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designed to eliminate hardships consequent upon enforcement of the law. The literacy test which in one form or another had been vetoed by four Presidents, in 1917 became incorporated into the law of the land. The act consists of thirtyeight sections some of which are herewith summarized:


(1) The word "alien" is defined as a person not nativeborn or naturalized in the United States or its dependencies. (2) Alien head tax is raised to $8.00.

(3) Enumerates the excluded classes, and contains the much discussed literacy test. Because of its general interest, the clause relating to the test is inserted here:

"All Aliens over sixteen years of age, physically capable of reading, who can not read the English language, or some other language or dialect, including Hebrew or Yiddish:

Provided, that any admissible alien, or any alien heretofore or hereafter legally admitted, or any citizen of the United States, may bring in or send for his father, or grandfather over fifty-five years of age, his wife, his mother, his grandmother, or his unmarried or widowed daughter, if otherwise admissible, whether such relative can read or not; and such relative shall be permitted to enter. That for the purpose of ascertaining whether aliens can read, the immigrant inspector shall be furnished with slips of uniform size, prepared under the direction of the Secretary of Labor, each containing not less than thirty nor more than forty words in ordinary use, printed in plainly legible type in some one of the various languages or dialects of immigrants. Each alien may designate the particular language or dialect in which he desires the examination to be made, and shall be required to read the words printed on the slip in such language or dialect. That the following classes of persons shall be exempt from the operation of the illiteracy test, to wit: All aliens who shall prove to the satisfaction of the proper immigration officer or to the Secretary of Labor that they are seeking admission to the United States to avoid religious persecution in the country of their last permanent residence, whether such persecution be evi

*The full text may be consulted in appendix A of this book.

denced by overt acts or by laws or governmental regulations that discriminate against the alien or the race to which he belongs because of his religious faith; all aliens who have been lawfully admitted to the United States and who have resided therein continuously for five years and who return to the United States within six months of the date of their departure therefrom; all aliens in transit through the United States; all aliens who have been lawfully admitted to the United States and who later shall go in transit from one part of the United States to another through foreign contiguous territory."

Section (3) of the law also contains what is known as the latitude and longitude clause the effect of which is to exclude forever all Oriental laborers in the event of the lapsing or abrogation of existing agreements or treaties:


(4) This deals specifically with the white slave traffic and indicates penalties.

(5, 6, 7) Deal with prohibitions in regard to contract labor.

(18) Provides for the return of aliens illegally brought to the country.

(28) Attaches penalties for aiding anarchists or others committed to a belief in the destruction of government to land. (29) Empowers the President to call at his discretion, an international conference to deal with immigration.


"The foregoing brief outline of important clauses indicates the nature of the basic immigration law of the United States. There is in addition, another law, operating temporarily, known as the Three Per Cent. Law of May 19, 1921 effective until June 30, 1922, and later extended to 1924. This limited those to be admitted from any one nationality

'This was effected by the law of 1924.


in any one year to a number equal to three per cent. of the foreign-born of that nationality resident here in 1910. Enforcement of this law materially reduced immigration, particularly from those countries sending the least assimilable people. A definite quota for each country was worked out by months giving a maximum of 357,803 for all countries for the year in place of the former annual influx of about a million. While this law was passed to meet after-the-war exigencies, public opinion increasingly tends to favor permanent restrictive measures and Congress has enacted a new law in accordance with opinion. The Selective Immigration Act of 1924 quite effectively limits labor importation. By its provisions the census of 1890 becomes the basis for a two per cent. quota. A non-quota class provides the law with some elasticity. The effect of such a measure is to reduce annual immigration thus: Italy 42,057 to 4,689; Poland 21,076 to 8,972; Russia from 21,613 to 1,892; the British Isles 77,000 to 62,458. But last year they sent only 63,000. The first quota admitted from Germany 67,000; the new only 51,000, but last year only 31,000 entered the country. The check of the new law will, therefore, act only upon the most exploitable races of the later immigration, and hardly at all on the northwestern Europeans. This is, of course, the intention of restrictionists. The total annual quota on the new basis is 161,184.


Closely allied to the subject of immigration is that of naturalization, and the process by which an alien may become a citizen may well be described here. A portion of the act of Congress of 1913 which created the Department of Labor provides for a uniform rule for the naturalization of all aliens, and for the establishment of a Bureau of


The new law was enacted May 17, 1924. The text of the law appears in appendix D.

The text of the law may be seen in appendix E.

Naturalization. The machinery for effecting the metamorphosis is thereby simplified. The exclusive jurisdiction to naturalize aliens is conferred upon specified courts within their judicial districts.

The method by which an alien may become a citizen is as follows:

(1) By declaration on oath before the clerk of the proper court as least two years before his admission, and after he has reached the age of eighteen years, of his intention to become a citizen, and to renounce allegiance to any foreign sovereignty.

(2) Not less than two years nor more than seven after he has made such declaration, he shall file a petition, verified by two credible witnesses, that he has lived in the United States for five years and is otherwise eligible for citizenship. The fees amount to five dollars plus any expense incident upon summoning witnesses.

No alien who cannot speak the English language may now be admitted to citizenship. Naturalization laws apply to women as well as to men. A married woman does not now 8 become a citizen of the United States because her husband is one.


The following table compiled by The Survey shows the citizenship status of both American and foreign women since the passage of the Cable Act so clearly that it is given here in its entirety:

American-born Women

Credentials Abroad
United States pass-

1. American-born woman, unmarried is cit

izen of the United States by virtue of port.
birth in the United States.


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Since the passage of the Cable Act, Sept. 22, 1922. 'The Survey, Nov. 15, 1922, page 231.

2. American-born woman, married to citizen of the United States, whether he be American-born or foreign-born, is citizen of the United States.

3. American-born woman, married to citizen foreign-born, naturalized before September 22, 1922, is citizen of the United States.

4. American-born woman, married to alien before September 22, 1922, thereby forfeiting her United States citizenship, remains an alien irrespective of any change in the status of her husband's citizenship after September 22, 1922, until she herself acquires independent citizenship. The naturalization procedure in this case requires only one year's continuous residence in the United States and the filing of a petition.

5. American-born woman, married to alien
after September 22, 1922, retains her
United States citizenship unless she
officially renounces such citizenship be-
fore a court having jurisdiction over
naturalization in the United States.
6. American-born woman, married to alien
ineligible to United States citizenship,
loses her American citizenship.

Foreign-born Women

1. Alien woman, unmarried, remains alien until naturalized in regular procedure, i.e., certificate arrival, declaration, five year's residence in United States-one year residence in state, ability to use English language, etc.

2. Alien woman, married to alien, remains alien until naturalized independently by regular procedure.

3. Alien woman, married to citizen of United States, naturalized before September 22, 1922, is a citizen of the United States.10

Cable Act is not retroactive.

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