News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Immigration Act of 1921 sought to protect American workers and American culture by strictly limiting mass immigration from foreign countries to US

"Beyond the fear of being swamped by unassimilable immigrants from eastern and southern Europe was the fear that these immigrants’ increasing numbers would depress wages for American workers."....

"Immigration Act of 1921," immigrationtounitedstates.org, Kimberly K. Porter

"Also known as: Johnson Act; Emergency Quota Act of 1921"

"Significance: The first federal law in US history to limit the immigration of Europeans, the Immigration Act of 1921 reflected the growing American fear that people from southern and eastern European countries not only did not adapt well into American society but also threatened its very existence.  

The law specified that no more than 3 percent of the total number of immigrants from any specific country already living in the United States in 1910 could migrate to America during any year.

Although concerns about undesirable immigration to the United States had been discussed for decades, and action had been taken to prevent the immigration of most Asians, fears springing out of the aftermath of World War I again bestirred those who would close the floodgates of immigration.

According to federal officials scattered throughout European consulates, literally millions of Europeans hoped to emigrate to the United States in the aftermath of World War I (1914-1918). Some of these would-be immigrants could be considered as coming from the "desirable” classes of western and northern European nations, but it appeared that the vast majority of the potential immigrants would be coming from southern and eastern Europe.

Many Americans held the perception that individuals from southern and eastern Europe could not be assimilated properly into the culture of the United States. Their languages, customs, and religions were thought to be too different from those of preceding generations of immigrants for fullscale integration into American culture. The fear was that these newer immigrants would always be "hyphenates,” or citizens who would call themselves, or be called by others, by such hyphenated names as "Polish-Americans,” "Greek-Americans,” and "Italian-Americans.”

Beyond the fear of being swamped by unassimilable immigrants from eastern and southern Europe was the fear that these immigrants’ increasing numbers would depress wages for American workers. In addition, some people feared the potential of the rising political power of the new class of immigrants. To counter the tide of uneducated, working- class immigrants, professionals were allowed to enter the United States with few restrictions, regardless of their nations of origin."...








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