiritual character, who have initiative, independence, and talent, and who are willing to suffer martyrdom, if need be, for the maintenance of the principles which they believe to be right. But because an individual is oppressed it is no proof per se that he possesses splendid innate qualities, nor that such person would be a good addition to the family stocks of the United States. In the long run the immigrant and his progeny must constitute an asset to the American family life. With the spread of democracy and the separation of the church and state in many countries there no longer exists the same necessity for so many lovers of liberty and justice to emigrate in order to be free from political and religious oppression. We wanted to be an asylum for the oppressed, but we finally found out that it was possible to act unwisely in welcoming all, without selection or sorting.

The second ideal was economic. Industrial conditions were bettered in America, and the demand for pioneer settlers was supplemented by a great demand for industrial labor; transportation became cheaper and immigration easier. In substance the Nation said, “When we need labor, we will open the gates and let immigrants. in, but when we do not need labor we will shut the gates and keep immigrants out." From that time the dominant theory of immigration in the United States was built upon the economic basis, and that is still the attitude of the principal emigrant-exporting nations. at the present time.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »