Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

ing immigration. Latitude and longitude have been used in defining zones or regions from which nations are excluded. The immigration act of February 5, 1917, in section 3, used this principle. Our laws have used the principle of excluding defective individuals and those likely to become public charges. We have, as just stated, used also a quota distribution based upon the number and nationality of aliens in the United States at a given date. It would, of course, be fully legal to use an arbitrary and absolute number, and to distribute these as we saw fit, in accordance with nationality, or occupation, or personal or family qualities. Or the Nation could cut off immigration absolutely and could open it only to such nations as would cooperate in selecting immigrants; or it could, as it does in theory, admit only those whom it feels are best for the United States. Emigrant and immigrant nations may, so far as international law is concerned, arbitrarily establish their bases on the matter of race, religion, tongue, age, sex, occupation, or economic, social, physical, or moral qualities, patriotism, intelligence, military aid, servitude, individual or hereditary qualities, or the completeness of data secured about the individual, or completeness of cooperation in securing pedigrees, shown by the nation granting the passport to the emigrant. Or a simple or complex set of these requirements could be made legally. Immigration and emigration standards are a domestic matter (p. 1284).

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

Map to explain Formula XIX (columns 45, 46) in Table 5, opposite page 1290 The present table, No. 5, makes no pretense of exhausting the possibilities of formulas, and it works out only those few which are closely related in principle to the existing law, known as the 3 per cent quota law of 1921. Biologically the ideal quota-formula would be to decide the number of individuals whom the United States would admit in a year, and then allot these to the several nations, in accordance with the relative numbers of persons descended from stocks which originated in the several countries, and who were living in the United States at that period in which the descent of racial stocks most clearly represented the ideal race complex in the United States. This would provide limitations on number and nationality, and would provide a step in the direction of individual and family-stock selection within these limited races and numbers. (See Formulas Nos. XXIII and XXIV by John B. Trevor, Table No. 5.)

It is not discriminatory between foreign nations for the United States to apply any impersonal formula in immigration matters, which formula discriminates solely in favor of the American people opposed to foreign nations as a unit. No one doubts that the racecomplex of America is differential in reference to percentage composition. Equality in absolute numbers admitted, nor formula based upon foreign conditions, nor the size of population of foreign countries, need be considered, unless the United States cares to make such bases or rules solely in our own interest.

Mr. Bacon. I hope this chart will be published in this form with the formulas printed as worked out for ready comparison.

Doctor LAUGHLIN. I will present this completed chart to the committee in order that it may be published with the hearings as you suggest. (Table No. 5, opposite p. 1290.)

The admission of an immigrant into the territories of a country is not the right of the immigrant, nor of his home country, but a privilege which may be extended or denied to the particular applying immigrant, by the receiving country. In working out this principle, the immigrant-receiving nation desires to look first after its own welfare. It must thus discriminate between itself as one unit and the rest of the world as a second. The only opportunity for international complication consists in discriminating between nations, both of which may desire to send emigrants to the receiving country. But as a matter of fact, in the absence of specific treaties (p. 1284) to the contrary, the international law would uphold a sovereign nation, no matter how discriminatory, in fact, between other nations, it might be in selecting its immigrants. The United States has solved one phase of the problem of limiting immigration radically, by applying the quota principle based on high standards and definite formulas.

The optimum immigration needs of a country in reference to numbers, race, sex, occupation, culture, and hereditary qualities of the immigrants vary greatly from time to time, and the country's right and duty to govern its immigration policy accordingly is manifest. This control may vary from absolute freedom to absolute closure or suspension, depending entirely upon the welfare of the receiving nation, just as the privilege to emigrate from an exporting nation, so far as international law is concerned, may vary from no restriction to absolute restriction.

In preparing this set of formulas I meant first to show that almost any conceivable formula, simple or complex, seems well within the international rights and privilege of this Nation to enact, in accordance with its own desires. Secondly, I meant to provide, for ready comparison, data which would be of service to this committee in determining the best formula from both the American and the international points of view.

Mr. Box. I would like to get a statement of what per cent of these different peoples from the various foreign countries have been naturalized as per the census of 1920. I want to say now that those figures show that the people of southern and eastern Europe are the lowest in percentage of citizenship and the discrimination based on citizenship will be substantially the same as in 1890. (See columns Nos. 1, 2, 33, 34, 35, and 36 of Table 5, opposite p. 1290.)

Mr. SABATH. You mean the lowest in number naturalized ?
Mr. Box. Yes.

Mr. SABATH. Of course, you know that they have been here the shortest length of time. The old fellows could be naturalized over night, and the fellow now is naturalized after thorough examination and investigation, and because of the jam, thousands of our people who are trying to be naturalized can not be naturalized, because we have not provided facilities for them.

Mr. Box. I have not any objection to the apology of the gentleman from Illinois that only 10 per cent of the immigrants from Spain and 16 per cent from Greece ask for citizenship.

THE AMERICAN RACE

[ocr errors]

Doctor LAUGHLIN. One of the difficulties in studying, immigration consists in the generally prevailing idea that there is no such thing as an American race. We still use the English language, not exactly, but with little variation from that used in England. But the American people, while in a large proportion descended from the inhabitants of the British Isles, have as much claim to a separate racial designation as most of the European nations. In any country of Europe, which claims to be inhabited by a national type, there usually is a wide range of physical, mental, and moral family stocks within its whole national population. These races severally were not descended from a single pure stock, but have been, and are still, great collections of heterogeneous material more or less evenly distributed over the geographical region as a fine mosaic, and tending toward homogeneity by inbreeding. If the American people had the habit of using the term “the American race,” their foreign, and especially their immigration problems, would be greatly simplified. We would have a standard to go by, and we could recruit to this standard from different European nationals in accordance with the qualities and proportions needed.

In Europe the great interregional conquests, accompanied by tribal migration en masse, ceased about 1,000 years ago, so that now time has worked out a relatively great racial homogeneity within the geographical bounds of each country. The nations of modern Europe emerged from the medieval racial flux only about 500 years ago.

The Latinized culture of Europe of the fifth century, with its fine culture and its degenerate blood, was overrun by Germanic barbarians with low culture and superior blood. With the subsequent and slow processes of interregional contacts and migration, isolated groups resulted in the natural geographical sections of the continent, in which from five to ten centuries were required to establish relatively stable national types and to endow each with racial and linguistic characteristics. Had the contact processes of modern conditions been in force during the Dark Ages, Europe probably would have developed a more homogeneous state of race and tongue

[ocr errors]

and would have developed it in a much shorter time than was required to work out the modern nations.

The United States has been at work for 300 years in establishing its nationality. The colonial immigrants were racially quite homogeneous. They began with a country practically uninhabited. They made use of rapidly increasing facilities for transportation and trade and the unifying influences of the press and of a general government. They developed many settlements and maintained much interstate migration and nation-wide mate selection, so that the American people achieved a distinctive nationality and race very early in its history. The result is that the American race, although of composite origin, has long since established its racial ideals for development by immigration and national eugenics. By admitting many thousands of immigrants of distantly related blood and culture, we could if we chose set the clock back a few hundred years and begin over again with new ingredients and a new melting pot, and cast a new kind of nation.

From the standpoint of the biologist, our situation is reviewed like this: We are a transplanted people, and the fundamental character of the nation was established by its founders. The pioneers "got in on the ground floor.” Later immigration from the outside, and the vicissitudes of mate selection and differential fecundity within the nation modified its racial and social character. Every individual who enters the country and leaves progeny helps to determine the future racial character of the nation, as long as his family stock exists. He is no more assimilated by the existing peoples than the existing peoples in the country are assimilated by hím. The principal difference is the matter of relative numbers, the larger number contributing the most to the resulting mosaic. There can be a mixture of races, with an ultimate tendency toward uniformity; families and races can rise and decline in the mixture, but there is no such thing as racial assimilation. The melting pot, with frequent skimmings of the dross, is a better metaphor than assimilation for a description of the actual results when races and family stocks come into contact. Each unit counts in the resulting alloy--one does not absorb the other.

The American people have advanced far enough in their history, have treasured traditions of law, government, and race for nearly 300 years, so that we are entitled to define an American race and to use the term in law and letters. The American race, then (omitting for the time being the descendants of persons who came to the United States involuntarily), is a race of white people who have fused into a national mosaic composed originally of European stocks (themselves mosaics), in rapidly descending proportion, as follows: Primarily, British, Irish, German, Scandinavian, French, and Dutch; secondarily, American Indian, Jewish, Spanish, Swiss, Italian, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian. These represent the body of the materials from which the American race was principally made, while a few scattered immigrants from all other nations have been incorporated in the making of the American race.

The existing racial proportions in the American race are not to be measured directly in proportion to the total number of immigrants, because time and differential fecundity are equally important with numbers. The earlier an immigrant comes to a new country the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

greater is his influence in two respects: First, in determining the character of the language, the social organization, and the national traditions and customs; and second, in stamping his heredity on his offspring and thus on the blood or racial characteristics of future citizens. What a race or family stock may have lost in time of immigration may tardily be made up by later immigration in large numbers. The resultant nation is a descendant of the racial and family qualities of its founders and of their supplanters of later years.

In 1741 Benjamin Franklin estimated the total number of immigrants who had arrived in the Colonies up to that date to be 80,000, and the whole population of the Colonies to be 1,000,000. The Bureau of Immigration, in its report for 1919, estimated the arrivals from 1776 to 1820 to have been 250,000, and the immigrants from 1820 to 1919 to have been 33,200,103. No one doubts that the influence in establishing the American character and race and traditions, given by the 80,000 first immigrants, is more important than that given by the 33,000,000 of the last century. So time of immigration is an important factor; and thus have history and mathematics combined in showing that the influence of the early British, French, and Spanish immigrants was very great in determining the character of the American people. The Dutch and the English groups of New York two centuries ago have intermingled and fused, so that now the descendants of these early settlers constitute typical Americans. So as time goes on, if immigrants are continued to be evenly distributed over the Nation, are fused socially, if they adopt the English language, and do not segregate in alien colonies within our midst, there will ultimately be a racial fusion, limited by the wideness of mate selection. Variation in the natural instincts and emotions of varying immigrants will modify our national ideals in proportion to the relative numbers of immigrants with fundamentally different instincts. Thus it seems that races and cultures may mix, but can assimilate only to the limits of the commonalty of hereditary instincts and emotions.

As I stated earlier, the peak of immigration to the United States was reached in the year 1907, when 1,285,349 immigrants were admitted. A net total of 6,451,555 immigrants came to our shores during the 16 years 1908 to 1923, inclusive, but we can not finally evaluate the racial and social consequences of this migration until generations have passed, so that the net result of the amalgamation may be determined.

Excluding the great body of immigration from southern and eastern Europe of the last generation, we find in America the prevailing population of white persons with no greater range of variability in the national mosaic than may be found in many individual European nations, each of which calls its people a race. There was an American race and an American culture of 1860, and this race and culture is being modified to some degree by the changed racial character of the immigration of the last two generations. We can always use immigrants in limited numbers, provided their individual races to which they belong are compatible with our prevailing races for mate selection and that their family stocks are superior to our existing families. But unlimited immigration of races and types which have contributed very small percentages to the making of the original American people would supplant our fundamental race complex, and with the

« ÎnapoiContinuă »