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On the other hand, the new immigration has been largely a movement of unskilled laboring men who have come, in large part temporarily, from the less progressive and advanced countries of Europe in response to the call for industrial workers in the eastern and middle western States. They have almost entirely avoided agricultural pursuits, and in cities and industrial communities have congregated together in sections apart from native Americans and the older immigrants to such an extent that assimilation has been slow as compared to that of the earlier non-English-speaking races.
The new immigration as a class is far less intelligent than the old, approximately one-third of all those over 14 years of age when admitted being illiterate. Racially they are for the most part essentially unlike the British, German, and other peoples who came during the period prior to 1880, and generally speaking they are actuated in coming by different ideals, for the old immigration came to be a part of the country, while the new, in a large measure, comes with the intention of profiting, in a pecuniary way, by the superior advantages of the new world and then returning to the old country.
The old immigration movement, which in earlier days was the subject of much discussion and the cause of no little apprehension among the people of the country, long ago became thoroughly merged into the population, and the old sources have contributed a comparatively small part of the recent immigrant tide. Consequently the Commission paid but little attention to the foreign-born element of the old immigrant class and directed its efforts almost entirely to an inquiry relative to the general status of the newer immigrants as residents of the United States.
In pursuance of this policy the Commission began its study of the subject in the countries of Europe which are the chief sources of the new immigration, and followed the emigration movement to ports of embarkation, across the ocean in the steerage, and finally to every part of the United States and into practically every line of activity in which the new immigrants were to be found.
The general plan and scope of the Commission's work are briefly stated in the pages following.
INVESTIGATIONS IN EUROPE.
The main subjects considered in the European inquiry were as follows:
1. Causes of emigration, natural and artificial.
2. Economic conditions in Europe and the effect on emigration to the United States.
3. Steamship companies and their agents as factors in promoting emigration.
4. Classes and character of European emigrants.
5. Emigration of criminals.
6. Attitude of European governments toward emigration.
7. Laws of the various countries respecting emigration and emigrants.
8. Effect of the United States immigration law in preventing the embarkation of undesirable emigrants.
9. Medical examination of intending emigrants at ports o barkation and elsewhere, and practicability of having such ex nations made by United States medical officers.
10. United States consular officers as a factor in regulating immr gration.
11. International regulation of emigration and immigration.
INVESTIGATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES.
Before undertaking investigations in the United States several months were spent in examining existing data upon the subject under consideration with special reference to material which could be utilized in a study of the effect of the new immigration upon the United States, in both an economic and a sociological sense. It was found that in the United States census schedules for 1900 there were considerable data relating to the general subject that had not been utilized, and by courtesy of the Department of Commerce and Labor this material was made available for the use of the Commission, with the result that a valuable and interesting report on the occupational status of immigrants and their children and another on the relative. fecundity of foreign-born and native-born women were prepared. In the meantime the Commission's investigations into the white-slave traffic and some other subjects were undertaken.
The main object of the Commission, however, was to secure data which would show as clearly as possible the general effect, in a broad sense, of the new immigration movement upon the people, the industries, and the institutions of the United States, and in order to accomplish this it was found imperative that a large amount of original statistical data be collected. Consequently a broad and comprehensive plan of work was adopted, and in the winter of 1908 the Commission's field investigations, which eventually were extended to every part of the country, were inaugurated.
The plan of work under which the field investigations of the Commission were carried on contemplated an extensive inquiry into the status of the new immigrants and including the following subjects:
1. Congestion of immigrants in New York, Chicago, Boston, and other large cities.
2. Immigrants as industrial workers in the leading industries, including effect on wages, employment of native-born workers, conditions of work, etc.
3. Effect of recent immigration on wages and other conditions in various trades, from the standpoint of native-born and older immigrant workers in such trades.
4. Progress of immigrant industrial workers.
5. Recent immigrants as residents of industrial communities.
7. Immigrant children and the children of immigrants in schools. 8. Extent to which recent immigrants and their children are becoming assimilated or Americanized, and agencies promoting or retarding Americanization.
9. The physical assimilation of immigrants.
10. Alien criminality.
nmigrants in penal and reformatory institutions. On Immigrants in institutions for the insane.
ment. Immigrants as charity seekers in various cities.
14. Immigrants in charity hospitals.
Other features included in the Commission's plan of work and which required the collection of original data through field agents
1. An inquiry concerning the importation of women for immoral purposes--the "white slave" traffic.
2. An investigation of immigrant homes, aid societies, and employment agencies.
3. An investigation of the immigrant bank system, which included also an inquiry relative to the amount of money sent abroad by immigrants.
4. An investigation of conditions under which immigrants are carried at sea.
5. The original plans of the Commission contemplated, in connection with the general field work, an inquiry into the alleged holding of immigrants in peonage in various parts of the country. This was made the subject of a special inquiry, however, because of the following resolution by the House of Representatives, adopted March 2, 1908:
Resolved, That the Immigration Commission be requested to make an investigation into the treatment and conditions of work of immigrants on the cotton plantations of the Mississippi Delta, in the States of Mississippi and Arkansas, and upon the turpentine farms, lumber camps, and railway camps in the States of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and other States; and to report them at as early a date as possible.
In addition to the various branches of the investigation requiring field work, the plan of the Commission contemplated digest work as follows:
1. Review of national and state legislation respecting immigration. 2. Review of United States and European legislation for the regulation of the steerage-passenger traffic.
3. Digest of judicial decisions on aliens, immigration, and the immigration and Chinese-exclusion laws.
4. The immigration situation in other immigrant-receiving countries and the laws of such countries regulating the movement.
5. Statistical review of immigration to the United States from 1819 to date, including revision of data for the earlier years from original reports.
6. Geographical distribution and general status of the foreign-born and their children in census years 1850 to 1900, from census reports. As previously stated, hearings in the ordinary meaning of that term were not included in the Commission's plan of work. In lieu of this several important societies and organizations interested in various phases of the immigration question were invited to submit in writing such statements as they desired to bring to the attention of the Commission. In response to this invitation several interesting statements were received and these are made a part of the Commission's report.
RACIAL CLASSIFICATION OF IMMIGRANTS.
Since 1899 the Bureau of Immigration has classified arriving immigrants by races or peoples, as well as by country of last permanent residence, and this plan was followed by the Commission in collecting and compiling original data respecting the foreign-born element in the population of the United States. The bureau's classification of races or peoples, which was also adopted by the Commission, is as follows:
In the Commission's work it was sometimes found expedient to amplify the above list somewhat, but in no case were changes made which would render noncomparable the reports of the bureau and of the Commission. In this connection it may be explained that the Commission, like the bureau, uses the term "race" in a broad sense, the distinction being largely a matter of language and geography, rather than one of color or physical characteristics such as determines the various more restricted racial classifications in use, the most common of which divides mankind into only five races. For practical or statistical purposes such classification is obviously without value, and it is rarely employed.
In the United States, until the Bureau of Immigration departed from the custom, practically all statistics dealing with the population had been recorded by country of birth. For immigration purposes prior to 1880 this system was in the main satisfactory, for in the case of immigrants from northern and western Europe the country of birth as a usual thing also fairly established the racial status. With the development of the immigration movement from eastern and southern Europe, however, data based on a knowledge of the country of birth alone indicated practically nothing of the racial status of persons coming from such country to the United States. This may be illustrated by the fact that, according to Bureau of Immigration statistics, as many as 12 different races, all indigenous to the coun
a See pp. 209-211.
try, are represented among immigrants from Austria-Hungary, while people of 7 distinct races come from Russia. In the case of both countries the distinctions are even greater than those indicated merely by language, for among the immigrants the Teutonic, Slavic, Semitic, and even the Mongolian races are all largely represented. The immigration movement from Turkey also furnishes a most striking illustration of the mingling of emigrating races in a single political division, for in the fiscal year 1907 there came from that country to the United States 9,412 Bulgarians, Servians, and Montenegrins, 7,060 Greeks, 952 Syrians, 588 Hebrews, 194 Roumanians, 1,124 Turks, and 1,437 persons of other races. It is not probable that all of these immigrants were born in Turkey, but nevertheless the figures show the uncertain value of a classification by nativity, for while in the absence of other data it might be necessary to assume that all persons of the above group born in Turkey were Turks, as a matter of fact only 1 in about 18 was really of that race.
In most European countries population statistics, including censuses, are recorded by the racial or language classification, and this method has also been followed in Canada for many years. The practice of recording the population of the United States by country or place of birth has been in force since the census of 1850. When the bill providing for the census of 1910 was under consideration in Congress, the Senate, at the instance of the Immigration Commission, inserted an amendment requiring that the foreign-born should be recorded by race as well as by place of birth, but the provision was eliminated from the bill in conference. Later, however, the census act was amended to provide for the enumeration of the foreign-born in the United States according to their "nationality or mother tongue." By this amendment the result desired by the Commission will be essentially attained, except in the case of certain races or peoples whose original language is not in general use and who speak the language of the country where they reside, and both the scientific and practical value of the census undoubtedly will be greatly enhanced.
In recommending the enactment of the above-mentioned amendment Dr. E. Dana Durand, Director of the Census, stated in part as follows:
It is a well-known fact that in several of the leading foreign countries, notably in Russia, Austria, and Turkey, the population is far from being homogeneous, but is made up of a number of decidedly distinct nationalities, sometimes referred to as races. The differences in racial characteristics, language, and habits of life, as between these different sections of the population, are often very marked, and unless they are recognized in enumerating the population from these countries the census will fail to disclose facts which are of much importance from the practical as well as the scientific standpoint. considering legislation relating to immigration particularly, information with regard to the nationality of the foreign-born population is of great importance. No adequate statistics of the number of the different leading nationalities among our foreign-born population can be secured, even by the most elaborate method of returning the place of birth. It is true that the census act does not confine the inquiry to country of birth, but reads " place of birth," so that provinces or well-recognized sections within any country can be reported as places of birth. With this in view, the instructions for the population schedule have provided for reporting persons born in Bohemia, Poland, and Lithuania. The number of Bohemians, Poles, and Lithuanians, however, does not correspond at all precisely with the number born in those sections respectively, and the same is still more true with regard to many other provinces and nationalities.