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the wages earned profit little by their stay in this country. During their early years in the United States they usually rely for assistance and advice on some member of their race, frequently a saloon keeper or grocer, and almost always a steamship ticket agent and "immigrant banker," who, because of superior intelligence and better knowledge of American ways, commands their confidence. Usually after a longer residence they become more self-reliant, but their progress toward assimilation is generally slow. Immigrant families in the industrial centers are more permanent and usually exhibit a stronger tendency toward advancement, although, in most cases, it is a long time before they even approach the ordinary standard of the American or the older immigrant families in the same grade of occupation. This description, of course, is not universally true, but it fairly represents a great part of the recent immigrant population in the United States. Their numbers are so great and the influx is so continuous that even with the remarkable expansion of industry during the past few years there has been created an over supply of unskilled labor, and in some of the industries this is reflected in a curtailed number of working days and a consequent yearly income among the unskilled workers which is very much less than is indicated by the daily wage rates paid; and while it may not have lowered in a marked degree the American standard of living, it has introduced a lower standard which has become prevalent in the unskilled industry at large.


According to the census of 1900, 21.7 per cent of all foreign-born male breadwinners in the United States were engaged in agricultural pursuits, but the great majority of these were of the old immigration races. Up to that time comparatively few of the immigrants from the south and east of Europe had gone on the land, and, while during the past ten years some of the races have shown a tendency in that direction, the proportion is still small. Among the races of recent immigration which have shown a more or less pronounced tendency toward agriculture in States east of the Rocky Mountains are the Italians and Poles, while several Hebrew agricultural colonies have been established. A considerable number of the Italians are to be found in various parts of the East, the South, and the Southwest, where, as a rule, they have established communities, and on the whole have made good progress. In the East many have engaged in truck gardening in the vicinity of the largest cities, while in the South and Southwest they have entered fruit and berry raising and, to a lesser degree, general farming. The Poles have gone into general agriculture in many parts of the East and Middle West, while the Hebrews are, as a rule, located in the more populous States and usually near large cities. The small number of Hebrews who have engaged in agricultural pursuits have not been conspicuously successful, although in some localities they have made fair progress. The Polish farmers, as a rule, have succeeded, particularly in some of the eastern localities where they have purchased worn-out lands and succeeded in making them productive and profitable.

a See tables on pp. 371 and 407-408.

The Italians usually have been successful in general farming and especially so in truck gardening and small farming in the vicinity of large cities.

While encouragement is to be found in the experiences of the past few years, it is clear that the tendency of the new immigration is toward industrial and city pursuits rather than toward agriculture.


In making the larger cities and industrial communities their place of residence, aliens composing the new immigration movement have continued to follow a tendency which originated with the advent of such immigrants in considerable numbers. This may be ascribed to various reasons. A large part of the immigrants were agricultural laborers at home, and their immigration is due to a desire to escape the low economic conditions which attend agricultural pursuits in the countries from which they come. With no knowledge of other conditions it is natural, therefore, that they should seek another line of activity in this country. The destination of these immigrants in the United States on arrival is controlled by the fact that they almost invariably join relatives or friends, and few of these, even among earlier immigrants of the class, are engaged in agricultural pursuits. Remaining in the cities and industrial centers they follow a general tendency of the times. The law of 1907 provided for the establishment of a division of information in the Bureau of Immigration, the intent being that the division should disseminate among admitted immigrants information relative to opportunities for settlers in sections of the country apart from cities and purely industrial centers. It was hoped that the division could devise means of inaugurating a movement among immigrants which would eventually result in their more equitable distribution. The apparent result, however, does not indicate that the purpose of the law is being fulfilled. As conducted, the work of the division appears to be essentially that of an employment agency whose chief function is supplying individuals to meet individual demands for labor in agricultural districts. It does not appear that persons thus distributed have, as a rule, been distributed with the purpose that they would become permanent settlers in the districts to which they went, but rather that a more or less temporary need of the employer and employee was supplied through this agency.

No satisfactory or permanent distribution of immigrants can be effected through any federal employment system, no matter how widespread, because the individual will seek such social and economic conditions as best suit him, no matter where sent. What is needed is, a division of information which will cooperate with States desiring immigrant settlers. Information concerning the opportunities for settlement should then be brought to the attention of immigrants in industrial centers who have been here for some time and who might thus be induced to invest their savings in this country and become permanent agricultural settlers. Such a 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.

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The immigration situation on the Pacific slope differs materially from that in the States east of the Rocky Mountains. Because of the geographical location there has been no large movement of European immigrants to the coast States. Oriental immigration, however, was early attracted to California, and the coming of the Chinese was soon followed by a determined opposition to the immigration of that race, and this opposition has continued unabated.

In 1882 a law excluding Chinese of the laboring classes was enacted," and such exclusion has continued to the present time. The various laws have resulted in a steady decrease of the Chinese population until the immigration of that race is no longer a problem of present importance. In later years Japanese immigration assumed considerable proportions, but through a provision of the immigration law of 1907 and by agreement with the Government of Japan this movement has been checked, and during the past two years the number of Japanese leaving the country has exceeded the number admitted. Recently a relatively small number of East Indians have immigrated to the coast States, and while there is no provision for the exclusion of this race their coming has been discouraged by the Federal Government. Though sentiment is divided in the matter of Asiatic immigration, the people of the coast States as a whole are opposed to such immigration, and the force and validity of their objections are recognized.

In the southern section of the Western division immigration from Mexico has become an important factor in the situation, the immigration of that race corresponding somewhat to some of the southern and eastern European races coming to the eastern States. This resemblance lies chiefly in the fact that they as a rule do not come as settlers, but as a transient and migratory unskilled labor supply. Their presence, as well as the presence of the Japanese, is reflected in the rather low economic conditions which exist in mining, railroad labor, and some other activities. The Japanese are now an important factor in the agricultural and horticultural industries in California. and other States, and also in the fish canneries in Washington and Oregon, and in the city trades. The East Indian has not yet come in sufficient numbers to be an important factor, but the comparatively few who have been admitted have been utilized as common laborers in various industries. One-eighth of the total population and more than three-fifths of the foreign-born on the Pacific slope are natives of the north and west of Europe, while only 2.6 per cent of the population are from southern and eastern European countries. The European peoples are well distributed geographically and industrially, and they have aided materially in developing industry, particularly the fruit and wine growing peculiar to the coast States, and especially California. There is a general demand for more Europeans, both as settlers on the land and as agricultural and other laborers. It is anticipated that with the opening of the Panama Canal direct steamship communication with Europe will result in an increase of direct European immigration to the coast.

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It is difficult to define and still more difficult to correctly measure the tendency of newer immigrant races toward Americanization, or assimilation into the body of the American people. If, however, the tendency to acquire citizenship, to learn the English language, and to abandon native customs and standards of living may be considered as factors, it is found that many of the more recent immigrants are backward in this regard, while some others have made excellent progress. The absence of family life, which is so conspicuous among many southern and eastern Europeans in the United States, is undoubtedly the influence which most effectively retards assimilation. The great majority of some of these races are represented in the United States by single men or men whose wives and families are in their native country. It is a common practice for men of this class in industrial communities to live in boarding or rooming groups, and as they are also usually associated with each other in their work they do not come in contact with Americans, and consequently have little or no incentive to learn the English language, become acquainted with American institutions, or adopt American standards. In the case of families, however, the process of assimilation is usually much more rapid. The families as a rule live in much more wholesome surroundings, and are reached by more of the agencies which promote assimilation. The most potent influence in promoting the assimilation of the family is the children, who, through contact with American life in the schools, almost invariably act as the unconscious agents in the uplift of their parents. Moreover, as the children grow older and become wage earners, they usually enter some higher occupation than that of their fathers, and in such cases the Americanizing influence upon their parents continues until frequently the whole family is gradually led away from the old surroundings and old standards into those more nearly American. This influence of the children is potent among immigrants in the great cities, as well as in the smaller industrial centers.

Among the new immigration as a whole the tendency to become naturalized citizens, even among those who have been here five years or more, is not great, although much more pronounced in some races than in others. This result is influenced by language considerations and by the fact that naturalization is accomplished with greater difficulty than formerly, as the requirements are higher and expense greater, and that adequate facilities are not in all cases provided. Another reason is that many do not regard their stay here as per


In recent years the work of promoting the welfare and assisting in the assimilation of recent immigrants has been inaugurated on a large scale by various religious and civic organizations. Until recently a great part of the efforts of this nature was carried on by organizations of the various races or peoples, but now the movement has been joined by organizations composed of all classes of citizens. In general this propaganda is in the main divorced from any semblance of proselyting and is confined to practical efforts calculated to promote the well-being and advancement of the immigrant. Most of the societies lay particular stress upon influencing the immigrant

to become acquainted with the duties and privileges of American citizenship and civilization. Teaching the English language and the primary branches of learning is a prominent feature in most of this work. It does not appear that the Federal Government can directly assist in this work, but where possible effort should be made to promote the activities of these organizations.


A census of 2,036,376 pupils in schools in 37 cities shows that 847,423, or 41.6 per cent of the total, were children of native-born fathers, and 1,188,953, or 58.4 per cent of the total, were children of foreign-born fathers-that is to say, both native-born and foreignborn children whose fathers were born abroad. Of the 1,815,217 pupils in the public schools of 37 cities, 42.2 per cent were children of native-born fathers, and 57.8 per cent were children of foreignborn fathers. Of the 221,159 pupils in the parochial schools of 24 cities, 36.5 per cent were children of native-born fathers, and 63.5 per cent were children of foreign-born fathers. The study covers practically all of the large cities in all parts of the country and a number of smaller cities whose population includes a large proportion of foreign-born persons.

Several cities have particularly large proportions of children of foreign-born fathers among the public-school pupils. These cities are Chelsea, Mass., 74.1 per cent, Duluth, Minn., 74.1 per cent, and New York, N. Y., 71.5 per cent. In New Orleans only 18.1 per cent of the public-school pupils are children of foreign-born fathers.

The proportion of public-school pupils in the high school is 9.1 per cent for the children of native-born white fathers, and only 4.7 per cent for the children of foreign-born fathers, although a larger proportion of the pupils of two foreign races-the Canadian (other than French) and the Scotch-than of the native-born white are in the high school. Of the pupils who are children of foreign-born fathers, three races-the Portuguese, Slovak, and South Italianshow less than 1 per cent in the high school.

Among pupils of some of the immigrant races the proportion of children older than the normal age for their grade is less than the proportion among pupils who are children of native-born white fathers, but among several of the races of recent immigration a much larger proportion are older than the normal age for their grade.

Among the non-English-speaking races a much greater proportion are retarded of children in homes where English is not spoken than of children in homes where English has been adopted as the language commonly used by the family.


The question of the assimilation of immigrants under American conditions has long been looked upon as vital, and it has been much discussed, but heretofore with little accurate information. Speaking from general personal observation, people have thought that under the influence of the existing educational, social, and political con

a See Vol. II, pp. 1-86.

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