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HIS 206.  Immigration Act of 1882 followed model of earlier state laws struck down in Henderson v. Mayor of New York (1876)  Barred entry to lunatics,

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Presentation on theme: "HIS 206.  Immigration Act of 1882 followed model of earlier state laws struck down in Henderson v. Mayor of New York (1876)  Barred entry to lunatics,"— Presentation transcript:

1 HIS 206

2  Immigration Act of 1882 followed model of earlier state laws struck down in Henderson v. Mayor of New York (1876)  Barred entry to lunatics, idiots & persons likely to become a public charge  Imposed 50-cent head tax  Secretary of Treasury supervised, but state officials still administed  Foran Alien Contract Labor Act (1885) forbade all contracts to prepay or assist immigrants’ passage to U.S.  Artists, actors, lecturers, domestic servants & skilled laborers excepted  Americans still allowed to help relatives or personal friends  Payson Act (1887) barred aliens who hadn’t filed first papers from owning land in the territories

3  House est. Ford Committee (1888-89) to investigate immigration  Report said facilities & staff at ports inadequate to inspect immigrants properly  Found evidence of assisted immigration for paupers & convicts, & contract labor law easily evaded  Warned current immigrants inferior to previous ones & called for exclusion of anarchists & “birds of passage”  Ford Committee report = first time Congress distinguished between old & new immigrants  “old” immigrants hailed as pioneers who settled as families on the land, assimilated & became citizens  “new” immigrants were single men who worked in factories, lived in slums, & were less intelligent & more degenerate



6  Immigration Act of 1891 created federal Bureau of Immigration in Treasury Dept. to oversee inspection & enforcement of laws  New federal facilities (e.g. Ellis Island) constructed  Persons suffering from loathsome or contagious disease & polygamists excluded  Provided for deportation of aliens who entered illegally or became public charges within 1 year of arrival  1891 act gave sole power to review decisions on admission & deportation to Superintendant & Secretary of Treasury  Supreme Court ruled in Nishimura Ekiu v. U.S. (1892) that courts couldn’t review inspectors’ findings of fact, only interpretations of laws  Court ruled in Fong Yue Ting v. U.S. (1893) that due process didn’t apply to administrative hearings


8  1893 act required commanding officers of vessels to conduct preliminary investigation of passengers  1894 act raised head tax to $1 to defray increased expense of inspection  Edward Bemis & Richmond Mayo Smith called for literacy test to keep out “new” immigrants  Henry Cabot Lodge (R-Mass) introduced literacy test bills in Congress, calling for exclusion of inferior races  Immigration Restriction League founded in 1894 by Prescott F. Hall & Robert DeCourcy Ward to lobby for literacy test Sen. Lodge Prescott F. Hall

9  Immigrants blamed for evils of urban, industrial America  Conservatives claimed they were labor radicals – socialists, anarchists  Unions saw them as strikebreakers  Social workers decried their unsanitary living conditions  Academics claimed they were racially inferior  TR warned of danger of “race suicide”  Henry F. Bowers founded anti- Catholic American Protective Association in 1880s  Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution tried to “Americanize” immigrants by teaching them about U.S. history & gov’t The Ram’s Horn, April 25, 1896

10  Francis Galton coined term to describe scientific study of human genetics with goal of selectively breeding a better human race  Influential in U.S. from 1905-1930  Appealed to middle class as explanation for incorrigible poor & delinquent  Charles Davenport set up Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, NY in 1910  funded by Carnegie Institute & Harrimans  Davenport & assistant Harry Laughlin collected data on how various characteristics were transmitted  Worked with Hall & Ward of IRL to pass immigration restriction

11  Difficulty of defining traits  Reification – treating complex behaviors as single entities with single causes (e.g., intelligence)  Poor survey & statistical methods  False quantification  Ignoring social & environmental influences William Ripley’s Map of European Races Based On Cephalic Index

12  33 states passed forced sterilization laws  Over 60,000 involuntarily sterilized  Upheld by Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell (1927)  Sterilization of criminals declared unconstitutional in Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942)  Margaret Sanger & other eugenicists also pushed for abortion & birth control to prevent poor from breeding


14  Lodge introduced literacy test bill to Congress in 1896  Based on 25-word passages from U.S. Constitution  Limited to English or language of native country  Richard Bartholdt tried to sabotage it in House, but still passed  Pes. Grover Cleveland vetoed it in 1897, calling it “radical departure” from tradition of asylum  House voted to override; Senate did not Richard Bartholdt, R-MO

15  Industrial Commission (1898-1901) recommended:  raising head tax to $3  Inspecting cabin passengers & at land borders  Excluding & deporting anarchists  Extending statute of limitations on deportations to 5 years  Penalizing steamship co.s for transporting diseased aliens  Pres. Theodore Roosevelt pushed for comprehensive policy to select “good” immigrants & screen out “bad” ones  Suggested exclusion of anarchists & immoral persons  Recommended literacy test & monetary requirement

16  1903 Immigration Act reorganized legislation  Head tax raised to $2  Inspection at land border crossings  Aliens could be deported up to 3 years after arrival  Steamship co.s fined for bringing inadmissible aliens & required to transport them back home  1907 Immigration Act raised head tax & monetary requirement  Speaker Joseph Cannon fiercely opposed literacy test  Conference committee dropped literacy test in exchange for Japanese amendment  created U.S. Immigration Commission to study issue

17  U.S. Immigration Commission chaired by Vt. Sen. William P. Dillingham  All members except Congressman William Bennett (R-NY) committed to literacy test  Issued 42-volume report in 1911  Dillingham Report accepted distinction between “old” & “new” immigrants  Economic motivation of “birds of passage” proved U.S. was no longer asylum for oppressed  Found existing laws worked well  Crime & poverty rates lower than expected  Franz Boas’ research contradicted eugenicists  Recommendations:  Literacy test  Better distribution of immigrants  Exclusion of “birds of passage” Sen. Dillingham William W. Husband

18  Dillingham submitted literacy test bill in Senate in 1912  Senate bill based on U.S. Constitution  John L. Burnett (D-AL) introduced House bill based on words in common usage  Secretary of Commerce & Labor Charles Nagel opposed  Became issue in 1912 presidential campaign  TR’s Progressive party staked out liberal position on immigration  Wilson dogged by earlier negative comments about “new” immigrants in his History of the American People (1902)  Taft opposed literacy test as revival of Know-Nothing spirit  Taft vetoed bill in 1913  Conference committee backed House version  Taft’s veto message quoted Nagel’s objections  Override fell 5 votes short in House Pres. Taft Charles Nagel

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