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Immigration History

               Immigration History Film Clips

Reduced French Immigration (Almanach Hachette, 1919)

The following is a whimsical drawing which served to illustrate the reduced levels of French migration to the United States as a result of the 1914 European conflict.


Citizenship Denied (Literary Digest, 1922)

This article reported that as of 1922, the United States Government saw fit to deny 19,000 immigrants U.S. citizenship. This number, when added to the other repatriated applicants of the previous ten years, totals up to 760,000 people; which was, at that time, more than the entire population of North Dakota. The Ellis Island based naturalization service classified all rejected immigrants in fifteen different categories, this reporter preferred to name just two: "Ignorance" and "Immoral Character". "Immoral Character" speaks for itself. And "Ignorance" covers those who didn't appear to know enough to exercise the rights of citizenship intelligently." Oddly, there seemed to have been no talk of "amnesty".


A Fiscal Report on the Immigrants of 1911 (America Magazine, 1912)

This is a short notice concerning which of the prominent immigrant groups were the poorest and the richest in the year 1911 - and from which nations did they originate.

"Of the arrivals during the fiscal year, 1.6 percent were debarred from entering this country. Special mention is made of the fact that immigrants from Canada carried the greatest amount per capita, and those crossing the Mexican border brought with them the least money."


The Fear of the 'Nipponification' (The Independent, 1920)

Interesting figures revealed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1920 served to relieve much of the race-conscious anxiety among some of the members of the Anglo-Saxon majority:

"The report of the Census Bureau on the number of Japanese residents in the United States shows that the number has been much exaggerated by those panic-stricken persons who affect to dread the rise of a new Japan in America...the Japanese population of the three states on the Pacific coast increased more slowly from 1910 to 1920than it did in the previous decade. There are 70,196 Japanese in California, which has a total population of 3,426,861; in other words about one Californian in every fifty is a Japanese."

The U.S. Census figures for 2011 indicated that the Asian-American population numbered over 17 million, with the lion's share still residing in the West and the vast majority having arrived after 1965.


Americanizing the Immigrants (American Legion Weekly, 1920)

"Why are tens of thousands of foreigners in ignorance of the privileges and obligations of American citizenship?... Where they are isolated in groups, left entirely to their own devices and not brought into contact with the life of the country, there is little opportunity for the melting pot to reach them."


Alien Poll Tax Overruled (The Independent,1921)

A report on the California Supreme Court of 1921 which saw fit to overturn a piece of legislation that mandated an alien poll tax.

The tax had been passed into law just one year earlier and was found to be in conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Read another article about Asian immigration to California.


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