A Guide to the Study of the United States of America


C. Immigration: Policy

4418. Bernard, William S., ed. American immigration policy, a reappraisal. Edited by William S. Bernard; Carolyn Zeleny [and] Henry Miller, assistant editors. New York, Harper, 1950. xx, 341 p. diagrs. 50–120 JV6507.B4

Bibliography: p. 315–330.

This "broad survey" of American policy, past, present, and future, is published under the sponsorship of the National Committee on Immigration Policy, and consistently maintains an internationalist point of view. The immigration policy of the United States which has prevailed since 1924 is criticized as anachronistic and reactionary in character, with discriminatory features which "have been increasingly conspicuous as contradictions of our democratic ideals and traditions." Chapter 2 demonstrates statistically that the preferred nations do not use their quotas, and that the North American nations, Canada and Mexico, have become major sources of immigration since 1924. Pairs of chapters are devoted to partly statistical arguments that immigration stimulates the American economy and maintains a moderate rate of population growth, and that immigrant adjustment, as reflected by a variety of indexes, has always progressed steadily and in recent times has been speeded up. There are concluding recommendations that the present annual limit of 150,000 persons be increased, "possibly doubled"; that the present system be operated with greater flexibility, especially in the case of quotas left unused; that small quotas be granted to Asiatic peoples; that the United States cooperate with the international organs concerned with immigration; and that a Congressional commission work out an equitable alternative to the national origins system.

4419. Divine, Robert A. American immigration policy, 1924–1952. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1957. 220 p. (Yale historical publications. Miscellany 66) 57–6336 JV6455.D5

"Bibliographical essay": p. 195–209.

An objective and well-proportioned narrative which puts the recent history of opinion and legislation concerning immigration into very clear perspective. The restrictive policy established in 1924 has been repeatedly challenged but with small success, for on crucial occasions it has commanded a majority of both houses of Congress, and relaxations have been partial and temporary. The application of the national origins system in 1927 led to two years of debate which did not alter the law but did increase minority group consciousness and stir up antagonisms among the various foreign elements. Mexican immigration, heavily increased since 1921, was reduced after 1929 through administrative action by the State Department without further legislation. The same device was used to cut off immigration during the depression, the total falling to 23,068 in 1933, the lowest figure in over a century. Congress refused to take action in favor of European refugees after 1933, but administrative action reduced the stringencies of the quota system and enabled an estimated 250,000 to enter. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 was greatly watered down by the restrictionist bloc in Congress; it took a major effort to put through the 1950 measure which finally solved the problem. The old racialist views, the author finds, were common to the Southern and Western members of Congress who passed the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 over the veto of President Truman.

4420. Garis, Roy L. Immigration restriction; a study of the opposition to and regulation of immigration into the United States. New York, Macmillan, 1928. 376 p. 32–1946 JV6507.G3 1928. Bibliography: p. 355–371.

Professor Garis of Vanderbilt University, writing in the turmoil of the immigration debate of the 1920’s, was concerned to point out that it was nonew thing, for the opposition to immigration could be traced back to early colonial days. As early as 1639 Plymouth Colony required the removal of foreign paupers. While the background of opinion has been more thoroughly presented in Higham (no. 4422) and other books, this remains the most convenient description of actual legislation, colonial, state, and federal, through the Immigration Act of 1924. The débacle of the Alien and Sedition Acts at the close of the 18th century had led to doubt concerning the competence of the Federal Government in this sphere, and it was not until the 1870’s and early 1880’s that the Supreme Court definitely reestablished its right to supersede state enactments. Up to 1921, the author points out, restrictive laws were all qualitative, defining and excluding particular types of undesirables. The act of 1921 was the first to apply a quantitative limitation in the form of an annual maximum figure. The utilization of the census figures of 1890 in the act of 1924 is expounded in detail. Oriental immigration is separately treated in two concluding chapters. The author was himself a believer in the case for restriction, but was careful to keep it separate from his factual expositions.

4421. Hartmann, Edward George. The movement to Americanize the immigrant. New York, Columbia University Press, 1948. 333 p. (Columbia University. Faculty of Political Science. Studies in history, economics and public law, no. 545) 48–9245 H31.C7, no. 545 JK1758.H35 1948a

Bibliography: p. 281–325.

A Columbia dissertation which traces the course of an educative movement aiming at a rapid assimilation of the millions of immigrants who had come to America in the decades preceding World War I. It began with the organization of the North American Civic League for Immigrants in 1907, gained momentum as German-American relations deteriorated, thrived during the war and its immediate aftermath, and died as the nation returned to "normalcy." Unlike other American social crusades, the Americanization drive was led by the intelligentsia, educators, and social workers and supported by industrialists and business and civic groups. Neither restrictive nor repressive, the movement sought to solve the problem of the immigrant’s social isolation through night classes and personal guidance intended to mold him "into a patriotic, loyal, and intelligent supporter of the great body of principles and practices which the leaders of the movement chose to consider ’America’s priceless heritage.’" The author evaluates the results of the program as both negative and positive: negative in that it caused some immigrants to band more closely together and led to a revival of nativism, and positive in that it brought native and foreign-born into closer contact and gave impetus to the budding adult education movement.

4422. Higham, John. Strangers in the land; patterns of American nativism, 1860–1925. New Brunswick, N. J., Rutgers University Press, 1955. xiv, 431 p. illus. 55–8601 E184.A1H5

"Bibliographical note": p. 399–411.

A general history of the antiforeign spirit defined by the author as nativism and manifested in "the hostilities of American nationalists toward European immigrants." Its development is traced as it was affected by the successive impulses of American history, and as it affected, in turn, every level of society and section of the country—politically, economically, socially, and intellectually. Nativism, which had waned during the Civil War, experienced a complete renaissance as South and East European immigration increased in the 1880’s and 90’s. It ebbed and then flowed again following the turn of the century, reached its zenith with America’s entry into World War I and the "100 per cent Americanism" movement, and died in the indifference of the Flapper Era, but not before it had achieved "the Nordic victory" of 1924. According to the author, "nativism as a habit of mind has mirrored our national anxieties and marked out the bounds of our tolerance"; he therefore considers his book as a study of public opinion.

4423. Solomon, Barbara Miller. Ancestors and immigrants, a changing New England tradition. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1956. 276p. 56–10163 F4.S67

"A note on sources": p. [211]–221.

In this outgrowth of a Harvard doctoral dissertation, prosperous and educated descendants of old New England families are denominated "Brahmins," and the writings of such persons from about 1850 are examined for "the association of ideas which produced a rationale for immigration restriction." The crystallization was not effected until the 1880’s; the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Good Citizenship was founded in 1889 and the Immigration Restriction League in 1894: A number of "Teutonist academicians," such as Henry Adams, Barrett Wendell, and Herbert Baxter Adams, historians, and Francis A. Walker, Richmond Mayo Smith, and William Z. Ripley, social scientists, are castigated for their contributions to the creation of "the Anglo-Saxon complex." A few distinguished New England thinkers are individually exonerated from participation in this "betrayal of the continuing faith in the potentialities ofAmerica’s democratic people," which still lingers in the immigration laws of the land.

4424. U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. The immigration and naturalization systems of the United States. Report pursuant to S. Res. 137, Both Cong., 1st sess., as amended, a resolution to make an investigation of the immigration system. Washington, U. S. Govt. Print. Off., 1950. xviii, 925, xxvi p. (81st Cong., 2d sess. Senate. Report no. 1515) 50–60699 JV6416.A39 1950d

This, the first general Congressional investigation of its subject since that of 1907–11, was carried on for nearly three years with the late Senator Patrick McCarran as chairman. Part 1, on "The Immigration System," has introductory chapters on the history of immigration and immigration policy, and the characteristics of the population of the United States. It then deals with "Enforcement Agencies," including the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Visa Division of the State Department, and the U. S. Public Health Service, and with "Excludable and Deportable Classes," "Admissible Aliens," including quota immigrants, nonquota immigrants, and non-immigrants, "Adjustment of Status," "Procedures," and "Territories and Possessions." Part 2, on "The Naturalization System," has historical and statistical chapters, and discusses citizens, noncitizen nationals, ineligibles for citizenship, becoming a citizen, and how citizenship may be lost and regained. A brief third part deals with "Subversives."Appendix II (p. 805–810) is a synopsis of the recommendations of the committee, which appear in greater detail at the conclusion of most of the chapters; a number of them were embodied in the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. The remaining appendixes (p. 811–925) are statistical tables.

4425. U.S. President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization. Whom we shall welcome; report [Washington, U. S. Govt. Print. Off., 1953] xv, 319 p. 53–60119 JV6415.A4 1953

The passage of the McCarran-Walter Act over President Truman’s veto in June 1952 was followed by much criticism and, in September, by the establishment of the President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization with Philip B. Perlman as chairman and Harry N. Rosenfield as executive director. Instructed to report by January 1, during October it received testimony in 11 cities; these Hearings have been printed for the use of the House Committee on the Judiciary (Washington, U. S. Govt. Print. Off., 1952. 2089 p.). This Report condemns the existing law as embodying xenophobia and racial discrimination, and calls for the annual admission of one-sixth of 1 percent of the population at the last census (or 251,162 as against 154,657, under the census of 1940). All relevant functions should be consolidated in a new agency under a commission on immigration and naturalization, which would distribute the annual figure on the basis of the right of asylum, the reunion of families, needs in the United States, special needs in the Free World, and "general immigration." Conditions of admission and grounds for deportation of aliens should "bear a reasonable relationship to the national welfare and security."


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Chicago: "C. Immigration: Policy," A Guide to the Study of the United States of America in Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.557-559 558–559. Original Sources, accessed July 12, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3WHXAIC3T58AU4W.

MLA: . "C. Immigration: Policy." A Guide to the Study of the United States of America, in Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.557-559, pp. 558–559. Original Sources. 12 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3WHXAIC3T58AU4W.

Harvard: , 'C. Immigration: Policy' in A Guide to the Study of the United States of America. cited in , Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.557-559, pp.558–559. Original Sources, retrieved 12 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3WHXAIC3T58AU4W.