Page images

liberty as the present Soviet Government affords. On the other hand a large part of the Jews in Russia are subject to the shifting fortunes of the so-called Government of the Ukraine, and reports of antiSemitic outbreaks have also come from that section. If peace brings them equality of rights, choice of residence, and religious freedom, it is felt that the Jews may become permanently absorbed into the population, but unless these things are realized the bureau looks for another and even greater exodus than has occurred in the past.

In the foregoing the bureau has considered the general aspect of the emigration situation in Europe without reference to the subject of legal control on the part of the United States or the possibility of regulation on the part of European countries. It has been suggested that the warring countries might forbid or restrict emigration in order to prevent their people from escaping the burdens of war and reconstruction, but heretofore nations have almost invariably recognized the right of emigration. Theoretically, Russia did not recognize the right of her people to leave that country and reside in a foreign domain, but the fact that for many years it was one of the chief sources of our immigration proves that the law was essentially a dead letter. The bureau anticipates that restraint may be attempted in some cases, but it does not look for an actual denial of the right of emigration by any nation. It expects and hopes, however, that the nations generally will prevent the promotion of emigration by transportation and other agencies, a practice which flourished in some countries prior to the war. Germany may be cited as a country which did not permit such promotion, and it is believed that the small emigration from that country partially resulted from such inhibition.

Some concern has been caused by the recent revival of alien emigration from the United States, quite forgetful of the fact that emigration is no new thing, for between 1908, when official records of outgoing aliens begin, and the outbreak of the war, 36 aliens left the country for every 100 admitted, while records of the Transaltantic Passenger Association show that during the 22 years 1899–1910 as many as 37 steerage passengers were carried from the United States to Europe for every 100 brought in the opposite direction. During the 5 years of war, 530,000 aliens returned to Europe, whereas the normal movement, based on previous experience, would have been in the vicinity of 1,500,000, and it is reasonable to suppose that many more whose homegoing has been deferred will depart whenever ocean passage is available. That many should desire to go to their native lands to visit relatives, look after property, or to bring over their families is only natural, and following the signing of the armistice there was indication that an exodus of this nature would occur. Reports which have reached the bureau, however, indicate that disturbed conditions in Europe have led many to postpone if not to abandon such purpose.


The records show that a single immigrant from China arrived in 1820, the first year covered by our immigration statistics, and that up to and including the year 1853 a total of only 88 came from that country. But the following year witnessed the real beginning of


what was to be the first race problem in the West, for in 1854 immigration from China amounted to 13,100 souls. The discovery of gold in California, which attracted people from nearly every country in the world, brought the Chinaman also. The influx was practically unrestricted for 30 years, and during that period (1854–1883) more than 288,000, or an average of 9,600 a year, arrived. But the immigration was checked as suddenly as it began, with the adoption of exclusion, for in 1884 only 279 and in 1885 only 22 immigrants from China were admitted. During the 35 years since the first exclusion law became fully effective—that is, from 1884 to 1919—the total immigration from that country has been, in round numbers, 56,500, or an annual average of about 1,600, showing that exclusion measures have materially reduced the number. As shown by statistics, during the 12 years (1908-1919) that records of emigration as well as immigration have been kept, the number of aliens departing for China has slightly exceeded the number admitted from that source. It is also interesting to note that, according to census records, the number of Chinese in the United States has decreased quite rapidly in recent decades, as the following figures giving the number of natives of China in our population at various census periods will show: 1860.. 35, 565

106, 701 1870. 63, 042

81, 534 1880. 104, 468

56, 756 It may be expected that the census of 1920 will reveal a further decrease, for, as already stated, emigration has exceeded immigration, and, a great part of our Chinese population being of advanced age, the decrease by death has doubtless been comparatively heavy. This should be the natural result, but as failure to be enrolled has not constituted an offense, or cause, in case of aliens, for deportation, there is no question that more of this people, and those hereafter mentioned in this subdivision, are in the country than were listed on the respective decennial census rolls.

The story of how Chinese exclusion was brought about is an interesting one. As early as 1852, even before the larger movement began, the governor of California advised that Chinese coolie immigration be restricted, and in 1855 the State legislature enacted a law imposing a head tax of $55 on every immigrant of that race. This was followed in 1858 by a law forbidding. Chinese or Mongolians to enter the State, and later by other restrictive enactments, but all such legislation was declared unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court, and finally, in 1876, by the Supreme Court of the United States.

After this decision the people of the Pacific Coast States turned earnestly to Congress for relief. A congressional inquiry took place in 1876–77; the California legislature appealed to the National Government in 1877 and 1878, and Pacific coast members made a vigorous effort for exclusion legislation. In 1879 Congress passed a bill limiting the number of Chinese who could come to the United States in any one vessel to 15, and repealing the favored-nation clause in the Burlingame treaty of 1868, which provided for free immigration and emigration between China and the United States, but President Hayes vetoed the measure.

In 1880 another treaty was concluded with China which gave the United States the right to regulate, limit, or suspend” the immigration of Chinese laborers, but not to “absolutely prohibit it." In 1882 Congress sought to take advantage of the new treaty's provisions and passed a bill suspending the immigration of Chinese laborers for 20 years; this was vetoed by President Arthur. Later in the same year, however, a bill providing for a 10 years' suspension of such immigration, but giving the right of reentry to Chinese lawfully in the United States, became a law and in 1884 another law was enacted which strengthened the law of 1882 in some particulars.

In 1886 China indicated a desire to negotiate a treaty to prohibit the emigration of Chinese laborers to the United States, even including laborers who had been in this country and returned to China. Such a treaty was drawn, and signed on March 12, 1888, its provisions being that Chinese laborers should be excluded for 20 years, and that those who returned to China would not be permitted to reenter unless they had left in the United States a wife, child, parent, or property to the value of $1,000. An effort was made to enact the provisions of the treaty into law in an act approved September 13, 1888, but China's final refusal to ratify the compact without amendments nullified its vital parts, and as a result the Scott law of October 1, 1888, was passed, which closed the doors even against returning Chinese, so that practically complete exclusion was then provided. In 1892 the famous “Geary Act' was enacted which extended the exclusion act of 1882 for another 10 years, and made various amendments and material additions, including a provision requiring the registration of all Chinese laborers within a certain period.

Following this legislation, China again opened negotiations for a new compact, with the result that on December 8, 1894, a treaty was proclaimed which provided for the exclusion of all Chinese laborers for 10 years, except returning laborers having a wife, child, parent, or property worth $1,000 in this country, thus nullifying the drastic provisions of the Scott law of 1888, which refused departing Chinese of every class the right to return.

In 1902 a law was enacted which extended all Chinese-exclusion laws then existing, including the “Geary Act," "without modification, limitation, or condition," and in 1904 such laws were made applicable to the insular possessions, and Chinese immigration from such possessions to the mainland or from one island group to another was prohibited,

The only classes of Chinese aliens now admissible to the United States are teachers, students, travelers for curiosity or pleasure, merchants and their lawful wives and minor children, officials of the Chinese Government and their body and household servants, persons holding return certificates, persons passing in transit to some foreign country, and those whose physical condition necessitates immediate hospital treatment. During the fairly typical year of 1918, when 1,576 Chinese immigrants were admitted, the principal occupations represented were as follows: Professional pursuits 60, laborers 127, merchants and dealers 564, servants 17, miscellaneous 477, and of such as gave no occupation, including women and children, 331.

Chinese women have never come to the United States in great numbers and in 1882, when the influx from China reached its highest point only 116 females were among the 39,579 immigrants arriving.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The proportion of women in recent years has been larger than formerly, but the average annual admissions are now only about 260, and according to the census of 1910 the population of continental United States included only 1,788 females who were born in China, and a few of these were not of the Chinese race. Putting it in another way, there were in 1910, 3,074 males to every 100 females in our Chineseborn population. No other people showed such a wide disparity in this regard; the nearest competitors being the Montenegrins with 1,833, and the Bulgarians and Greeks with, respectively, 1,540 and 1,193 males to every 100 females, while among oriental peoples other than Chinese, the Japanese showed 870, and natives of India, 427 males per 100 females. This lack of women is obviously an important factor in the situation because it insures a slow increase in the nativeborn Chinese population.

Turning to the more recent movement from Japan, it is interesting to note the trend of such immigration before and after the adoption of the so-called passport agreement under which the admission of Japanese to continental United States has been regulated during the past 11 years.

Japan appears in our immigration statistics for the first time in 1861, when one person was admitted from that country, but the movement did not become important. until much later, as the following record of admissions by decades since 1860 will show: 1860-1869.


13, 998 1870-1879. 193 1900-1909.

139, 712 1880-1889.

1910-1919. The census records mention Japan for the first time in 1870, and the number of natives of that country in the United States at that and subsequent census periods was as follows: 1870... 73 1900..

24, 788 1880. 401 1910.

67, 744 1890..

The above immigration figures include the movement to Hawaii as well as to the mainland since 1900, while the census figures relate only to continental United States. The number of native-born and foreign-born persons of the Japanese race in Hawaii in 1900 and 1910 follows:


1, 583

77, 125

2, 292

[blocks in formation]

The immigration statistics above presented include persons of all races or peoples coming from Japan, but practically all were Japanese.

Since 1899, as previously explained, all immigration has been recorded according to ethnological status, as well as by country of origin, and what follows concerns persons of the Japanese race

It will be remembered that the passport agreement, which was made in 1907, provides, in effect, that Japan will not issue passports good for continental United States to laborers, unless such laborers


are coming to resume a formerly acquired domicile; to join a parent, husband, or children, or to assume active control of an already possessed interest in a farming enterprise in this country. While the agreement relates only to immigration to continental United States, Japan soon voluntarily extended the same provisions to the movement to Hawaii, so that in effect all immigration of Japanese laborers is subject to its terms. Nonlaborers, of course, are not affected and are free to come and go under the same conditions which obtain in the case of aliens of other nationalities.

During the 10 years prior to the agreement, or during 1899-1908, a total of 142,656 Japanese immigrants were admitted to the United States and Hawaii, compared with 80,532 admitted in the 11 years 1909-1919, and while there has been a considerable numerical reduction in the influx under the agreement, there is still a considerable immigration from Japan. On the other hand, it is only possible to conjecture what the extent of such immigration might have been had it not been for the restraining effects of the agreement. Japanese immigration reached the high-water mark in 1907, when 30,824 of that race were admitted, and it is altogether probable that in the absence of some restrictive measure it would have continued and very likely increased, particularly during the years when the influx from Europe was so greatly reduced by the war.

In 1909, the first full year under the agreement, only 1,596 Japanese were admitted to continental United States, but the number increased quite regularly year by year, until it reached 7,671 in 1919. Immigration to Hawaii has fluctuated considerably during the period since the agreement, 1,679 being admitted in 1909, 4,062 in 1914, and 2,385 in 1919. The influx as a whole, that is, to Hawaii and the mainland combined, increased from 3,275 in 1909 to 10,056 in 1919, or more than threefold. Considering the two periods of time in another manner, it is pointed out that the annual average Japanese immigration to continental United States during the 10 years prior to the agreement was 7,261,

compared to an annual average of 4,670 in the 11 years following. The average annual admissions to Hawaii during the same periods were 10,006 and 2,651, respectively, and to the United States and Hawaii together, 17,267 and 7,321, respectively.

The Pacific Coast States continue to be the destination of nearly all Japanese immigrants, and 82.5 per cent of those admitted to the mainland since 1909 expressed the intention to reside there, compared with 88.5 during the preagreement period. California is far in the lead of other States, as shown by the fact that prior to the agreement 44.9 per cent were destined to that State, compared to 62.1 per cent during the past 11 years. On the other hand, the proportion destined to Washington decreased from 37.1 per cent of the whole in 1899-1908 to 16.1 per cent in 1909-1919.

The discussion up to this point has concerned only that class of alien arrivals known as “immigrant aliens,” or aliens whose permanent domicile has been in another country and who intend to reside permanently in the United States, but the number of Japanese admitted to the mainland and Hawaii during the past 11 years also includes 36,196 persons—31,534 males and 4,662 females who were classed as “nonimmigrant aliens." This latter class is made up of aliens making a temporary visit to the United States and alien residents of the United States returning from such a visit abroad, and therefore not classed as immigrants. Aliens departing from the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »