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SERIES V. OFFICIAL IMMIGRATION REPORTS, 1923 AND 1924
OFFICIAL DATA FROM THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENTAL REPORTS
(a) From the report of the Secretary of Labor for the year ending June 30, 1923
1. The per centum limit act of 1921 (pp. 45–46): The fiscal year ended June 30, 1923, was the second complete year during which the so-called quota limit act of May 19, 1921, was in operation, and because of various important developments believed to be wholly or in part attributable to that law the records of the Immigration Service during the 12 months under consideration are of unusual interest and significance.
In the first place, the number of immigrant aliens admitted reached a total of 522,919 during the year, compared with 309,556 such admissions in the fiscal year 1922, an increase of 213,363. This gain was almost entirely due to increased immigration from British North America and Mexico, which countries are not within the scope of the quota limit law, and from the fact that natives of north and west European countries used 90 per cent of their allotted quotas in the year just ended, compared with only 46.4 per cent in the preceding fiscal year.
Another interesting development of the past year was the large numerical and proportional decrease among emigrant aliens leaving the country when compared with the record of former years. The total number of departures of this class in the year just ended was only 81,450, as against 198,712 in the fiscal year 1922, and an annual average of 288,578 in the five pre-war years 1910–1914. The record of the year in this respect seems to indicate a most unusual degree of stability among our recent immigrants, due, no doubt, in large measure to the favorable employment conditions which prevailed in the United States practically throughout the past year,
The per centum limit law marked the beginning of actual restriction or limita tion of immigration to the United States, so far as European sources are concerned. The Chinese exclusion law has been in operation since 1882; the agreement with Japan under which laborers are not admitted from that country became effective in 1908; and the so-called Asiatic barred zone provision in the general immigration law of 1917 closed the doors against the lawful entry of the peoples of India and other countries of southern Asia, but the actual restriction of immigration from Europe, Africa, and Australasia was never before attempted.
It is of course true that we have had a general immigration law since 1882, but it is also true that the general law, although several times revised and strengthened, has been and still is based on the theory of selection rather than of restriction. The provision barring illiterate immigrants, which was added to the law in 1917, was clearly intended as a restrictive measure, but in its practical effect it was simply another addition to the 30 or more classes of alleged undesirables already excluded by statute, none of which could be relied upon actually to limit the volume of immigration.
Even a casual survey of congressional discussions for the past quarter of a century makes it obvious that Congress realized the constantly increasing influx of immigrants from the south and east of Europe and Asiatic Turkey, which in the 25 years following 1890 practically supplanted the old-time movement from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Germany, and other countries of northwest Europe. The widespread popularity of the literacy test was quite obviously based on the belief or hope that its application would tend to lessen the preponderance of the so-called new immigration, but it was enacted at a time when the movement from Europe was practically stopped by the war, and its effectiveness as a corrective remedy was never fairly tested.
The Congress, however, seemingly recognized that even the comprehensive immigration law of 1917, including the literacy test, would afford only a frail barrier against the promised rush from the war-stricken countries of Europe, and at the special session called at the beginning of the present administration the quota law was quickly enacted and, with President Harding's approval, became a law on May 19, 1921. This law expired by limitation June 30, 1922, but by the act of May 11, 1922, its life was extended to June 30, 1924, and some strengthening amendments were added.
2. Immigration from northwestern and southeastern Europe (p. 49).-It is of interest to note the effect of the operations under the quota law upon immigration from the various countries when comparison is made with the record of the year 1913–14, a fairly typical pre-war immigration year, and 1922–23. In the year 1913–14 there were admitted of the races from southern and eastern Europe and Turkey. 921,160, as compared with 162,695 in the year 1922–23, å decrease of 758,465. This comparison not only shows a numerical decrease but further establishes that the proportion of these peoples in the total immigration fell from 75.6 per cent in 1913–14 to 31.1 per cent in 1922–23. On the other hand, while there were admitted from northern and western Europe 274,507 in 1922–23, as compared with 253,855 in 1913-14, such pcoples or racial stocks formed 52.5 per cent of all our immigration in 1922–23 compared with only 20.8 per cent of the whole in 1913–14.
The total number of immigrant aliens of all nationalities admitted from Mexico and Canada during the fiscal year 1923 was 180,779, as compared with 66,361 during the preceding fiscal year. This increase has been due to the unprecedented demand for workers in the United States and, no doubt, would have been greater were it not for the fact that the amendment to the quota act requires that aliens other than natives of Canada and Mexico must have resided at least five years n one of those countries immediately preceding the time of their application or admission to the United States to render then exempt from the operation of he act mentioned.
3. Oriental immigration (p. 49).- There was a slight decrease in the number of immigrant aliens of the Chinese race admitted during the year, the totals being 4,074 in 1922–23 and 4,465 in the fiscal year 1922. The number of Chinese emigrant aliens leaving the country, however, decreased from 6,146 in 1921-22 to 3,788 in the year just ended, so that the result is a small gain in oriental population.
The number of Japanese immigrant aliens admitted during the past year was 5,652, as compared with 6,361 in the previous fiscal year. In fact, the number of this race admitted in 1922–23 was the smallest since the fiscal year 1911. On the other hand, the number of Japanese emigrant aliens leaving the country decreased from 4,353 in the fiscal year 1922 to 2,844 in the year just ended.
This seems to indicate that a movement from India which at one time gave promise of becoming an important factor in our immigration has been stopped at its beginning.
4. Deserling alien seamen (p. 50).—Reports received from the principal immigration officers in charge of seaports indicate that the desertions of alien seamen are occurring with increasing frequency, especially at the port of New York. In the fiscal year just ended such desertions reported reached a total of 23,194 at all ports and 14,734 at the port of New York alone. In the previous fiscal year only 5,879 desertions were reported for all ports.
5. Smuggling and surreptitious entry (p. 51). -Alien smuggling has been a most troublesome phase of the immigration problem ever since the enactment of the first Chinese exclusion law, and for a good many years such operations were largely confined to bringing aliens of that race into the country. With the development of the general immigration law toward greater restriction, however, the practice spread to other alien peoples of the diseased and otherwise inadmissible classes, and to-day the efforts of aliens to effect unlawful entry into the United States from Cuba, Canada, and Mexico continue unabated and have assumed such proportions as to challenge the immediate attention of Congress. The smuggling of aliens into this country is perhaps nearly as prolific a source of revenue to those engaged in the traffic as is the bringing in of contraband liquor and narcotics, and with the great expanse of unprotected sea coast and land border and the lack of sufficient officers and facilities at the disposition of the bureau to cope with the situation the smugglers experience very little difficulty in plying their trade.
The long-established routes from southern Europe to Mexican ports and overland to the Texas border, formerly patronized almost exclusively by diseased and criminal aliens, are now resorted to by large numbers of Europeans who can not gain legal admission because of passport difficulties, illiteracy, or the quota law.
It is difficult, in fact impossible, to measure the illegal influx of Mexicans over the border, but everyone agrees that it is very large. Illiteracy is common among
them and comparative poverty is widespread, and these barriers, together with the head-tax requirement of $8, are incentives to illegal entry.
The illegal entry of aliens from Canada has also increased with the advent of more restrictive laws. This is true to some extent of the Canadians themselves, but it is especially true of Europeans, who in increasing numbers appear to be seeking entry into Canada with the real purpose of getting themselves into a more advantageous position for entry under the quota law, or of evading that and other laws altogether.
Reliable information has been received to the effect that there are now in existence numerous far-reaching organizations that take the alien from his home in Europe, secure a passport for him (a fraudulent one if necessary), purchase his steamship passage, place him on the ship, arrange for his entry into Cuba, Canada, or Mexico, and later conduct him by various underground routes into the United States—all for a fixed price.
If we would successfully prevent wholesale smuggling and the unlaw, ful entry of inadmissible aliens, our wholly inadequate border guard or patrol must be increased.
Deportation of aliens (p. 53).-The work of deporting aliens unlawfully in the country could be greatly extended if ample funds were available. Because of this lack of funds it has been impossible to make a systematic canvass of the various penal and other public institutions throughout the country with a view to the deportation of alien inmates who may be unlawfully in the country. The law provides, and even directs, that such an inquiry shall be made from time to time, but this has not been possible to any great extent for the reason stated.
A total of 3,661 aliens were deported under warrant proceedings during the present fiscal year as compared with 4,345 during the fiscal year 1922. Some of the principal causes of deportation, and the races or peoples involved, are set forth in the following tables:
Causes for deportation
394 Mental diseases or defects..
319 Prostitutes, procurers, and other immoral classes,
299 Unable to read..
262 Entered without inspection..
229 Under per centum limit act.
151 Under Chinese exclusion act.
115 Other causes..
Aliens deported, after entering the United States, during the fiscal year ended June
30, 1923, by races or peoples
7. Net Revenue (p. 53).—The total revenue derived from the enforcement of the immigration laws during the fiscal year and turned into the general fund of the United States Treasury was $4,651,180.83. Of this amount $4,285,306.60 is represented by head-tax collections and $365,874.23 by fines, bond forfeitures, and miscellaneous collections. The net revenue accruing to the Government from the Immigration Service for the year was $1,019,236.07.
9. Immigration to the United States, 1820 to 1923.-In a table of Appendix I of the Report of the Secretary of Labor for the year ending June 30, 1923 (printed opposite page 125 of the Secretary's report), data on the “Century of migration"
are brought up to date. The total migration from September 30, 1820, to June 30, 1923, is reported to be 35,292,506.
By nations the totals run as follows: United Kingdom. 8, 430, 777 Poland..
320, 257 France
550, 917 | Bulgaria, Serbia, and MonNetherlands.-231, 294 tenegro-
78, 307 German Empire 5, 568, 702 Greece
405, 697 Denmark. 313, 528 Rumania.
133, 479 Norway756, 044 Turkey in Europe.
152, 271 Sweden.-1, 149, 950 Turkey in Asia..
201, 786 Switzerland.
274, 345 Belgium ---
Total for eastern Other northern and west
and southern ern Europe.-
British North American
2, 209, 403 Europe...on 17, 438, 616 Southern America..
916, 821 China..
360, 739 Italy 4, 505, 133 Japan.
262, 584 Spain. 163, 231 India,
8, 619 Portugal.
246, 250 Other specified countries. 103, 357 Austria-Hungary4, 199, 527 | Countries not specified..
254, 008 Russian Empire and Finland...
3, 332, 259
Grand total. 35, 292, 506
NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE
SOUTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPE -
0 1820 1825 1830 1835 1840 1845 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 1895 1900
1905 1910 1915 1920 1926 CHART 1.-Immigration to the United States from Northern and Western Europe and Southern and Eastern Europe, 1820 to 1928.