Immigration and Labor: The Economic Aspects of European Immigration to the United States

By Isaac A. Hourwich | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE REPORT OF THE IMMIGRATION COMMISSION

THE most valuable contribution of the Immigration Commission to the discussion of immigration is the conclusion that it should be considered "primarily as an economic problem."1 This statement of the question takes it out of the domain of conflicting, more or less speculative, social theories and permits of its consideration on the solid basis of measurable economic realities.

Of the forty-two volumes of the Commission's report, thirty-one contain primary facts directly or indirectly related to the economic aspects of immigration.2

The Commission has unanimously recommended restriction of immigration, the only dissenting opinion being confined to methods of restriction. There are few people who will go beyond the conclusions of the Commission and undertake the task of examining the evidence, presumably stored up in its voluminous report. The lay public will assume that the unanimous conclusions were reached after mature deliberation over the evidence collected by the Commission. An illuminating sidelight upon the supposed connection between its recommendations and its statistics is thrown by ex-Congressman William S. Bennet's dissenting opinion, which contains the statement that the report of the Commission was finally adopted "within a half hour of the

____________________
1
Reports of the Immigration Commission, vol. 1, p. 25.
2
Volumes 3, 4, 6-28, 34, 35, 37, and 40. The remaining portion of the report deals with ethnography, education, legislation, etc., and two of the volumes are summaries of the whole.

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