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Over fifteen thousand pushing at the gates of Ellis Island in one day might well paralyze a force of several hundred who, working at greatest speed, could not care for more than a third of that number. The eagerness of Europeans to reach the United States before the monthly quotas for their respective countries are full creates a situation difficult to manage, creates in fact a problem of first magnitude. Family tragedies are frequently a resulting by-product of the administration of existing laws.

Other countries do not meet a similar problem on a comparable scale; they have not yet become the longed-for Paradise of the world's unfortunates. Owing to the present policies of these countries, they may never become the Promised Land to the miscellaneous poverty-stricken crowds of Europe that the United States has been for at least two generations. If so their problems of administration as well as of assimilation will remain simpler. In any case, in all nations, the problems connected with assimilation would be less disturbing if there were a more generous recognition than there is of the worth that exists in all racial strains. A person once admitted to a strange land should not be made to feel contempt for his old allegiance. It is not in this way that new loyalties are born; it is in this way that international hatreds are fostered. Conspicuous examples of ill-judged effort to inject new national ideals into aliens were furnished by some of the undertakings known as “ Americanization” during the days of war hysteria in the United States. Conscience-stricken because of years of apathy, the country seized the luckless alien, and tried to run him into a non-existent mould. The effect was disconcerting to everybody. Education and an opportunity to share in the common life, together with justice in all things, are now recognized as a more effective means of making new loyalties grow in the breast of an alien than all the formal undertakings that can be conceived.

Compared to the magnitude of the social problems due to immigration with which the United States has had to contend,

6 July 1, 1923, the beginning of the new immigration “year."

the other countries included in this study can hardly be said to have problems at all. Canada, it is true, has had and still has difficulties to meet, but naturally on a much smaller scale than her southern neighbor. The United States of America, the Dominion of Canada, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Commonwealth of Australia, The Union of South Africa, and the South American republics of Brazil and Argentina have much in common in their problems and in their aims with reference to immigration. Important mutual help might result if they would come together for their discussion.


THE FUTURE It may be said at the beginning that the author is not essaying the rôle of prophet in this chapter. That were a futile task. There is, however, a legitimate field of inquiry in connection with a discussion of certain moot questions concerning the future of immigration into the newer lands. One has to do with the general trend toward restriction of immigration; the other with the disposal of the world's surplus populations. With the former, the United States has for several years been most concerned; with the latter, Japan perhaps is most distraught.



Since the other countries under discussion have already in effect quite definitely settled restrictive immigration policies, and since in the United States important changes have recently been made, a discussion of restrictive legislation and its significance may well be confined to this country. There are more conflicting interests here than elsewhere. So many foreign countries are represented in American citizenship that legislation of a discriminating nature has always been looked upon with suspicion by some one. Each naturalized American is in reality a potential objector to restriction; each one may take umbrage at the suggestion that his former national brothers should be kept out of the land of his own adoption, and many of them are willing to sacrifice the best interests of the United States to the well-being of individual aliens. It is hard, as some have said, to enjoy liberty in America while members of their families may be suffering persecution in European lands. On such grounds the Russian Jews successfully fought the application of the literacy test, so far as it applied to their brethren in Russia. Group as well as racial interests can thus bring powerful pressure to bear upon Congressional action. Capitalists desiring cheap labor have systematically opposed * Brazil and Argentina to lesser degree than the others.

restrictive measures. Trade unions, jealously guarding the economic ground slowly and painfully gained, have been equally determined never again to permit through immigration a surplus of unemployed labor to wait hungering outside factory doors. A living wage, they say, cannot endure under this strain. In both of these cases economic interests transcend all others. It has been thought for a long time that somewhere between these two extreme positions, the new policy would lie.

QUOTA DIFFICULTIES The emergency measure of 1921, known as the Three Per Centum or Quota Law, expired June 30, 1924. This law presented many administrative difficulties which the new one undertakes to avoid. It is no part of the American policy to inflict tragic hardships upon individual families, yet this has frequently happened under the quota system which classified immigrants according to country of birth. In this way an infant born in Africa of French parents was rejected because the African quota was full, while the parents were permitted to enter. A child born in Australia of English parents was debarred for a similar reason. The annual quotas for Africa and Australia were 120 and 271 respectively, and no more could be received even though, as in the two cases cited, rejection was not only absurd but also brutal.

The enforcement of the literacy test at times works like hardships. A Czechoslovakian husband, a good blacksmith, was debarred because he could not read the few words prescribed by law, while his wife, who could read, was allowed to enter. There are many people who object to restrictive laws because they present such difficulties in administration; others believe that officials should be empowered to settle exceptional cases on their merits. In Canada, the Governor's Orders-inCouncil may be invoked to cover unusual circumstances. A principle should not be allowed to stand or fall on machinery alone. This can be adjusted. The time when questions relating to immigration were settled by sentiment has gone. No longer does America with a grand gesture say to the world : “Send

us your huddled masses yearning to be free.” 2 Practical considerations are now the determining element.

QUOTAS FOR 1921 Since the emergency measure of 1921 marked a very definite limitation in the numbers admitted into the United Number of Aliens Admissible under the Act of May 19, 1921, Entitled

"An Act to Limit the Immigration into the United States"




57 Austria,

571 7,444 1,489 Belgium

119 1,557 311 Bulgaria.

23 301

60 Czechoslovakia.

1,095 14,269 2,854 Danzig

22 285 Denmark


5,644 1,129 Finland


3,890 778 Fiume..


14 France

437 5,692 1,138 Germany

5,219 68,039 13,608 Greece

252 3,286 657 Hungary


5,635 1,127 Italy

3,224 42,021 8,404 Jugo-Slavia

491 6,405 1,281 Luxemburg


18 Netherlands

276 3,602 720 Norway

930 12,116 2,423 Poland.

1,528 20,019 4,004 Eastern Galicia


1,156 Portugal (including Azores and Madeira Islands)...

177 2,269 454 Roumania

7,414 1,483 Russia (including Siberia)

2,627 34,247 6,849 Spain

51 663

133 Sweden.

1,531 19,956 3,991 Switzerland.

287 3,745 749 United Kingdom ..

5,923 77,206 15,441 Other Europe (including Andorra,

Gibraltar, Lichtenstein, Malta,
Monaco, San Marino and

6 86 17 Inscription on outward base of Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

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