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Immigration and the Fight For or Against Foreigners
Transcript of Immigration and the Fight For or Against Foreigners
Factors that Precipitated and Fueled the Division
"The Alien" -Frederic C. Howe
"...probably a million immigrants arrived at the port of New York. They were poor for the most part poor. They had that in common with the early immigrant. They had other qualities in common. They were ambitious and filled with hope...most part kindly and moved by the same human and domestic virtues as other peoples.
State of Union Address, Dec 6, 1923 -Calvin Coolidge
"American institutions rest solely on good citizenship...New arrivals should be limited to our capacity to absorb them into the ranks of good citizenship. America must be kept American."
"The Coming Immigration Laws" -Rep. Albert Johnson
"...in order to prevent the growth of racial hatred, with its accompanying religious differences, it is highly desirable to keep out from the United States many new arrivals as possible until we have thoroughly cleaned house."
Division Reflected Postwar Adjustments and the "Modern Age"
"Immigration Hysteria in Congress" -John E. Milholland
"Andrew Carnegie once said that every immigrant was worth $5000 to the country."
"The Nordic Nonsense" -Franz Boas
This man believed that "nationality is absolutely irrelevant. The fear of continued segregation of European national groups is not founded on facts, but on vague impressions...It does not take into consideration the dispersion of the second and third generation, who become so thoroughly Americanized..."
Immigration in the 1920s
People that are pro immigration believe that these new comers could bring with them prosperity and the diversity that this country was built on
People that are against immigration believe that these aliens will harmful to the well bred and civilized citizens that currently make up only 50% of population of America. They believe that the other 50% will cause an inharmonious uproar that could never be repaired
What is an immigrant???
An immigrant in this context is someone that has moved from Southern and Eastern Europe to America.
Some factors that fueled the division between those that liked and disliked immigrants are:
"America for the Americans" -Madison Grant
"...aliens in our midst are not assimilated...They largely marry among themselves, maintain their religious and costumes, and retain their foreign connections and sympathies almost without abatement..."
White supremacy and the ideals of the Anglo-Saxons
The idea that the foreigners were destroying the country with their poor knowledge of democracy and their overall poor education
The country is no longer a homogeneous mixtures of peoples but rather an inharmonious one
The necessity to increase restrictive legislation for foreigners
The idea that immigrants should be stopped before they even leave their home land
America should turn away and "clean out" as many immigrants as possible
Immigrants are weakening our hold on world leadership
Aliens are creating an uproar due to their racial diversity that is hindering the nation
The ideal that if someone does not want to be American they shouldn't live in America
America doesn't want to be the dumping ground for the world's undesirables
Americans are immigrants themselves and that the United States was founded by and built up by immigrants
Immigrants are a necessary source of income for the country
Immigrants had no choice but to fall into the positions they had in the American society
Americans are not the supreme race they think they are
Similar Conflicts Today
Similar Conflicts in the 21st Century include:
The current president of the United States is seeking to legalize all illegal immigrants currently living in America in haste, so much so that he is considering to "send up a specific measure...and demand a vote"
Critics are concerned with "the president’s unwillingness to accept significant enforcement triggers before current undocumented immigrants can apply for a green card.” Moreover they believe that "in just a few years dealing with millions of new undocumented people in our country." This is a similar idea that was considered and disregarded for similar reasons by Rep. Albert Johnson in "The Coming Immigration Law"
Illegal Mexican immigration through our southern boarder
The State of the Union, Dec 8, 1922 written by President Warren Harding presents the idea that there is a central view point with the immigrant debate. He believed that immigrants could be in the country as long as their presences was legal and that they lived with the expectation that they would not only reap the same rewards as American citizens but also muscle through the same hardships as well.
See following article by New York Times to read more about the president's arguments about immigration and the arguments made for and against it
Differences in immigration from the pre and post war eras were:
More diversity in the ethnic backgrounds of incoming immigrants
A decline in the number of immigrants that moved into the United States
A more centered and deeper discontentment toward immigrants