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shut out by the “Gentlemen's Agreement” 7 of 1908 of which there will be further mention.
The country has never known such a violent example of race hatred as that manifested towards the Japanese in the far western states. It surpasses the feeling against the Negro in the south because there one sees but little personal animus. There is of course marked hostility to the social aspirations of the black man, and actual fear of his rise in the social scale, but as a laborer he is persona grata. The color line is drawn everywhere in the white man's world, and must be reckoned with in any effort to understand the nation's policy in regard to the admission of non-Caucasian alien groups. To ignore this shows lack of intelligence. Deplore it as we may, we must recognize the strength of color antagonisms today. Only about a third of the population of the world is white, but that third happens to be supreme at the present time and is vociferously asserting its right to supremacy. The moment a colored race begins to trespass on the white preserve, trouble ensues. In the light of the foregoing facts, the hostility towards the Orientals in California is understandable. Just now this is directed particularly against the Japanese and Hindus, the Chinese being quiescent and diminishing.
The Japanese have practically monopolized truck gardening in California. They have driven out competitors because of Old World experience in intensive farming, their willingness to work continuously and their low standard of living. They are found also in other pursuits such as canning, maintenance work on railroads and household service, and seem to be efficient in all that they do. In the settlement of the Japanese question there are international complications that must not be overlooked. The number of Japanese in the United States is not particularly significant; there are in all only about 111,000 but over 70,000 of these are in California,
'Abrogated by the “Selective Immigration Act of 1924,” signed by the President May 26, 1924.
and this is the cause of the discriminatory alien land law found in that state. We are not concerned here with the bickerings of partisans; they have no place in our study. Much has been said on both sides of the Japanese question, and an able presentation of these views may be found in a special number 8 of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January, 1921.
LAND OWNERSHIP A study of the richest agricultural lands in California shows 3,893,500 acres under irrigation and it is on these lands that the Oriental has settled, now occupying 623,752 acres, of which 458,056 are occupied by the Japanese. This is a source of constant irritation to the white settlers who see themselves outdistanced in the race for land ownership by a people whose efforts are untiring, whose working day knows no end, and whose women and children always assist. It requires no special acumen to see that such a situation is foredoomed to create friction. The instinct of self preservation, which is the first law of life, asserts itself at once. The very qualities that make the Japanese admirable in many ways, at the same time, when coupled with racial differences, make him an object of hatred whenever he comes into competition with his white neighbor. An alien land law 10 in California directed against the Oriental is the result of his success as a land owner. The Canadian province of British Columbia for the same reasons considered necessary the enactment 11 of a similar law. The whole Pacific Coast region whether in the domain of Canada or of the United States is determined to protect itself from an invasion of Oriental labor.
* Present Day Immigration, with Special reference to the Japanese.
Quoted by Jenks and Lauck: The Immigration Problem, p. 248.
10 Of 1920, a law much more strict than that of 1913 which was frequently evaded.
* December, 1922.
TOTAL JAPANESE ARRIVALS The following table shows the Japanese arrivals in the United States since 1893 about the time agitation against them became vocal: Year
.246,340 Despite the “Gentlemen's Agreement” referred to, it will be seen from the foregoing table that a good many Japanese gain entry into the country from year to year. Persons not included in the category of laborers accounts for some of these arrivals. Large numbers of “ picture brides” feed the flames of discontent on the Pacific Coast since they came to marry Japanese men already here, later bearing many children who in the past entered into United States citizenship although no more assimilable than their parents.
HINDUS Another group of Asiatics includes the Hindu who shares popular hatred with the Japanese, and for many of the same reasons. The State Board of Control of California considers the Hindu “the most undesirable immigrant in the state." The Hindus are comparatively recent arrivals, fifteen arriving in 1899 and there are only about twenty-five hundred of them in the country now. All but students and travelers have been barred since 1917.
MEXICANS The American or New World group contains only one immigrant race which calls for special mention here. This is the Mexican. There are now upwards of half a million Mexicans in this country. Most of them are thriftless with no skill in any line, and their standard of living is very low. In 1900, there were only about 100,000 here, but since that time, they have been slipping over the border steadily with the resulting number above named. They are almost entirely in the southwest, although some have found their way to Chicago and Minneapolis. Most Mexicans who come here belong to the peon class, being a mixture of white with Indian or Negro blood or both. At home, they are quite distinct from the cultivated people of European, mainly Spanish ancestry. The Mexican immigrants are engaged almost altogether in rough, poorly paid out door jobs. An exception that may be noted was found in the period of camp construction during the recent war, when their services were in demand in carpentry at seven dollars plus per day. It is said that they did not know a hammer from a saw when they started, but since incompetent hands were better than no hands at all, they were engaged, and thereby got an exaggerated idea of their worth, and, at the same time justly enough aroused the enmity of organized labor. It is a well-known fact that, for many years, Mexicans have been passing back and forth freely from Mexico to the United States regardless of international arrangements. The Rio Grande is a shallow stream a good part of the year; even boys can wade across. Under such circumstances, why bother with ports of entry? This seems to have been the attitude on both sides of the line when farm labor was in demand in the south-western states. This must be borne in mind when reading government statistics which include only those entering officially.
The following table shows the number of Mexicans recorded as coming into the United States : Year
52,361 1921 ,
..300,375 It will be seen that throngs of Orientals and Mexicans have already passed through our gates, and their future in our midst will be watched with interest.