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Immigration History

               Immigration History Film Clips

Immigration Picture

A Call to Repeal the Japanese Exclusion Act (Literary Digest, 1935)

The anonymous journalist opened this 1935 magazine article explaining how the Indian caste system took root and reasoned as to why he believed such a system was an inevitability in the United States as well.

"With the California Council on Oriental Relations waging an eloquent campaign for repeal of the Japanese Exclusion Act, a quota-basis solution is suggested."

Read another article about Asian immigration to California

You might also be interested in reading about the Yellow Peril in Canada.

•Watch a Film Clip About Angel Island•

 

Closing The Golden Door (American Legion Weekly, 1922)

If you've been in search of an historical article that clearly indicated that Americans were irked by white immigrants just as much as they've been bugged by non-white immigrants - then search no more. The journalist who penned this 1922 column chides the U.S. Government, and the people who granted them authority, for the difficulties that were placed in the path of all the various poor European migrants "yearning to breathe free":

"Whilst it does seem most expedient to curtail immigration, it ought to be done in a way which would impose least hardship on those who after all have had a supreme belief in America. One of America's weaknesses lies in red tape, did it need to be said; another lies in a sort of contempt for the poor whites of Europe - the 'Wops' and the 'K*k*s' and the 'Dagoes' and 'Hunkies' and the rest. They are unfortunate - after all, that is the chief thing against them."

 

The Anti-Asian Immigration Laws of 1924 (The Nation, 1927)

"The Immigration Act of 1924 denied admission to the United States to wives of American citizens if these wives are of a race ineligible for citizenship. Hindus, Chinese and Japanese are ineligible. Hence the curious and cruel fact that while an Oriental merchant with his wife may enter America, the wedded wife of an American-born citizen is held at the coast for deportation."

 

Deporting the Reds (American Legion Weekly, 1920)

In this 1920 AMERICAN LEGION WEEKLY article the mojo of the Red Scare (1917 to 1920)is fully intact and beautifully encapsulated by W.L. Whittlesey who condemned the U.S. Government for ever having allowed large numbers of socialist immigrants to enter the country and spread their discontent throughout the fruited plane. On the other hand, the writer was grateful that the government was finally tending to the matter of deporting them in large numbers and doing so with every legal means available.

 

Movies will Promote Americanism (Touchstone Magazine, 1920)

The attached article, "The Immigrant and the Movies: A New Kind of Education", is about Hollywood filmmakers with the dream of instilling among the newcomers a sense of pride in being American, the Americanism Committee of the Motion Picture Industry was formed in 1920 in order to create films that would impart this sensation.

 

Immigrant Literacy Tests Passed (New York Times, 1915)

In 1915, some newspaper readers might have preferred to interpret the passage of the Smith-Burnett Immigration bill as a legal measure that would insure a higher standard for immigrants to meet in order to guarantee citizenship; while others tended to interpret the legislation as a restrictive law that was intended only to exclude from citizenship Italians and Eastern-European Jews. This article reported on a massive New York protest decrying the Smith-Burnett bill that was attended by Louis D. Brandeis (1856 – 1941; appointed to the Supreme Court a year later), Episcopal Bishop David Hummel Greer (1844 - 1919) and former president of Columbia University Seth Low (1850 - 1916).

Green Card holders are to this day still required to show fluency in the English language, although the swearing-in ceremony and their voting ballots are often in their native language. Go figure.

 


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