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(c) As far as possible the aliens excluded should also be those who, by reason of their personal qualities or habits, would least readily be assimilated or would make the least desirable citizens.
METHODS OF RESTRICTION
The following methods of restricting immigration have been suggested:
(a) The exclusion of those unable to read or write in some language.
(b) The limitation of the number of each race arriving each year to a certain percentage of the average of that race arriving during a given period of years.
(c) The exclusion of unskilled laborers unaccompanied by wives or families.
(d) The limitation of the number of immigrants arriving annually at any port.
(e) The material increase in the amount of money required to be in the possession of the immigrant at the port of arrival.
(f) The material increase of the head tax.
(g) The levy of the head tax so as to make a marked discrimination in favor of men with families.
All these methods would be effective in one way or another in securing restrictions in a greater or less degree. A majority of the Commission favor the reading and writing test as the most feasible single method of restricting undesirable immigration.
The Commission as a whole recommends restriction as demanded by economic, moral, and social considerations, furnishes in its report reasons for such restriction, and points out methods by which Congress can attain the desired result if its judgment coincides with that of the Commission.
VIEWS OF THE MINORITY
I recognize the great value of the work of the Immigration Commission and unite in the conclusions, so far as they are based on the reports, whether they coincide with my personal and previously formed opinions or not.
A slowing down of the present rate of the immigration of unskilled labor is justified by the report, and according to the
report, restriction should be limited to unmarried male aliens or married aliens unaccompanied by their wives and families. The reports show that in the main the present immigrants are not criminal, pauper, insane, or seekers of charity in so great a degree as their predecessors. The educational test proposed is a selective test for which no logical argument can be based on the report. As the report of the Commission is finally adopted, within a half hour of the time when, under the law, it must be filed, there is no time for the preparation of an elaborate dissent. I sincerely regret that I can not fully agree with the remainder of the Commission, and if time permitted I would point out the many excellent provisions contained in the report, some of my own suggestion. My main ground of dissent is the specific recommendation by the majority of the educational test, tho there are other instances in which it has not my full approval.
WILLIAM S. Bennet.
Discussion of Proposed Legislation
Few people will question the general principles laid down by the Immigration Commission as a basis for further legislation.
RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL REFUGEES
The chief objection raised at the present time against further restrictive measures has come from the Jews, who fear that any restrictive measure will tend to keep many of their people, especially those in Russia, under conditions of political and religious oppression. The answer to such an objection, of course, is found in the first principle laid down, which makes it clear that, in the judgment of the Commission, as well as of most other enlightened citizens, the United States should remain in the future as in the past, a haven of refuge for the opprest, whether such oppression be political or religious. Any re
strictive measure should contain a provision making an exception of such cases.
On the other hand, we must not overlook the fact that the administration of such an exception to a restrictive measure would prove extremely difficult in practise. There are many extremists in religion and politics who might easily feel themselves opprest, even tho the great majority of citizens believe that their activities and beliefs are detrimental to the public welfare. We have in our own country, in the case of the Mormons, and of certain extreme believers in Christian Science, not to mention others, examples of people of this type. But, whatever the difficulties the administration might encounter, we clearly ought not to close our doors against those whom the common opinion of the world would consider really the subjects of oppression.
The recommendations of the Immigration Commission to restrict more carefully the immigration of criminals, paupers, or the immoral, need practically no comment. Public opinion seems to be absolutely convinced regarding the desirability of the exclusion of these persons, and the measures suggested by the Immigration Commission having, the most of them, become law, the other suggestions are not likely to meet with serious opposition.
BOARDS OF SPECIAL INQUIRY
It is very desirable that the doubtful cases which are found at our ports of entry be treated with great consideration. Thousands of immigrants every year come before the Boards of Special Inquiry, the de
cisions of which must either, on the one hand, bring great disappointment to the immigrant, often separation of families, frequently loss of property, or even physical suffering, or, on the other hand, must result in the admission into this country of people whose influence is likely to be seriously detrimental to its welfare. In the decision of crucial cases touching thus the deepest sentiments of humanity, all prejudice should be swept aside and the law should be administered humanely, tho firmly. To bring about these results, the Government ought to provide much more liberally than it does at present for the appointment of inspectors of the highest training and of rare personal qualities, even tho the expense be very considerably heightened, both on account of an increase in salaries. and in the number of Boards of Inquiry, so that more time might be given to individual cases.
ANOTHER ASSISTANT-SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND
Furthermore, the recommendation of the Commission that an additional Secretary of Commerce and Labor be appointed, to assist in reviewing appeals from the Boards of Inquiry, was very important when made. Since that date the new Department of Labor has been created, and to it has been assigned the Bureau of Immigration. Tho the form of the recommendation would be changed, it is still desirable that in the department at Washington a high official be designated, practically all of whose time can be devoted to a careful consideration of appealed immigration cases. When one considers that from the immigrants themselves, through the head tax, all the money required for these reforms, and much more, is collected, there
ought to be little hesitancy on the part of Congress in making sufficient provision.
EXPLOITATION AND ASSIMILATION
Emphasis also should be laid upon the recommendations which are intended to prevent the exploitation of immigrants, and to encourage the permanent residence and naturalization of those immigrants who are admitted. We wish those of the best quality, in order that they may make the best citizens, and it is desirable that those who come here with that intent should be prepared as thoroughly as possible for the new duties of citizenship.
Especial emphasis should be laid upon the measures that are now taken by many private associations, as well as by the Division of Information of the Bureau of Immigration, to further the process of assimilation of the immigrant. Everything that can be done in the way of assisting immigrants of the better type to invest their savings in the rural districts, and thus to relieve the overcrowded conditions of cities, should be done.
The Government might well, also, cooperate in every possible way with the educational facilities afforded by the different States, and by private associations that are now conducting evening schools for the teaching of American history, American government, the duties of citizens and similar subjects as well as the English language and studies calculated to enable the immigrant more easily to earn a livelihood. The Government might, also, manifest its sympathy for the immigrants in the severe conditions which they often meet on their first arrival in this country, by more direct care in protecting them against board