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Immigration Problem

( Originally Published 1915 )

IN new countries population may increase by immigration as well as by the surplus of births over deaths. Immigration is, therefore, a secondary means of increasing the population of a country, and in new countries is often of great importance.

Immigration, or the migration of a people into a country, along with its correlative emigration, or the migration of a people out of a country, constitutes a most important social phenomenon. All peoples seem more or less migratory in their habits. Man has been a wanderer upon the face of the earth since the earliest times. According to modern anthropology the human species probably evolved in a relatively narrow area and peopled the earth by successive migrations to distant lands. In all ages, therefore, we find more or less migratory movements of populations. But the movements in modern times, particularly in the nineteenth century, probably exceed, in the number of individuals concerned, any other migratory movements of which we have knowledge in history. Ancient migrations were, moreover, somewhat different from modern immigration and emigration. Ancient migrations were largely those of peoples or tribes, while in modern times migration is more of an individual matter. The Huns, for example, came into Europe as a nation, but the immigration into the United States at the present time is wholly an individual movement. The causes of migration are more or less universal, but corresponding to the difference in ancient and modern migrations we find the causes varying somewhat in ancient and modern times. The causes of ancient migrations and the primary causes of all migrations seem to be: (1) lack of food; (2) lack of territory for an expanding population; (3) war. In modern times we find other causes operating, like, (4) the labor market; men now migrate chiefly to get better economic opportunities; (5) government; in modern times the oppression of unjust governments has often caused extensive migration; (6) religion; religious persecution and intolerance have in modern times been important among the causes of migration.

History of Immigration into the United States. The great economic opportunities offered by the settlement of the vast territory of the United States, together with a combination of causes in Europe, partly political, partly religious, and partly economic, have caused, during the last century, a flood of immigrants from practically all European countries, to invade the United States, greater in number of individuals than any recorded migration in history. Between 1820, the first year for which we have immigration statistics, and 1907, 25,318,000 immigrants sought homes, temporarily or permanently, in this country, more than one half of them coming since 1880. Before 1820 it is improbable that immigration into the United States assumed any large proportions. Even up to 1840 the number of immigrants was comparatively insignificant. Thus in 1839 the number was only 68,000, and not until 1842 did the number of immigrants first cross the 100,000 mark. Owing to the potato famine in Ireland in the forties, however, and to the unsuccessful revolution in Germany in 1848, the number of immigrants from Europe began greatly to increase. From 1851 to 1860 inclusive no less than 2,598,000 immigrants sought homes in this country. The number fell off greatly during the Civil War, and did not reach the same proportions again until the eighties, when from 1881 to 1890 the volume of immigration rose to 5,246,000. The number of immigrants again declined during the nineties, owing largely to the financial depression in the United States, to 3,800,000; but during the decade, 1901-1910, it surpassed all former records, and amounted to nearly 9,000,000.

It is curious to note how the maximum periods of immigration have hitherto been about ten or twenty years apart. Thus the first noteworthy maximum of 427,000, in 1854, was not surpassed again until 1873, when another maximum of 459,000 was recorded; in 1882 another maxi-mum was reached of 788,000, and in 1903 another maximum of 857,000. After 1903, however, immigration went on increasing until 1907. These fluctuations in immigration correspond to the economic prosperity of the country, and, as Professor Commons has shown, are almost identical with the fluctuations in foreign imports. This shows very conclusively the prevailing economic character of modern migration.

During 1905, 1906, and 1907, indeed, the United States received more immigrants than its total population at the time of the Declaration of Independence. In 1905 the number was 1,027,000; in 1906, 1,100,000; in 1907, 1,285,000. It seems probable, however, that about twenty-five per cent will have to be deducted from these immigration statistics in prosperous years to allow for emigrants returning to their home countries. In a year of economic depression like 1908 when only 782,000 immigrants entered the country, the ' number of emigrants returning was over one half of the total number who entered.

Previous to 1890, nearly all of the immigrants who came to us came from the countries of Northern Europe. It has been claimed that as high as ninety per cent came from Teutonic and Celtic countries, and were, accordingly, almost of the same blood as the early settlers; but since 1890 the character of our immigration has changed so that since that time nearly seventy per cent have come from non-Teutonic countries, such as Russia, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Greece. The period of maximum immigration for the Irish to this country was the forties and fifties; the period of maximum immigration for the Germans was the fifties and eighties; and for the English, the seventies and eighties. But the period of maximum immigration for the Italians can scarcely as yet be reckoned by decades at all. The Italians first began coming in numbers exceeding l00,000 only in 1900, but in 1906, 273,000 of our immigrants were Italians, and in 1907, 285,000. This latter number is larger than any single European nationality ever sent to us in a single year, unless we except the 338,000 people of various nationalities sent to us by Austria-Hungary in the same year. The immigration from Austria-Hungary, also, to the United States did not exceed 100,000 until the year 1900, but by 1905 it had reached 275,000, and, as has been said, in 1907 reached 338,000. The immigration from Russia, consisting largely of Russian Jews and Poles began to be considerable, if we include Poland in Russia, by 1892, when it reached 122,000. In 1903, after falling off, it reached 136,000; in 1906, 215,000; and in 1907, 258,000.

Present Sources of our Immigration. These statistics have been cited to show the change in the sources from which we are receiving immigrants. This can be brought out still more clearly by contrasting a typical year previous to 1890 with one of the latest years. The year 1882 was the year, previous to 1890, of maximum immigration into this country. During that year we received 788,000 immigrants. Nearly all, as the table which we are about to give will show, came from countries of Northern Europe. In order to contrast the sources of our immigration a quarter of a century ago with the present sources, we will compare the year 1882 with the year 1907, which thus far has been the year of maximum immigration into the United States, the total number of immigrants for 1907 being 1,285,000.

It will be noted that while in 1882, 71.3 per cent of our Immigrants came from the countries of Western Europe, only 10.5 per cent came from the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe. In 1907 the situation was very nearly reversed. In 1907 Great Britain and Ireland, and Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Switzerland the countries which had furnished 71.3 per cent of our immigrants in 1882 furnished only 17.7 per cent, while Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia, Greece, Servia, Roumania, and Turkey in Europe the countries which had furnished but 10.5 per cent in 1882 furnished 75.5 per cent. This matter of changed sources from which we receive our immigrants evidently is one of first importance in any consideration of the present immigration problem of the United States.

The Distribution of Immigrants. If immigrants would distribute themselves evenly over the United States, the immigration problem would be quite different from what it is. Instead of this, there is a massing of immigrants in some states and communities, and very little evidence to show that these immigrants ever distribute themselves normally over the whole country. In 1906, for example, the Commissioner of Immigration reported that 68.3 per cent of the 1,100,000 immigrants who came that year went to the North Atlantic states; 22.1 per cent to the North Central states; 4.4 per cent to the Western states; and 4.2 per cent to the Southern states. If these figures are at all trustworthy, they indicate a congestion of our recent immigrants in the North Atlantic states and in certain states of the Central West. So far as the census is concerned, it tends to confirm these statistics of the Commissioner of Immigration. Our last census returns, being for 1900, can show little, of course, of the distribution of the great number of recent immigrants that have come from Southern and Eastern Europe. Still the 1900 census contains some interesting facts regarding the distribution of foreign born, or immigrants, that have been received previous to 1900. According to the census of 1900 the number of foreign born in the United States was 10,460,000, or 13.7 per cent of the total population. But these foreign born were confined almost entirely to the North-ern states, that is, the North Atlantic states and North Central states. In 1900 the Southern states (South Atlantic and South Central) contained but 4.6 per cent of the total foreign born of the country. The reason why so few of our immigrants have thus far settled in the South is perhaps chiefly because of the competition which the cheap negro labor of the South would offer to them, and also because the South is still largely agricultural, offering few opportunities for the industrial employments, into which a majority of our immigrants go. In the North Atlantic states in 1900 nearly one fourth of the population was foreign born, and 20.7 per cent in the Western states. The following statistics will show the percentage of foreign born in typical states: North Dakota, 35.4 per cent; Rhode Island, 31.4 per cent; Massachusetts, 30 per cent; Minnesota, 28.9 per cent; New York, 26 per cent; Wisconsin, 24.9 per cent; California, 24.7 per cent; Montana, 27.6 per cent; Indiana,. 8.5 per cent; Maryland, 7.9 per cent; Missouri, 7 per cent; North Carolina, 0.2 per cent; and Mississippi, 0.5 per cent. The influence of the foreign born in a community, however, is better shown, perhaps, if we consider the number of those of foreign parentage, that is, the foreign born and their children, than if we consider the number of foreign born alone. In a large number of states more than one half of the population is of foreign parentage. Thus North Dakota had in 1900, 77.5 per cent of its population of foreign parentage; Minnesota, 74.9 per cent; Wisconsin, 71.2 per cent; Rhode Island, 64.2 per cent; Massachusetts, 62.3 per cent; South Dakota, 61.1 per cent; Utah, 61.2 per cent; New York, 59.4 percent. Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and California all also had more than one half of their population of foreign parentage in 1900. For the United States as a whole the number of foreign parentage in 1900 amounted to 34.3 per cent, or 26,000,000 out of a total population of 76,000,000. Many of our large cities also have a high percentage of foreign born and of foreign parentage in their population. The percentage of foreign born in some of our largest cities in 1900 was as follows:

Per cent.

New York 37
Chicago 34.6
Philadelphia 22.8
Saint Louis 19.4
Boston 35.1
Baltimore 13.5
San Francisco 34.1
Cleveland 32.6

These same cities had the following percentage of foreign parentage in their population: Per cent.

New York 76.9
Chicago 77.4
Philadelphia 54.9
St. Louis 61.0
Boston 72.2
Baltimore 38.2
San Francisco 75.2
Cleveland 75.6

These figures show the tendency of our immigrants to mass together in certain states and also in our great cities; so that it has come about that it is said that New York is the largest German city in the world except Berlin; the largest Italian city except Rome; the largest Polish city except Warsaw, and by far the largest Jewish city in the world.

Only one nationality distributes itself relatively evenly over the country, and that is the British. All other nationalities have certain favorite sections in which they settle. Thus, the Irish settle mainly in the North Atlantic states; the Germans have two favorite settlements in the United States, one of them consisting of New York' and Pennsylvania, and the other of Wisconsin and Illinois, though Michigan, Iowa, and Missouri also contain a large number of Germans. The Scandinavians locate chiefly in the Northwest, especially in Minnesota, North and South Dakota; and the large number of foreign parentage in those states is due to Scandinavian immigration. All these nationalities, however, readily assimilate with our population, as they have very largely the same social and political standards and ideals. But this is not true regarding some of the more recent immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, whose massing in large communities of their own must be regarded as a more serious matter. The census does not help us to find out how far these re-cent immigrants have massed in certain localities, but the Commissioner of Immigration has kept statistics of the destination of these recent immigrants, and they show the following results : In 1907, of the 294,000 Italian speaking immigrants who came to us in that year, 120,000 settled in the state of New York; 53,000 in Pennsylvania; 19,000 in Massachusetts; and 17,000 in New Jersey. Three fourths of the Italian immigrants, in other words, apparently go to these four states. Of the 138,000 Poles who came in 1907, 33,000 were bound to Pennsylvania, 31,000 to New York, 12,000 to New Jersey, and 17,000 to Illinios. These four states seem to constitute the favorite places of settlement for the Slays. Of the 149,000 Russian and Polish Hebrews who came in 1907, 93,000 settled in New York state, 15,000 in Pennsylvania, and 9000 in Massachusetts, these three states being the favorite places of settlement for recent Jewish immigrants.

It seems clear from these figures that the congestion of recent immigrants is serious, and it is a question whether with such congestion it will be possible to assimilate these recent comers, so unlike ourselves in social traditions and ideals, to the American type. It is claimed by some that there is no serious congestion of immigrants in this country, and that the immigrants distribute themselves through the operation of normal economic influences in the places where they are most needed, and that we need not, there-fore, be concerned about the congestion of foreign born in certain communities. This view, however, that economic laws or forces will sufficiently attend to this matter of the distribution of our immigrants, is not borne out by the facts of ordinary observation and experience.

The Distribution of Immigrants in Industry. It is probably safe to say that four fifths of our recent immigrants belong to the unskilled class of laborers, though the percentage of unskilled fluctuates greatly from year to year and from nationality to nationality. Out of the total of 1,285,000 immigrants in 1907 only 12,600 were recorded by the Commissioner of Immigration as belonging to the professional classes; 190,000, or about 15 per cent, were skilled laborers, including all who had any trade; while 760,000 were unskilled laborers, including farm and day laborers, 304,000 being persons of no occupation, including women and children. When we consider the matter by races, the contrast is even more striking. Of the 242,000 South Italian immigrants in 1907 only 701 were professional men; 26,000, or 11 percent, were skilled laborers; while the number of unskilled amounted to 161,000, or 66 per cent. Of the 138,000 Poles who came in 1907, only 273 were professional men; 8000, or 6 per cent, were skilled laborers; and 107,000, or 77 per cent, were unskilled. In the case of the Hebrews, however, there is a much higher percentage of skilled laborers and professional men. It is claimed by those who favor the policy of unrestricted immigration that what this country needs at present is a large supply of unskilled laborers, and so the fact that the mass of immigrants belong to the unskilled class of laborers, it is said, is no objection to them.

Again, the census of 1900 shows a very uneven distribution of the foreign born among the different classes of occupations. Thus, while the foreign born constituted about one seventh of the population, over one third of those engaged in manufacturing were foreign born; one half of those engaged in mining were foreign born; one fourth of those engaged in transportation were foreign born; one fourth of those engaged in domestic service were also foreign born, while only one eighth of those engaged in agriculture were foreign born. This shows that the tendency of the foreign born is to mass in such industries as mining, manufacturing, and transportation. It is undoubtedly in these industries that there is the greatest demand for cheap labor, and the presence of a large number of unskilled foreign laborers has made it possible for the American capitalists to develop these industries under such conditions probably faster than they would other-wise have been developed. At the same time, however, all of this has been a hardship to the native-born American laborer, and the tendency has been to eliminate the native born from these occupations to which the immigrants have flocked.

Some Other Social Effects of Immigration. (I) The influence on the proportion of the sexes of immigration into this country has without doubt been considerable. In 1907, out of a total of 1,285,349 immigrants, 929,976 were males and 355,373 were females. For a long period of years about two thirds of all the immigrants into the United States have been males. This has considerably affected the proportion of the sexes in the United States, making the males about 1,000,000 in excess in our population. The influence of such a discrepancy in the proportion of the sexes is difficult to state, but it is obvious, from all that has previously been said about the importance of the numerical equality of the sexes in society, that the influence must be a considerable one, and that not for good.

(2) The following table shows how far the increase of population in the United States in the decennial periods since 1800 has been due to immigration and to reproduction. Until 1840 the increase by immigration was so small as to be hardly noticeable, and therefore no account of it is taken.

This table shows that it is not certain that immigration has increased the total population of the United States, as a decrease of the natural birth rate seems to have accompanied increasing immigration. For this reason Professor Francis A. Walker held that it was doubtful that immigration had added anything to the population of the United States. At any rate, the population of the country was increasing just as rapidly before the large volume of immigration was received as it increased at any later time. Again, the Southern states, which have received practically no immigrants since the Civil War, have increased their population as rapidly as the Northern states, that is, the increase of population among the Southern whites has been equal to that of the Northern assisted by immigration. These two facts suggest that the immigrants have simply displaced an equal number of native born who would have been furnished by birth rate if the immigrants had never come.

(3) Immigration has very largely aided in maintaining a considerable amount of illiteracy in the United States in spite of the effects of the propaganda for popular education which has been carried on now for the last fifty years or more. In 1900 there were still 6,246,000 illiterates above the age of ten years in the United States, which was 10.7 per cent of the population above that age. Of these, about 3,200,000 were whites, and of this number, again, 1,293,000 were foreign born. Nearly all of the native white illiterates in the United States are found in the Southern states, the white illiteracy in the Northern states being practically confined to the foreign born. Thus, in the state of New York 5.5 per cent are illiterate, but of the native whites only 1.2 per cent are illiterate, while 14 per cent of the foreign population can neither read nor write. Again, in Massachusetts 5 per cent of the population are illiterate, but of the native whites only 0.8 per cent are illiterate, while 14.6 per cent of the foreign born are illiterate Statistics of illiteracy for our cities show the same results. Thus, in the city of New York 6.8 per cent of the population are illiterate, but only 0.4 per cent of the native whites are illiterate, while 13.9 per cent of the foreign born are illiterate. Boston has 5.1 per cent of its total population illiterate, but only 0.2 per cent of its native white population are illiterate, while 11.3 per cent of its foreign-born population are illiterate. Of the total immigration in 1907, 30 per cent were illiterate. The number of illiterates from different countries varies greatly. In 1907, 53 per cent of the immigrants from Southern Italy were illiterate. In the same year 40 per cent of the Poles were illiterate, 25 per cent of the Slovaks from Austria, 56 per cent of the Ruthenians from Austria, 29 per cent of the Russian Jews, and 54 per cent of the Syrians. The bulk of our immigration is now made up of these people from Southern and Eastern Europe, among whom the illiteracy is high. It is interesting to contrast the condition of these people with the immigrants from Northern and Western Europe, whence our immigration was mainly received a few years ago. The percentage of illiteracy among the immigrants from Western Europe is very low. Thus, in 1907 among the French it was only 4 per cent; among the Germans, 4 per cent; Irish, 3 per cent; English, 2 per cent; and Scandinavians, less than I per cent. Connected more or less with this fact of illiteracy is the number in our population who cannot speak English. In 1900 the number of persons in the United States above the age of ten years who could not speak English was reported by the census to be 1,463,000, but it is probable, owing to the recent large immigration, that the number is at least twice that at the present time.

(4) Crime and Poverty. It is said that crime is apt to accompany migration. However, down to 1904 our immigrants have not shown any exaggerated tendency to crime. The special prison census of 1904 showed that 23.7 per cent of the male white prisoners were foreign born, while 23 per cent of the general male white population above the age of fifteen years were foreign born. This shows a tendency to crime among the foreign born not greatly out of proportion to their numbers in the population. The same census, however, showed that 29.8 per cent of all white male prisoners committed during 1904 were born of foreign parents, while this element constituted only 18.8 per cent of the general white male population. Thus, among the children of the foreign born there appears to be an exaggerated tendency to crime, while not among the foreign born themselves. The probable explanation of this is that the children of the foreign born are often reared in our large cities, and particularly in the slum districts of those cities. Thus the high criminality of the children of the foreign born is perhaps largely a product of urban life, but it may be suggested also that the children of the foreign born lack adequate parental control in their new American environment. Certain elements among our immigrants, however, seem strongly predisposed to crime. This is especially true of the Southern Italian. For ex-ample, the census of 1904 showed that 6.1 per cent of the foreign-born prisoners committed during 1904 were Italian, while Italians constituted but 4.7 per cent of the total foreign-born population. Moreover, if we consider simply serious offenses, the evidence of the criminality of the Italian immigrant is even still more striking, for 14.4 per cent of the foreign-born major offenders committed during 1904 were Italians, while, as was just said, Italians constituted only 4.7 per cent of the total foreign-born, population.

In the matter of poverty and dependence the foreign born make a more unfavorable showing. In the special census report on paupers for 1904 the proportion of foreign born among almshouse paupers was about twice as great as among the native born. Again, in a special investigation conducted by the Commissioner of Immigration in the year 19071908, out of 288,395 inmates of charitable institutions there were 60,025 who were foreign born, or about 21 per cent, and out of 172,185 inmates of insane hospitals, 50,734, or about 29 per cent, were foreign born. Inasmuch as the foreign born probably did not constitute in 19071908 more than 15 or 16 per cent of the total population of both sexes, it is seen that the foreign born contribute out of their proportion both to inmates of charitable institutions and to the number of the insane. The experience of Charity Organization Societies in our large cities, especially New York, confirms these findings. It is not surprising, indeed, that many of our immigrants should soon need assistance after landing in this country, inasmuch as a very large proportion of them come to the United States bringing little or no money with them. Thus, for a number of years the amount of money brought by immigrants from Russia has varied from nine to fifteen dollars per head. On account of the difficulties of economic adjustment in a new country it is not surprising, then, that many of the immigrants become more or less dependent, some temporarily and some permanently.

Immigration into Other Countries. It has been suggested that with the opening up of other new countries the immigration problem of the United States would solve itself, and that so many emigrants from Europe will soon be going to South America, South Africa, and Australia that this country will be in no danger of receiving more than its share. Down to recent years, however, there have been little or no signs of such a diversion of the stream of immigration from Europe into those countries. The principal countries which receive immigrants other than the United States are Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and Australia. While Brazil has received between 1855 and 1904 a total of 2,096,000 immigrants, the present number of immigrants into Brazil seems to be comparatively small, for in 1904 it was only 12,400. Argentina, next to the United States, receives the most considerable immigration from Europe. From 1857 to 1906 Argentina received 3,639,000 immigrants. In 1906 the number was 252,000, of whom 127,000 were Italian, 17,000 Russian Hebrews, and the remainder from various European nationalities. The foreign immigration into other South American countries is comparatively insignificant. In 1906 Australia received 148,000 immigrants, most of whom were British, but the emigration from Australia almost equaled the immigration into Australia in that year. Again, in 1906 the Dominion of Canada received 189,000 immigrants, chiefly from Great Britain and the United States. An unknown number, however, of Canadians migrated across the border into the United States, no record being kept of Canadian immigration into the United States since 1885, except of those who come by way of seaports. Thus it is certain that the United States receives more immigration at the present time than all the other countries of the world combined, and, as we have said, there is as yet little or no evidence that the stream of European emigration will be diverted for some years to come to these other countries. The problem of immigration in the United States is not, therefore, a problem of the past, but is still a problem of the future. Therefore, the question of reasonable restrictions upon immigration into this country and of the improvement of the immigrants that we admit is still a pressing problem of the day.

Proposed Immigration Restrictions. There are no good moral or political grounds to exclude all immigrants from this country. The question is not one of the prohibition of immigration, but one of reasonable restrictions upon immigration, or, as Professor Commons has said, of the improvement of immigration.

There can be no question as to the moral right of the United States to restrict immigration. If it is our duty to develop our institutions and our national life in such a way that they will make the largest possible contribution to the good of humanity, then it is manifestly our duty to exclude from membership in American society elements which might prevent our institutions from reaching their highest and best development. All restrictions to immigration, it must be admitted, must be based, not upon national selfishness, but upon the principle of the good of humanity; and there can be no doubt that the good of humanity demands that every nation protect its people and its institutions from elements which may seriously threaten their stability and survival. The arguments in favor of further restrictions upon the immigration into this country may be summed up along four lines :

(1) The Industrial Argument. Many of the immigrants work for low wages, and, as we have already seen, offer such competition that the native born, in certain lines of industry, are almost entirely eliminated. This has been, no doubt, a hardship to the native born American workingman. While we have been zealous to protect the American workingman from the unfair competition of European labor by high protective tariffs, yet inconsistently we have permitted great numbers of European laborers to compete with the American workingman upon his own soil. On the other hand, this large supply of cheap labor, as we have already seen, has enabled American capitalists to develop American industries very rapidly, to dominate in many cases the markets of the world, and to add greatly to the wealth of the country. It has been chiefly the large employers of labor in the United States, together with the steamship companies, who have opposed any considerable restrictions upon immigration, and thus far their power with Congress has successfully prevented the passing of stringent immigration laws. On the whole, it is probably true that if industrial arguments alone are to be taken into consideration upon the immigration problem, the weight of the argument would be on the side of unrestricted immigration. But industrial arguments are not the only ones to be taken into consideration in considering the immigration problem, and this has been hitherto one of the great mistakes of many in discussing the problem.

(2) The Social Argument. Many of our recent immigrants are at least very difficult of social assimilation. They are clannish, tend to form colonies of their own race in which their language, customs, and ideals are pre-served. This is especially true of the illiterate immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. As we have already seen, the rate of illiteracy among certain of our recent immigrants is so high that they can scarcely be expected to participate in our social life. Just the social effect of such colonies of different peoples and nationalities upon our own social life and institutions cannot well be foreseen, but it can scarcely be a good effect. The public school, it is true, does much to assimilate to American ideals and standards the children of even the most unassimilable immigrants. The public school is not as yet, however, a perfect agency of socialization, and even when attended by the children of these immigrants they fail to receive from it, in many cases, the higher elements of our culture and still continue to remain essentially foreign in their thought and actions.

(3) The Political Argument. Many of these immigrants are, therefore, incapable of understanding and appreciating our free institutions. They are not fit to vote intelligently, but are nevertheless quickly naturalized and form a very large per cent of our voting population, especially in our large cities. As a rule, they do not sell their votes, but their votes are often under the control of a few leaders, and thus they are able to hold, oftentimes, the balance of power between parties and factions. It is questionable whether free institutions can work success-fully under such conditions.

(4) The Racial or Biological Argument. Undoubtedly the strongest arguments in favor of further restriction upon immigration into the United States are of a biological nature. The peoples that are coming to us at present belong to a different race from ours. They belong to the Slavic and Mediterranean subraces of the white race. Now, the Slavic and Mediterranean races have never shown the capacity for self-government and free institutions which the peoples of Northern and Western Europe have shown. It is doubtful if they have the same capacity for self-government. Moreover, the whole history of the social life and social ideals of these people shows them to have been in their past development very different from ourselves. Of course, if heredity counts for nothing it will only be a few generations before the descendants of these people will be as good Americans as any. But this is the question, Does heredity count for nothing ? or does blood tell ? Are habits of acting and, therefore, social and institutional life, dependent, more or less, on the biological heredity of peoples, or are they entirely independent of such biological influence? There is much diversity of opinion upon this question, but perhaps the most trustworthy opinion inclines to the view that racial heredity, even between subraces of the white race, is a factor of great moment and must be taken into account. It is scarcely probable that a people of so different racial heredity from ourselves as the Southern Italians, for example, will develop our institutions and social life exactly as those of the same blood as ourselves. It is impossible to think that the Latin temperament would express itself socially in the same ways as the Teutonic temperament. Certainly the coming to us of the vast numbers of peoples from Southern and Eastern Europe is destined to change our physical type, and it seems also probable that if permitted to go on it will change our mental and social type also. Whether this is desirable or not must be left for each individual to decide for himself.

Another phase of this biological argument is the necessity of selection, if we are to avoid introducing into our national blood the degenerate strains of the oppressed peoples of Southern and Eastern Europe. If selection counts in the life of a people, as practically all biologists agree, then the American people certainly have a great opportunity to exercise selection on a large scale to deter-mine who shall be the parents of the future Americans. While it is undesirable, perhaps, to discriminate among immigrants on the ground of race, it would certainly be desirable to select from all peoples those elements that we could most advantageously incorporate into our own life. The biological argument alone, therefore, seems to necessitate the admission of the importance of rigid selection in the matter of whom we shall admit into this country. At present, however, almost nothing is being accomplished in the way of insuring such a selection of the most fit. All that is attempted at the present time is to eliminate the very least fit, and the elimination amounts to only about one per cent of all who come to us.

Our present immigration laws debar a number of classes, chiefly, however, persons suffering from loathsome or dangerous diseases, persons who are paupers or likely to become public charges, and contract laborers, besides Chinese laborers. Practically all who are debarred at the present time come under these heads. Other classes who are debarred, however, are idiots, imbeciles, epileptics, insane, criminals, assisted immigrants, polygamists, anarchists, prostitutes, and procurers. Only an insignificant number, however, of immigrants are debarred upon these latter grounds. In 1907, with a total immigration of 1,285,000, only 13,064 were debarred as coming under these excluded classes, or a trifle over one per cent. For a number of years, indeed, since we have had any restriction laws at all, the number debarred has been a trifle over one per cent. Of course, this constitutes no adequate selection of immigrants which would satisfy biological or even high social requirements. It would seem, therefore, that our immigration laws, from a biological and sociological standpoint, are extremely deficient and that some means of more adequate selection among immigrants should speedily be found.

It has been suggested that a better selection of immigrants may be secured by imposing an illiteracy test upon all male immigrants between the ages of sixteen and fifty years coming to us, excluding those male immigrants between these ages who cannot read or write in some language. It is not proposed that this test should take the place of the present restrictions, but should be in addition to the present restrictions. It is argued by those who favor this test: (1) that it would exclude those elements that we desire to exclude, namely, the illiterates from Southern and Eastern Europe; (2) that it is easy to apply this test; (3) that immigrants would know before leaving European ports whether they would be admitted or not; (4) that such a test would have a favorable educational and, therefore, social effect upon the countries from which we now draw our largest proportion of illiterate immigrants.

It would seem, however, that the more important tests should be certain tests as to biological, social, and economic fitness. It would be no hardship upon any one for this country to require that all immigrants come up to a certain biological standard and that this standard should be a very strict one, say, the same as that required for admission to the United States army; and that furthermore they should possess enough money to insure the probability of their economic adjustment in this country. Such tests, more-over, might be enforced by our government practically without cost, as the burden of making such tests could be placed entirely upon the steamship companies that bring immigrants to the United States. It has been shown that a heavy fine of from one hundred to five hundred dollars for every person that is brought to the United States that does not conform to the requirements of our immigration laws is sufficient to make the steamship companies exercise a very stringent selection upon all whom they bring to us as immigrants.

Finally, something may probably be done to secure a better distribution of our immigrants through the co-operation of the federal government with state immigration societies, and with various private employment and philanthropic agencies. In any case the requirement that the immigrant shall possess beyond his ticket a certain amount of money, say $25.00, would help to secure a wider distribution of our immigrants.

Asiatic Immigration. What has been said regarding there being no good social or political argument for the prohibition of immigrants does not apply to Asiatic immigration. Here the importance of the racial factor becomes so pronounced that it may well be doubted if a policy of exclusion toward Asiatic immigration would not be the wisest in the long run for the people of this country.

It is true that but few Asiatic immigrants have as yet come to this country, but there are grave reasons for believing that if the policy of exclusion had not been adopted a quarter of a century ago, Asiatic immigration would now constitute a very considerable proportion of our total immigration. It is chiefly the Chinese who are the main element in Asiatic immigration, and between 1851 and 1900 the Chinese sent us a total of only 310,000 immigrants; but in 1882, the year before the first Chinese Exclusion Law was put into effect, 39,000 Chinese immigrants entered the United States, and if their rate of increase had been kept up the Chinese would now be sending us from 100,000 to 300,000 immigrants annually. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, reenacted and strengthened again in 1892 and in 1902, excluded all Chinese laborers from the United States. Consequently in 1890 the census showed only a total of 107,000 Chinese in this country, and in 1900 only 93,283, exclusive of Hawaii. In Hawaii, however, there were 25,767 Chinese in 1900, most of whom were residents of the islands previous to the annexation. The Chinese in continental United States were, moreover, massed in 1900 chiefly in the Pacific Coast states, there being 67,729 Chinese in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast states, of which number 45,753 were in California alone.

In judging this question of Asiatic immigration we should accept to a certain extent the opinion of the people of the Pacific Coast regarding the problems which these Asiatic immigrants create. At any rate, the opinion of any group of people who are closest to a social problem should not be disregarded, as there are probabilities of error on the part of the distant observer of conditions as well as on the part of those who stand very close to a social problem. Just as we should accept the opinion of the Southern people in regard to the negro problem as worth something, so we should accept the judgment of the people of our Western states in regard to the Chinese and Japanese also as worth something. Now, as regards the Chinese, the people of the Pacific Coast say they would rather have the negro among them than the Chinese. They have numerous objections to the Chinese, similar to the various lines of argument which have already been given in favor of the restriction of immigration. They say, namely, (I) that the Chinese work for wages below the minimum necessary to maintain life for the white man, and so reduce the standard of living and crowd out the white working-man. There can scarcely be any question that the white laboring man is not able to compete economically with the Chinese laborer.

(2) Again, they claim that the Chinese make no contribution to the welfare of the country; that they come here to remain several years, to attain a competence, and then return to China.

(3) It is claimed that the Chinese are- grossly immoral, that they are addicted to the opium habit and other vices, and that so few women come among the Chinese im- <> migrants that Chinese men menace the virtue of white women.

(4) The Chinese do not readily assimilate. They keep their language, religion, and customs. They live largely by themselves, and are even more completely isolated from American social life than the negro. In comparison with them, indeed, one is struck with the fact that the negro has our customs, our religion, our language, and, in so far as he has been able to attain them, our moral standards, but this is not the case with the Chinese. It is, more-over, impossible for the Chinese to assume the white man's standards without losing his own social position among members of his own race.

(5) The last and strongest argument in favor of the general exclusion of Chinese laborers from this country, however, is the racial argument. The Chinese are just as different in race from us as the negro, and if racial heredity counts for anything it is fatuous to hope to assimilate them to the social type of the whites. Moreover, if we should open our doors to the mass of Chinese laborers China would be able to swamp us with Chinese immigrants. With its hundreds of millions of population China could spare to us several hundred thousand immigrants each year without feeling the loss. If we wish to keep the west-ern third of our country, therefore, a white man's country it would be well not to open the doors to Chinese immigrants. It is certain that if we open our doors to the mass of Chinese immigrants we shall have another racial problem in the West such as we now have in the South with the negro. Those who claim upon the basis of sentiment or humanity that we should open our doors and attempt to civilize and christianize the flood of Chinese who would come to us, probably do not appreciate fully the social status of the Chinese or the social status of the American people. The truth is we are not yet ourselves enough civilized to undertake the work of civilizing and christianizing a very considerable number of people alien to our-selves in race, religion and social ideals. Again, those who advocate the free admission of the Chinese probably do not appreciate the importance of the element of racial heredity in social problems. The negro problem should have taught us by this time that this factor of racial heredity is not to be discounted altogether.

All that has been said regarding Chinese immigration applies to Asiatic immigration in general. It is not surprising, therefore, that since the Japanese laborers have begun to come to us in large numbers the people of the Pacific Coast should demand the exclusion of the Japanese immigrants. While Japan has not the immense population of China and while the Japanese are perhaps a more adaptable people than the Chinese, still it would seem that in the main the people of the Pacific Coast are justified in their fears of the results of a large Japanese immigration. For the peace of both countries and of the world, therefore, it is to be hoped that the flow of Japanese laborers into the Western states will be checked without any disruption of the friendship of the United States and Japan. The same thing can be said regarding the Hindoo immigrants who are just beginning to come to us. It would appear that the wisest policy, therefore, regarding all Asiatic immigration is the exclusion of Asiatic laborers, and as these would constitute over nine tenths of all Asiatic immigrants who might come to us, this would assure a practical solution of the problem.

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