Literacy tests were used to exclude immigrants even during the uncertain period of war with Germany and Austria. Rather than rely on immigrant labor from Italy or Mexico, steps were taken to reduce the number of available foreign workers. So great was the need for labor in agriculture and industry that the daily wage rose quickly in the month following Wilson's call to arms.
This article from THE SMART SET was published at a time when America was marking the three-hundredth anniversary of the Puritan arrival at Cape Cod and written by H.L. Mencken with his characteristic sense of hopelessness, this small piece remarks that (up to that point in time) immigrants to America were all cut from the same Puritan cloth. The Puritan has been a reoccurring figure in America
"and will not die out...until the delusion of moral perfection is lost and forgotten".
"The measure is not intended as a basis for permanent immigration policy, but simply as an emergency" injunction" to halt immigration until Congress... can determine the policy it wishes to adopt"
A single column from 1921 reported on a proposal before the U.S. Congress to drastically reduce the numbers of immigrants who were entering the United States at that time.
The bill passed.
A brief notice from the 1930 Census reporting on that percentage of the United States population that was born on foreign shores. Within the confines of this small paragraph some details were provided as to how many arrived prior to 1900, how many between 1901 and 1910; 1911 and 1919; 1920 and 1930. Additional information appears concerning the assorted racial make-up of these new American and how many of them originated from both quota and non-quota nations.