Immigration Restriction: A Study of the Opposition to and Regulation of Immigration into the United States

Immigration Restriction: A Study of the Opposition to and Regulation of Immigration into the United States

Immigration Restriction: A Study of the Opposition to and Regulation of Immigration into the United States

Immigration Restriction: A Study of the Opposition to and Regulation of Immigration into the United States

Excerpt

No field of modern discussion has been so marred by prejudice as the immigration problem. Blood has been not only thicker than water but more compelling than the cooler processes of thought. The average man has thought of the immigration problem in terms of himself or of his immediate ancestry. Although all Americans, except the Indians, are in a sense immigrants, yet from the first years of our government to the present hour, those who have been prior in point of time have looked with no little misgivings on the stream of immigrants that have followed them. Race prejudice has too often controlled legislation towards the new comers. But, on the other hand, the policy of the wide open door has sometimes been carried to the point where it seemed to careful observers that the distinctively American spirit in community life, in government, in industry, might be jeopardized.

The most amazing thing about the immigration problem is the likeness of the arguments of one generation to the contentions of another. The points of view and prejudices of many sons are like unto their fathers'. Here, as in other enduring issues, there seems to be no new thing under the sun. How important, then, is the task of every citizen to think through the immigration question for himself, to free himself from bias, to seek only the truth! The great debates and changes in the immigration policy in the past illuminate the future; it is rank folly to attempt the solution of the problem in 1927 by century-old prejudices and to ignore the history of the attempts that have been made to deal fairly with ourselves and with the strangers knocking at our gates.

A study of the development of the opposition to immigration into this country is a continuous illustration of the . . .

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