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In practically all of these cases the number of children is larger in rural districts and smaller in the cities, altho in the case of Poles in Ohio 6.1 was the rate in Cleveland to 5.6 in rural Ohio. The exception does not appear significant.
RELATION OF YEARS OF MARRIED LIFE TO BIRTH-RATE, BY RACES
Still another indication of the same tendency of the native Americans and the second generation of immigrants to have fewer children is shown by the average number of years married for each child born to the women enumerated. As is to be expected from what has preceded, the smallest average number of years is found among the Poles with 2.3 for the first generation and 2.6 for the second. The largest number of years is found among the English with 3.9 of the first generation and 5 of the second generation. The English-Canadian, the Scotch and the French all rank high, while the Italians, French-Canadians and Norwegians rank low.
The general results seem to indicate that fecundity is much greater among women of foreign parentage than among the American women of native parentage and usually greater among the immigrants than among their descendants. Generally speaking, also, the fecundity is greater in the rural districts than in the cities. Taking all the totals together, the fecundity seems greatest in the first generation of Polish women, who bore in the years indicated one child every 2.3 years, while it is least in the second generation of English women, who bore on the average one child only every five years.
The Social Evil and the White Slave Traffic
In many respects the most pitiful as well as the most revolting phase of the immigration question is that connected with the social evil or the white-slave traffic.
From the nature of the cases, it is, of course, impossible to get detailed statistics regarding the question.* From the figures collected in an investigation of four months in the New York City Night Court, November 15, 1908, to March 15, 1909, it appears that 27.7 per cent. of the women arrested and convicted for keeping disorderly houses and solicitation, were foreign-born. A very large proportion of the girls who come to our cities to engage in this business are from the country districts and are American-born, altho very often they are immigrant girls who have entered factories of various types or have been engaged in such lines of activity that they are kept from the benefits of home influence.
In very many other cases, however, the important cause of their downfall seems to be economic, altho dependent, in part, also, upon the other conditions surrounding their home life. In the very crowded districts of the great cities the conditions of living are such that the normal instincts of modesty and propriety are almost inevitably deadened, with the result that yielding to temptation is much easier and more frequent than would otherwise be the case.
The investigations of the Immigration Commission
Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. 37.
seem to show very clearly that the keepers of disorderly houses and those most actively engaged in the work of procuring inmates for these houses, either in this country or abroad, are either aliens or the children of aliens.
RACES IN COURT
Of the women who are thus imported for immoral purposes, either willingly or against their will, certain nationalities seem to be especially prominent. Among those entering who have been debarred for prostitution or arrested and deported for the same cause, by far the largest number in proportion to the total admitted are the French. Next to them are apparently the Hebrews. In very many cases, especially among the French, the women are themselves immigrants.
The motive of business profit has given the impulse which creates and upholds this traffic, whether carried on in this country or whether the women are imported. The persons actively engaged in enticing women into the business have only profit in view.
METHODS OF ENTRY
In securing entry into this country contrary to law, these women are generally brought in as wives or relatives of the importers. It is usually very difficult, if not impossible, to detect these cases; and after admission it is likewise extremely difficult to secure such evidence as to justify deportation.
The system of exploitation on the part of the procurers and other persons engaged in the traffic is extremely brutal and revolting, resulting almost invariably in absolute poverty and dependence on the
part of the victim and usually within a comparatively short time in disease and an early death.
LEGISLATION AND ADMINISTRATION
Under the recommendation of the Commission new laws have been passed by Congress, and in a number of our States much more stringent laws have been passed within the last three years, so that at the present time, with a reasonable degree of effort on the part of well-meaning citizens and reasonable diligence on the part of the police officials and of the courts, the worst evils of the traffic may be, and in many instances have already been, decidedly checked and the worst criminals have in many instances been convicted. The remedy in this, as in most such matters, is to maintain a sufficient degree of intelligent knowledge on the part of the thoughtful normal citizen, and a willingness to deal with such a revolting subject with frankness, intelligence, conservatism and firmness, unmixed with fanaticism and prejudice.
Undue Importance Attached to the Social Effects of Immigration
In most of the discussions on immigration that have appeared during the last few years, whether the immigrant came from Europe or from Asia, great importance has been attached to the social effects of immigration arising from the personal qualities of the immigrants. Many have feared that the physical standards of the population of the United States would be lowered by the incoming of diseased persons, that the arrival of immigrants and paupers would prove
not merely a financial burden but also a menace to the morals of the community, while the late discussions over the white slave traffic and other forms of vice have served still more strongly to accentuate this belief in the social evils arising from immigration.
The late investigations of the Immigration Commission show that undue significance has been attached to these social effects during the past few years. While there are still many improvements to be made in our immigration laws and in their administration, nevertheless at the present time there is no serious danger to be apprehended in this direction, as has already been shown in this chapter. The number of persons afflicted with contagious diseases or insanity, or the number of paupers or criminals arriving, taking them as individuals, is very large, but taken as a percentage of the entire number coming is so small that little heed need be paid to it. Of course, this does not mean that we ought not to make every effort possible to lessen still further these evils. Every effort possible should be made, and special emphasis should be placed upon caring for the immigrants after their arrival, in order to bring them as soon as possible into harmony with our best institutions. But these evils should not blind our eyes to those of more far reaching import.
The chief danger of immigration lies, not in this direction, but in the field of industry. When immigrants who are unskilled laborers arrive in so large numbers that the tendency is for them to lower the average rate of wages and the standard of living among the poor people, the danger is one much more. far reaching, and one to which our statesmen should give earnest attention. A number of later chapters