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standing of American customs and repeal this law. Moreover, the collec- HEN the proposed measures dealing life and institutions of government. tion of a fee by the National Govern

with immigration have been disThe above measure, along the lines ment might result in setting up too cussed in Congress and when there shall desired by Mr. Davis, Secretary of much mac

At the same time, issue sufficient legislation, we may look Labor, is well worthy the attention of such a registration fee, to be used for forward to a new era with regard to Congress. Mr. Davis, we are informed, Americanization work, would, we be- our foreign-born population. would like a larger registration fee, to lieve, be approved by most people in No longer will it be composed of a be payable quarterly. The difficulty most States.

vast number of undesirable persons who with any registration of aliens is, we Under any circumstances, however, have come here on their own initiative; think, the problem of finding a way for we must have some kind of compulsory it will be composed of persons who have Federal direction without invading the education law for aliens who become come here on our invitation and who rights of the States. Existing law cer- permanent residents; we must have have been distributed where we think tainly might prevent forcible registra. State, if not Federal, aid for the immi- they can best serve us and themselves; tion and collection of fees from aliens grant schools; and we must have insti- above all, it will consist of people for now resident in the United States. The tutions to train teachers for special whom we have undertaken the responsiproposed act would thus supersede or work with adult aliens.

bilities and duties of Americanization.




1919, TO JUNE, 1920


EGISLATION affecting immigration
as it exists to-day has not suc-

ceeded in surmounting the obstacle
of what qualifications shall constitute
the perfect immigrant, nor has it suc-
ceeded in stipulating who shall not
enter this country and been successful
in barring the undesirables.

The writer was stationed at Rome when the flood of Italian immigration commenced following the cessation of hostilities. Copious volumes of regulations and rituals for testing and weed. ing out the prospective citizen reposed in American consulates and legations which, if they were to be applied mi. nutely, would result in a complete breakdown of office routine. Consequently, the vital question of who should be per. mitted to come to America and who should be turned back was, in the main, left to the decision of the consuls and secretaries. It is true that most of the applicants for visés of passports were


Paul Thompson




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commonplace, plodding peasants whose meant that regular consular work, such plicant to wait two and three days, that cases called for no minute inquiry as to as commercial reports and correspon. those who arrived first might be atmotives and missions, but, on the other dence, must suffer. The Consul-General tended to. hand, it is a fact that many were per- at Rome, Francis B. Keene, a classmate It consumed quantities of time to mitted to proceed because no tangible of Theodore Roosevelt's at Harvard, was procure information from each of the grounds existed for refusing them quick to grasp the import of the tre- applicants, many of whom spoke but a visés.

mendous volume of immigration. He few words of an Italian dialect. But it At that very time there were undoubt hastily reorganized the personnel of the had to be done if any choice in selection edly thousands of immigrants waiting office in an effort to select as carefully was to be observed. The belief existed inspection at Ellis Island, the majority as possible the Italians best fitted to go abroad at that time that Congress must of whom should never have been per- to America.

surely take cognizance of conditions mitted to sail. And yet, only for the Then and there it seemed that the abroad and summarily halt immigration, unrelaxing and unceasing vigilance of bars should have been put up against but no indications of any such action the Americans in authority abroad, the further immigration. As the summer manifested themselves. Instead came number would have been augmented by wore on the crowds of immigranti in- additional regulations from the State several thousand.

creased in numbers. They camped Department setting forth in detail just The spring and summer of 1919 saw about the spacious walks and gardens what cousins might proceed to their the steamship companies in possession, of the Via Veneto, on which the Con- relatives in America and at what age an for the most part, of their steamships sulate is located, slept on benches about immigrant might proceed to America to once more, of thousands upon thousands the streets, and literally laid siege to be married. During the process of of Italians looking for the first time in a the Consulate, awaiting their turn. It weeding out the undesirables each aphectic four years toward America, and became necessary to give each applicant plicant was compelled to present a penal the first general concerted exodus since as he presented himself a number, and certificate and papers proving that relathe war under way.

oftentimes it was necessary for the ap- tives lived in America. Conditions at Rome reflected in a

Grave charges were made in the measure what took place at Naples,

House of Representatives that foreign Catania, Palermo, Leghorn, and other

governments had deliberately conspired points in Italy. The American Consul

in shipping undesirables to America. ate was besieged. Extra clerks of

Without commenting on whether the Italian nationality were enlisted to cope

charge be true, it is a fact that in with the flood. The American Embassy

numerous instances applicants preat Rome, through its Passport Control

sented themselves for a visé at difBureau, announced its intention of pass

ferent consulates in Italy who, upon ing upon the application of every single

investigation, were found to bear repuapplicant for a visé.

tations and records of the deepest dye. It was apparent then that immigra

Some were known to reappear a few tion from Italy alone would mount into

weeks later with new penal certificates hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

and to swear upon their oaths that . Everyone seemed possessed to

they had never asked for a visé prior America. Persons having relatives in

to that time. The steamship companies the United States possessed legitimate

boomed immigration by making special grounds for wishing to go, and those

rates and by stationing agents outside who did not have relatives invented

the consulates whose business it was some. But "America at any cost” was

to facilitate the procuring of the visé. the watch word of the motley crew

In some cases the steamship companies which besieged American consulates

maintained offices where immigrant apthroughout Italy. The officers of every

plications for visé were filled out and consulate were bent upon scrutinizing

given to the applicant to take to the Paul Thompson carefully the qualifications of every one

consulate. wishing to go to America. To do so


During the time the writer was sta


tioned abroad he witnessed thousands of Italians pass through the visé mill at Rome, Naples, and Palermo. It seemed that in the great majority of cases few of the applicants knew what it was all about.

As material for citizenship the bulk of it did not measure up. Cases were not uncommon at the American Embassy when naturalized Italians holding American passports came to Italy, voted in the Italian elections, thereby forfeiting their American citizenship, and unhesitatingly announced the fact to Embassy officials. American citizenship apparently meant nothing beyond a pleasant method of procuring a passport. Personal inquiry among twoscore Italians bound for America from Naples taking passage in the steerage elicited the information that probably only three had any intention of becoming citizens.

The visé office of the Department of State received thousands of applications for visés of Russians, Austrians, Poles, and other nationalities in Central Europe, to say nothing of thousands of Germans. In many cases agents from the Department of Justice investigated the references living in America named upon the application, but even then it was an impossibility to bar the very ones whose coming to America meant the greatest damage.

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MMIGRATION problems date back to

the earliest history of the human

race. The Old Testament abounds in accounts of migratory movements, not entirely free from the friction which is sometimes supposed to be a product of modern conditions. Cain was the first immigrant, and from his day to ours the migration of individuals from one country to another has been accompanied by problems for the sociologist and economist, as well as by occasion for misgivings upon the part of patriots of the Old World and the New.

Immigration in the earliest stages of the world's history had a way of being ‘not infrequently associated with conquest. The immigrants came fighting force, and, if their arm prevailed, they took what they wanted and the original residents of the country were reduced to the status of a subject people. It was with the discovery of the New World and the tremendous opportunity which it afforded as an outlet for surplus population that immigration as we understand it to-day may be said to have had its beginning.

For a century or more the United States has been

one of the chief magnets attracting immigration from rope and, to a lesser degree, from r countries. More recently Canada become important





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These people, mostly from Poland, are embarking in England for America. There has been little

done to find out whether they should have started on their journey or not



These people, mostly from Poland, have arrived in the land of promise. Many thousands have

come from as far away, only to be told that they should not have started

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either physically or spiritually, seeking
admission. Climatically Canada is at-
tractive only to the hardy northern
races--mainly the British, French, and
Scandinavian—and this fact itself
greatly simplifies the Dominion's prob-
lems of selection.

Although a country of varied re-
sources, Canada's fundamental industry
is agriculture, and the type of immi-
grant most welcome is the farmer-
preferably the farmer of experience and
with some capital. The area of Canada
is 3,729,655 square miles, and the arable
lands are estimated at 300,000,000 acres,
of which only one-sixth is as yet under
cultivation. This land, much of which
is of extreme fertility, is available to the
settler either as free homesteads or as
purchased farms at prices rarely rang.
ing higher than thirty dollars an acre
for virgin prairie. It has proved par-
ticularly attractive to farmers in the
United States, who are accustomed to
agriculture under similar conditions,
and who in many cases are able to buy
a section (640 acres) in Canada for the
price realized from the sale of 80 or 100
acres in their old home locality in the
United States, where the pressure of
population has forced the price of land
into high figures. The opportunity for
the tenant-farmer and the farm laborer
to become owners is of course such as
is not found in countries of older settle-
ment and consequently higher land

The Canadian Department of Immi. gration and Colonization therefore centralizes the positive side of its immigration efforts upon securing farmers and

farm laborers, and upon filling the conl'aul Thompson

stant demand for household workers, FRENCH FAMILY—NOT, ACCORDING TO LAW, VERY WELCOME.

which latter has become an important TWELVE TIMES MORE WELCOME IF THEY HAD BEEN GERMAN!

phase of the Department's work, with Among the most desirable people in the world are the French. Among those who have shown

too many ramifications to be discussed themselves least worthy of American citizenship are many Gerinans. Yet the United States at length in this article. Hostels for law admits 13,608 Germans in a month, but limits the number of French who can be admitted

the care and direction of women housein the same time to 1,138. Canada has a livelier memory; for she shuts out all Germans. But then Canada was really at war

hold workers are provided in the prin

cipal centers, and a careful system of attraction. The movement Canadawards universal happiness, two such countries selection abroad and supervised transbegan in earnest about the first year of must be deeply interested in any influx portation to Canada is in effect. Other the present century, when, in round of population which could to any per- classes of laborers are not sought numbers, 50,000 people entered the ceptible degree affect the culture of abroad except on the advice of the Dominion. Ten years later—in 1910— either. In area and natural resources Canadian Department of Labor when the total annual immigration had both countries are about the same, but there is a shortage of workers in any reached the figure of 208,794. It con- as the density of population in the particular trade, and all required labor tinued to increase until 1914, when a United States is twelve times as great is not available in Canada. total of 384,878 immigrants were re- as in Canada, the angles from which For the convenience of the intending ceived, of whom 142,622 were British, immigration is viewed, although similar, immigrant the Canadian Government 107,530 were from the United States, and are not identical.

maintains twelve agencies in the United 134,726 from all other countries. With Canada's need of immigrants is per- Kingdom and soine eighteen information the outbreak of war the movement from haps a much more pressing one than bureaus in the United States. Here the Great Britain almost entirely ceased, that of the United States; but, while the prospective settler can obtain full in. and the United States became the prin- Dominion stands with welcoming arms formation and advice concerning the cipal source of Canadian immigration extended to the desirable type of settler, trip to Canada, the selection of land or until 1920, when the British totals the policy of the Canadian Department obtaining employment, the conditions to again mounted into first place.

of Immigration and Colonization is dis- be complied with, rates of wages, price In their immigration problems, as tinctly a policy of selection. Not only of land, cost of living, social and otherwise, the two countries have much must the immigrant be morally and economic conditions, etc. The function in common. Divided by a border-line physically acceptable; he must be of a of these offices is primarily one of serwhich stretches across a continent, un- vocation or adaptability which reason- vice; service perhaps quite as valuable marked by a fort or a gun; speaking the ably assures him of success under Cana- to the country in which they are located same language; employing the same sys- dian conditions. In this connection it as to the Dominion, as they tend to pretems of currency, transportation, and may be noted that the Canadian climate, vent the irritating incidents which so business; actuated by the same ideals healthful but vigorous, acts as an auto- readily arise where citizens of one counof liberty and the highest standard of matic deterrent toward weaklings, try seek to enter another wiihout any




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