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fourteen years of age, as compared with 16 per cent. among the English, 17 per cent. among the Germans, and 22 per cent. among the Hebrews. When the per cent. of illiterates is based on the total immigration of a race, as is the case in this table, obviously the effect is to show an unduly large proportion of illiterates among races accompanied by a small number of children, as in the first three cases, while the opposite is true of races which bring a good many children, as among the English, Germans and Hebrews.
In some cases the percentage of illiterates is also more or less affected by the varying proportion of women among the immigrants of the different races, but taking the races as a whole the proportion of those who could neither read nor write was practically the same in both sexes in the year under consideration.
But inasmuch as the purpose of the table is to show what proportion of the total immigration might be affected by the reading test, rather than to show the relative illiteracy of the races, the discrepancies alluded to are of no particular importance in this instance. Another factor, which lessens any prophetic value the table may have, is that it shows the number of illiterates who are fourteen years of age and over, while the reading provision in the new law applies only to those over sixteen. On the whole, therefore, the table is chiefly valuable as an approximate indication of the effect the reading test might have on an immigration movement of the sort that prevailed for twenty-five years before the outbreak of the great war, because the influx in 1914 was fairly typical of the whole period.
The table shows very clearly that the application of the test in the year under consideration would have quite largely cut down the influx from Southern and
Eastern Europe and Turkey in Asia without appreciably affecting the movement from the Northern and Western countries. At least this is plain theoretically and no doubt it would have produced that result in actual practise as well.
A division of the immigration of 1914 into groups made up of the races coming from Southern and Eastern Europe and Asiatic Turkey, and those coming from Northern and Western Europe, with the number and proportion of illiterates in each group, will clearly illustrate this point:
ILLITERACY AMONG IMMIGRANTS ADMITTED TO THE UNITED
(a) Includes-Armenian, Bohemian and Moravian, Bulgarian, Servian and Montenegrin, Croatian and Slovenian, Dalmatian, Bosnian and Herzegovinian, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, North and South Italian, Lithuanian, Magyar, Polish, Portuguese, Roumanian, Russian, Ruthenian, Ślovak, Spanish, Syrian, Turkish,
(b) Includes-Dutch and Flemish, English, French, German, Irish, Scandinavian, Scotch, Welsh.
The geographical distribution of the races in the foregoing table is not strictly accurate in all cases, the chief discrepancies being found among the Germans and French. Both of these races are listed among Northern and Western Europeans, but as a matter of fact a considerable majority of the Germans came from Austria-Hungary and Russia rather than from Germany, and more than 10,000 of the French were French-Canadians, while fewer than 6,000 came from France. But these exceptions would have little influence on the situation as a whole, and the table shows as well as can be shown the comparative effect the reading test would have had on the immigration of
the racial groups concerned. With the qualifications before noted, it is also indicative of the probable effect the test will have on future immigration, which, as already stated, would be to check the influx from Southern and Eastern Europe and Turkey without diminishing the movement from the rest of Europe. There is reason to believe, however, that in some of the countries named the new law will stimulate primary education, so as to enable those desiring to go to America to pass the simple test.
EXCLUSION OF ASIATICS
Altho the reading test is the most discust feature of the new law its effect in the long run may be of less moment than the effect of the so-called latitude and longitude clause of the law, which awkwardly, but doubtless effectually, closes the door against pretty much all Asiatic immigration not already barred by the Chinese Exclusion Law and Treaty and the "gentlemen's agreement" with Japan. What is perhaps of equal importance, it provides for the exclusion of the Japanese in the event that the gentlemen's agreement should become inoperative. The clause referred to denies admission into the United States to the following class of aliens :
Unless otherwise provided for by existing treaties, persons who are natives of islands not possessed by the United States adjacent to the Continent of Asia, situate south of the twentieth parallel of latitude north, west of the one hundred and sixtieth meridian of longitude east from Greenwich, and north of the tenth parallel of latitude south, or who are natives of any country, province, or dependency situate on the Continent of Asia west of the one hundred and tenth meridian of longitude east from Greenwich and east of the fiftieth meridian of longitude east from Greenwich and south of the fiftieth parallel of latitude north, except that portion of said
territory situate between the fiftieth and the sixty-fourth meridians of longitude east from Greenwich and the twentyfourth and thirty-eighth parallels of latitude north, and no alien now in any way excluded from, or prevented from entering, the United States shall be admitted to the United States. The provision next foregoing, however, shall not apply to persons of the following status or occupations: Government officers, ministers or religious teachers, missionaries, lawyers, physicians, chemists, civil engineers, teachers, students, authors, artists, merchants, and travelers for curiosity or pleasure, nor to their legal wives or their children under sixteen years of age who shall accompany them or who subsequently may apply for admission to the United States, but such persons or their legal wives or foreign-born children who fail to maintain in the United States a status or occupation placing them within the excepted classes shall be deemed to be in the United States contrary to law, and shall be subject to deportation as provided in section nineteen of this Act."
Briefly stated the restricted area described in the provision quoted includes India, Siam, Indo-China, Afghanistan, parts of Russian Turkestan and Arabia on the continent of Asia, and New Guinea, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java as well as many lesser islands. The Philippines and Guam, and a large part of China, are also within the described area, but of course the islands named are "possessed by the United States" and accordingly are not affected, while the people of China are not under the ban because immigrants from that country are already debarred, in a technical sense by treaty, altho practically this is accomplished under the Chinese Exclusion Law *
Japan and her possessions are entirely omitted from
The Immigration Treaty of 1880 with China, which is still in force, provides in part as follows: "Whenever in the opinion of the Government of the United States, the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States, or their residence therein, affects or threatens to affect the interests of that country, or to endanger the good order of the said country or of any locality within the territory thereof, the Government of China agrees that the Government of the United States may regulate, limit, or suspend such coming or residence, but may not absolutely prohibit it."
the restricted area, and indeed it was the objection of the Japanese Government to other proposed methods of excluding Asiatics that led to the adoption of the latitude and longitude plan. Earlier drafts of the Burnett bill, and in fact every general immigration bill that has been considered by Congress since about 1911, contained a clause excluding persons not eligible to become citizens of the United States through naturalization, unless such persons were already excluded by some kind of treaty or agreement. At one stage the Hindus also appeared as a separate excluded class because it was feared that they might not be debarred under the naturalization provision. The Japanese are not eligible to naturalization, that privilege being granted only to white persons and negroes, but the proposed law would not have applied to them as long as the gentlemen's agreement before referred to remained in force. The Japanese Government, however, made formal objection to the proposal, probably because of resentment at the discrimination against that race in the matter of naturalization, and so the geographical provision, which did not affect Japan, was substituted. But it is very evident that Congress was unwilling to depend upon a simple friendly agreement as the sole protection against a possible resumption of unrestricted immigration from Japan, and accordingly the rather ingenious proviso that "no alien now in any way excluded from or prevented from entering the United States" was added to the bill. The Japanese, of course, are now prevented from entering the United States by reason of the gentleman's agreement, and it is apparent that the provision quoted would be an ef fective barrier against immigration from that country in the event that the agreement became of no effect.