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labor that is tending to reduce the standard of living, as is clearly the case in the East.
EFFECT OF COMPETITION ON WAGES
On the other hand, there can be no doubt that in the case of the Japanese, particularly, and also of the Mexicans, there has been at times a direct scaling down of the rate of wages in order to secure work. This, however, has been in exceptional cases. A much more serious charge is the one against the Japanese of securing labor to begin with by undercutting and then, after securing practically a monopoly of the labor supply, by deliberate violation of contracts, forcing wages in exceptional circumstances to far above the normal rate, especially perhaps as hand laborers on fruit ranches. Often, too, as leaseholders, they are charged with undue cropping, to the serious detriment of the land. It is probable, however, that these charges are true in only exceptional cases, so far as the injury to the farms is concerned; but there can be no doubt that they have made both labor conditions and leasing conditions in many instances very difficult.
OBJECTIONS TO ORIENTAL IMMIGRATION—SOCIAL,
The chief objection, however, to all of these races comes from the social and assimilative viewpoint. We must grant that, in a good many instances, they have taken an active part in developing industries, especially fish canning and intensive agriculture; but in some cases these industries have been developed on the whole to the detriment of labor conditions in the localities.
Altho they have developed the farming industry in certain cases, in others, by holding control of the labor market and by their severe terms of lease, they have doubtless prevented the coming in of members of white races who might be more easily assimilated. Moreover, unpleasant as the fact may be, race feeling, not to say race prejudice, has been so strong on the Pacific Coast that in many cases they have brought about serious race conflicts which have been very troublesome from the international point of view as well as from the viewpoint of developing civilization.
Altho there are certain classes of employers that, for the sake of a more rapid development of industry, favor a limited immigration of Asiatics, generally speaking, not only on the Pacific Coast but throughout the country, the feeling is against such further immigration. The Immigration Commission thought it wise to recommend that no changes be made in the laws regarding the immigration of Chinese and Japanese, and that the United States Government take up with the British Government the question of practically excluding the East Indians. It seems probable, all things considered, that this is the wisest policy for Congress to adopt.
THEY PREVENT IMMIGRATION OF WHITE RACES
Another special reason why this should be done is that the presence of these races in large numbers on the coast doubtless prevents the migration from Eastern cities of white immigrants, for there seems to be little doubt that if the number of Asiatics decrease, the moving in of families from the East and the Middle West will be to a very considerable extent stimulated.
Moreover, after the completion of the Panama Canal, there is good reason to believe that Italians and Portuguese in considerable numbers will come directly from their home countries for work along the Pacific Coast. In spite of the criticism of the immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, there is every reason to believe that they are much more easily assimilated than are the Asiatics, and that in a comparatively short time they will become available as part of the general labor supply and prove to be, both as laborers and as citizens, more satisfactory than the Asiatics.
AGENCIES OF PROTECTION, DISTRIBUTION AND ASSIMILATION
Needs and Present Methods of Distribution
It has been the general feeling, not only of those who have studied carefully the immigration problem, but also of casual observers, that one of the greatest evils that spring from immigration is the congestion of the newly arrived immigrants in our great cities. In consequence, it has been thought that any methods that could be adopted by which these immigrants could be more widely distributed over the different sections of the country, particularly in the agricultural districts, would not merely relieve the evil of the overcrowding, but would also improve the general economic condition of the country. It has been thought that every effort possible ought to be made: (1) To give information to the people in Europe who are about to come to America, regarding the sections of the country and the opportunities for work in different lines, so that they may go directly to the place best suiting their means. (2) That when the immigrant lands he should have the opportunity of getting information along the same lines, so that even at the beginning he may change his mind and go to a new section where conditions will suit his needs. (3) Particularly, however, it is desirable, after the immigrant has remained in this country for a time and has learned to know our language, our institu
tions, and the kind of work for which he is best adapted, that he should learn through some trustworthy agency conducted by the Government where he can find the type of work for which he is best adapted, the cost of transporting himself from his present location to that district, and the amount of money required for him to make a proper investment.
In very many instances, after immigrants have remained in this country from two to five years, they have accumulated considerable money which they wish to invest properly. Now they are often sending the money back to Europe for investment, even tho there are better opportunities for investment here. If the Government could call their attention to the section of the country in which good farming lands, for example, were available, at cheap rates, they could make their investment here, would find it safe to move from the overcrowded cities into the country districts, and could thereby benefit both themselves and the country that they have chosen to be their home. The discussion in Chapter VI, regarding the congestion and living conditions, especially in our great cities, but also in our smaller mining and manufacturing communities, shows how great this need is.
Of equal importance to that of distribution are the needs of protecting the newly arrived immigrant from exploitation on the part of those who see in him a prey for plunder, and especially of furnishing him with opportunities for learning the English language, acquiring a knowledge of American business methods and information regarding American political and social institutions that will lead him to wish to fix his interests here and to become an American