News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In 1920-21 some in Congress thought US needed more cheap immigrant labor to do hard jobs 2nd generation Americans just wouldn't do such as farm labor and housework. Others called for urgent restriction on US immigration, observing that rising anarchy and Bolshevism abroad were changing the nature of immigrants to the US. Thus, US immigration quotas remained fixed for 44 years, from 1921 to 1965-Hanover College transcripts

"The US Immigration Act of 1921 established a "quota system that would last, virtually unchanged, until 1965"... (p. 223)
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"Congressional Debate on Immigration Restriction (1921) Excerpts"...history.hanover.edu (Hanover College, Indiana) 

"Congress imposed a literacy test and other restrictions on immigration during World War I. By 1921 many were arguing for even more stringent restrictions as a way of maintaining the purity of American culture as they understood it. The result of the debate excerpted below was to limit new immigrants to 3 percent of the nationalities represented in the census of 1910. In 1924 immigration was limited even further. -smv"


Observed on April 20, 1921, the first waves of immigrants to the US adapted and contributed greatly, but that time has passed. Today anarchy and Bolshevism are becoming popular abroad, the nature and culture of future immigrants aren't likely to be as positive for us as we experienced in the past:

"April 20, 1921, House of Representatives"
 
"{1} MR. [LUCIAN WALTON] PARRISH [D-Tex.]. We should stop immigration entirely until such a time as we can amend our immigration laws and so write them that hereafter no one shall be admitted except he be in full sympathy with our Constitution and laws, willing to declare himself obedient to our flag, and willing to release himself form any obligations he may owe to the flag of the country from which he came.

{2} It is time that we act now, because within a few short years the damage will have been done. The endless tide of immigration will have filled our country with a foreign and unsympathetic element. Those who are out of sympathy with our Constitution and the spirit of our Government will be here in large numbers, and the true spirit of Americanism left us by our fathers will gradually become poisoned by this uncertain element.

{3} The time once was when we welcomed to our shores the oppressed and downtrodden people from all the world, but they came to us because of oppression at home and with the sincere purpose of making true and loyal American citizens, and in truth and in fact they did adapt themselves to our ways of thinking and contributed in a substantial sense to the progress and development that our civilization has made. But that time has passed now; new and strange conditions have arisen in the countries over there; new and strange doctrines are being taught. The Governments of the orient are being overturned and destroyed, and anarchy and bolshevism are threatening the very foundation of many of them and no one can foretell what the future will bring to many of those countries of the Old World now struggling with these problems."... 

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Added: In 1920 it was getting too expensive to hire American labor. Some thought the US needed a dependable flow of low wage immigrants:

Dec. 10, 1920, US House of Representatives:

"{17} MR. [FREDERICK W.] ROWE [R.-N.Y.]. Mr. Chairman...

{18} The fact is that in this country we need laboring men and women of certain-classes. We are paying now in the city of New York for ordinary shovelers to dig trenches in which to lay a sewer or a water pipe from $4.50 to $6 a day. We are paying from $6 to $9 a-day for hod carriers. It is not because we have not plenty of men in this country. The fact is that our people of the second generation in this country will not carry a hod or dig a trench. We need the men on the farms. We have a great need in this country of competent women to do housework, and there are in Europe men who are willing to do this hard work in America and women who are capable and willing to do the housework. I believe in restrictions. I would have a very careful examination. I would not have it made under labor-union organizations. They represent only about one-ninth of the laboring men in this country. They should not have the power of saying who shall come and how the laws of this country shall be administered in respect to who is to be permitted to come into the Nation. I want to have restrictions. I think that for a limited time we might stop immigration in this country long enough so that Ellis Island may be made a proper place in which to receive all of the immigrants who desire to come into the country."...


Added: Also on Dec. 10, 1920, a member of the US House of Representatives made the shocking and compassionate observation that Americans' first responsibility was to care for the people who were already here. As it is for all countries. One country's citizens must not be bound from birth to be a safety valve for tyrants and dictators around the world: 

{19} MR. [JAMES V.] MCCLINTIC [D.-Okla.]. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I feel that the Immigration Committee is entitled to the thanks of this body for bringing in a bill of this kind during the early part of this session. There is an old saying, "A stitch in times save nine," and this saying, in my opinion, is apropos of the condition that exists in the United States at the present moment with relation to the need of a law which will protect the citizens of this country from the foreign immigrants who are fleeing to our shores to escape the heavy taxation in the war-devastated regions of Europe.

{20} Some time ago it was my privilege to visit Ellis Island, not as a member of the committee but as a private citizen interested in obtaining information relative to the situation which exists at that place. I stood at the end of a hall with three physicians, and I saw them examine each immigrant as they came down the line, rolling back the upper eyelid in order to gain some information as to the individual's physical condition. I saw them place the chalk marks on their clothing which indicated that they were in a diseased condition, so that they could be separated when they reached the place where they were to undergo certain examinations. Afterwards I went to a large assembly hall where immigrants came before the examiners to take the literacy test, and the one fact that impressed me more than anything else was that practically every single immigrant examined that day had less than $50 to his credit.... 

{21} Practically all of them were weak, small of stature, poorly clad, emaciated, and in a condition which showed that the environment surrounding them in their European homes were indeed very bad.

{22} It is for this reason that I say the class of immigrants coming to the shores of the United States at this time are not the kind of people we want as citizens in this country. It is a well-known fact that the majority of immigrants coming to this country at the present time are going into the large industrial centers instead of the agricultural centers of the United States, and when it is taken into consideration that the large centers are already crowded to the extent that there is hardly sufficient living quarters to take care of the people it can be readily seen that this class of people, instead of becoming of service to the communities where they go, they will become charges to be taken care of by charitable institutions. The week I visited Ellis Island I was told that 25,000 immigrants had been unloaded at that port. From their personal appearance they seemed to be the off casts of the countries from which they came."... 
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Further on this topic: "The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy,"  Univ. of Chicago Press, Jan. 1994, National Bureau of Economic Research

Chapter 7, "The political economy of immigration in the United States, 1890 to 1921," Claudia Goldin

p. 223, Introduction, 7.1: "With the passage of the Emergency Quota Act in May 1921 the era of open immigration to the United States came to an abrupt end.' The American policy of virtually unrestricted European immigration was transformed, almost overnight, to a quota system that would last, virtually unchanged, until 1965"...

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Added: Fat Cats don't get to decide US border policy. American workers do, per Francis A. Walker (1840-1897). Refusal to do hard jobs, Walker argues, "is the consequence rather than the cause of large-scale immigration."...

"It does not matter in the least what the favored classes of the country think about immigration; the doors of this land will never be closed except upon the initiative and the imperative of the laboring classes, looking to thier own interests, and to the heritage of their children." Francis A. Walker [1840-1897], Discussions in Economics and Statistics 

"Francis A. Walker on Restriction of Immigration into the United States," First published:

Excerpt from Abstract:

"He [Walker, 1840-1897] recognizes that “the prevailing sentiment of our people [is] to tolerate, to welcome, and to encourage immigration, without qualification and without discrimination,” but seeks to refute the rationale underpinning those sentiments. To counter the notion that immigration represents “a net reinforcement of our population,” he sets out the thesis, perhaps most memorably associated with his name, that sees immigration as “a replacement of native by foreign elements”—because it is a cause of the diminishing fertility of the receiving population. He also rejects a second pro-immigration argument, that immigration is necessary “in order to supply the country with a laboring class…able and willing to perform the lowest kind of work,” which native-born Americans now refuse to perform. Such refusal, Walker argues, is the consequence rather than the cause of large-scale immigration....

In earlier times, “the average immigrant…was among the most enterprising, thrifty, alert, adventurous, and courageous of the community from which he came,” and immigration was “almost exclusively from western and northern Europe.” With cheap railroad fares and ocean transport, this is no longer so. The new immigrants, increasingly from southern and eastern Europe, “have none of the inherited instincts and tendencies which made it comparatively easy to deal with the immigration of the olden time….They have none of the ideas and aptitudes which fit men to take up readily and easily the problem of self-care and self-government.  Immigration, thus, is menacing to America's “peace and political safety.” Communities are formed “in which only foreign tongues are spoken, and into which can steal no influence from our free institutions and from popular discussion.” On immigration, Walker concludes, “we should take a rest, and give our social, political, and industrial system some chance to recuperate.”

Walker's advice was not heeded until the 1920s. Immigration to the US in the first decade of the twentieth century amounted to nearly 9 million. In recent decades there has been a resurgence in numbers, and in the decade of the 1990s immigration exceeded 9 million. With that influx came a reinvigorated immigration debate. In the arguments for restriction, immigration from Asia and especially Latin America now substitutes for that from southern and eastern Europe.

Francis A. Walker (1840–97) had a distinguished career as a Union officer in the Civil War, reaching the rank of brigadier-general, as a civil servant in the federal government, and, most notably, as an economist and educator. He was superintendent of the 1870 and 1880 US censuses and served as professor of political economy at Yale (1872–80), president of the American Statistical Association (1882–96), first president of the American Economic Association (1885–92), and president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1881–96)."

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Added: Even in 1888, Fat Cat bosses hired large numbers of low wage immigrants that put American men out of work:









"A cartoon in Puck from 1888 attacked businessmen for welcoming large numbers of low paid immigrants, leaving the American men unemployed. [309]"

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Added: "Puck (1871-1918)"

"It wasn't easy being funny in America (or anywhere, for that matter) back in the early 20th century-however, Puck locked it down by being the first successful humor magazine in the U.S. with political satire, and full-color cartoons.

Running from 1871 to 1918, Puck reinforced American constitutional ideals while poking fun at famous political figures like James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, and Theodore Roosevelt."


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