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ditions the immigrants gradually change their habits of life and their ways of thinking, and thus become Americans. Little or no thought has been given to the possible effect of these conditions on the physical type of the descendants of immigrants. It was suggested to the Commission that if measurements of the bodies of European immigrants and their descendants at different ages and under different circumstances could be made in a careful way by scientific anthropometrists, valuable results might be reached. One of the best experts on this subject, Prof. Franz Boas, of Columbia University, was invited to direct the investigation and was put in general charge. Although the investigation has been carried on only in New York City and its immediate vicinity and with only a few races, the results, in the opinion of Professor Boas, are much more far-reaching than was anticipated. It is probably not too much to say that they indicate a discovery in anthropological science that is fundamental in importance. The report indicates that the descendant of the European immigrant changes his type even in the first generation almost entirely, children born not more than a few years after the arrival of the immigrant parents in America developing in such a way that they differ in type essentially from their foreign-born parents. These differences seem to develop during the earliest childhood and persist throughout life. It seems that every part of the body is influenced in this way, and that even the form of the head, which has always been considered one of the most permanent hereditary features, undergoes considerable change.

The importance of this entirely unexpected result lies in the fact that even those characteristics which modern science has led us to consider as most stable seem to be subject to thorough changes under the new environment, which would indicate that even racial physical characteristics do not survive under the new social and climatic environment of America. The investigation has awakened the liveliest interest in scientific circles here and abroad, and as the subject is one of great importance the Commission expresses strongly the hope that by either private or public means the work may be continued.


As a result of the investigation the Commission is unanimously of the opinion that in framing legislation emphasis should be laid upon the following principles:

1. While the American people, as in the past, welcome the oppressed of other lands, care should be taken that immigration be such both in quality and quantity as not to make too difficult the process of assimilation.

2. Since the existing law and further special legislation recommended in this report deal with the physically and morally unfit, further general legislation concerning the admission of aliens should be based primarily upon economic or business considerations touching the prosperity and economic well-being of our people.

3. The measure of the rational, healthy development of a country is not the extent of its investment of capital, its output of products, or its exports and imports, unless there is a corresponding economic opportunity afforded to the citizen dependent upon employment for his material, mental, and moral development.

4. The development of business may be brought about by means which lower the standard of living of the wage earners. A slow expansion of industry which would permit the adaptation and assimilation of the incoming labor supply is preferable to a very rapid industrial expansion which results in the immigration of laborers of low standards and efficiency, who imperil the American standard of wages and conditions of employment.

The Commission agrees that:

1. To protect the United States more effectively against the immigration of criminal and certain other debarred classes

(a) Aliens convicted of serious crimes within a period of five years after admission should be deported in accordance with the provisions of House bill 20980, Sixty-first Congress, second session.

(b) Under the provisions of section 39 of the immigration act of February 20, 1907, the President should appoint commissioners to make arrangements with such countries as have adequate police records to supply emigrants with copies of such records, and that thereafter immigrants from such countries should be admitted to the United States only upon the production of proper certificates showing an absence of convictions for excludable crimes.

(e) So far as practicable the immigration laws should be so amended as to be made applicable to alien seamen.

(d) Any alien who becomes a public charge within three years after his arrival in this country should be subject to deportation in the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

"See Vol. II, pp. 742 and 743.

2. Sufficient appropriation should be regularly made to enforce vigorously the provisions of the laws previously recommended by the Commission and enacted by Congress regarding the importation of women for immoral purposes.

3. As the new statute relative to steerage conditions took effect so recently as January 1, 1909, and as the most modern steerage fully complies with all that is demanded under the law, the Commission's only recommendation in this connection is that a statute be immediately enacted providing for the placing of Government officials, both men and women, on vessels carrying third-class or steerage passengers for the enforcement of the law and the protection of the immigrant. The system inaugurated by the Commission of sending investigators in the steerage in the guise of immigrants should be continued at intervals by the Bureau of Immigration.

4. To strengthen the certainty of just and humane decisions of doubtful cases at ports of entry it is recommended

That section 25 of the immigration act of 1907 be amended to provide that boards of special inquiry should be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, and that they should be composed of men whose ability and training qualify them for the performance of judicial functions; that the provisions compelling their hearings to be separate and apart from the public should be repealed, and that the office of an additional Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Labor to assist in reviewing such appeals be created.

5. To protect the immigrant against exploitation; to discourage sending savings abroad; to encourage permanent residence and naturalization; and to secure better distribution of alien immigrants throughout the country

(a) The States should enact laws strictly regulating immigrant banks.

(b) Proper State legislation should be enacted for the regulation of employment agencies.

(c) Since numerous aliens make it their business to keep immigrants from influences that may tend toward their assimilation and naturalization as American citizens with the purpose of using their funds, and of encouraging investment of their savings abroad and their return to their home land, aliens who attempt to persuade immigrants not to become American citizens should be made subject to deportation.

(d) Since the distribution of the thrifty immigrant to sections of the country where he may secure a permanent residence to the best advantage, and especially where he may invest his savings in farms or engage in agricultural pursuits, is most desirable, the Division of Information, in the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, should be so conducted as to cooperate with States desiring immigrant settlers; and information concerning the opportunities for settlement should be brought to the attention of immigrants in industrial centers who have been here for some time and who might be thus induced to invest their savings in this country and become permanent agricultural settlers. The division might also secure and furnish to all laborers alike information 'showing opportunities for permanent employment in various sections of the country, together with the economic conditions in such places.

a See Vol. II, pp. 598 and 599.

See Vol. II, p. 740.

6. One of the provisions of section 2 of the act of 1907 reads as follows:

And provided further, That skilled labor may be imported if labor of like kind unemployed can not be found in this country.

Instances occasionally arise, especially in the establishment of new industries in the United States, where labor of the kind desired, unemployed, can not be found in this country and it becomes necessary to import such labor. Under the law the Secretary of Commerce and Labor has no authority to determine the question of the necessity for importing such labor in advance of the importation, and it is recommended that an amendment to the law be adopted by adding to the clause cited above a provision to the effect that the question of the necessity of importing such skilled labor in any particular instance may be determined by the Secretary of Commerce and Labor upon the application of any person interested prior to any action in that direction by such person; such determination by the Secretary of Commerce and Labor to be reached after a full hearing and an investigation into the facts of the case.

7. The general policy adopted by Congress in 1882 of excluding Chinese laborers should be continued.

The question of Japanese and Korean immigration should be permitted to stand without further legislation so long as the present method of restriction proves to be effective.

An understanding should be reached with the British Government whereby East Indian laborers would be effectively prevented from coming to the United States.

8. The investigations of the Commission show an oversupply of unskilled labor in basic industries to an extent which indicates an oversupply of unskilled labor in the industries of the country as a whole, a condition which demands legislation restricting the further admission of such unskilled labor.

It is desirable in making the restriction that

(a) A sufficient number be debarred to produce a marked effect upon the present supply of unskilled labor.

(b) As far as possible, the aliens excluded should be those who come to this country with no intention to become American citizens or even to maintain a permanent residence here, but merely to save enough, by the adoption, if necessary, of low standards of living, to return permanently to their home country. Such persons are usually men unaccompanied by wives or children.

(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.

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.

"See Vol. II, pp. 785-788.

(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.


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