Removing the Welcome Mat: Changing Perceptions of the Immigrant CHARLES W. ELIOT HENRY CABOT LODGE EDWARD A. BOSS
by Hugh Hawkins Amherst College
If by some miracle the United States had refrained from major restriction on immigration until the 1960s or 1970s, it is easy to imagine that restriction would then have come with ecologists leading the activists, insisting that Congress "do something." Demonstrations of the unnatural prolongation of individual life, the limits of space, the limits on energy sources, denials that growth automatically means improvement, talk of quality rather than quantity, descriptions of the benefits of Zero Population Growth, such arguments might well have dominated immigration restrictions in the last third of the 20th century. Questions about the rest of the world ("Aren't we all on spaceship Earth together?") would have been answered with the notion of America as an example of ecological balance and offers to subsidize birth control programs abroad. Such talk is heard today in connection with immigration policy, but since the basic decision to set a ceiling was made in the 1920s, it lacks the fervor of the earlier drive for restriction.
This imaginary scenario for American immigration restriction lets us put ourselves in the picture. It suggests how a restrictionist might think of himself as a reformer and not a killer of the dream. Similarly, the following discussion, by dealing closely with three individuals who concerned themselves with immigration policy, shows human beings with
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Men, Women, and Issues in American History. Volume: 2. Contributors: Howard H. Quint - Editor, Milton Cantor - Editor. Publisher: Dorsey Press. Place of publication: Homewood, IL. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 88.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.