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of the parents are poor and dependent on their daily wages for a meager livelihood; by the fact that 58.7 per cent of the married women and women living with their husbands by mutual consent were engaged in gainful occupations in 1917, a large proportion of them as field laborers

* *." The proportion of the women of the Virgin Islands of different age groups gainfully employed are as follows: Between the years— 14 and 15.....

35. 3 16 and 20.

63. 7 21 and 30.... 31 and 44.

69. O 45 and 64..

63.0 65 and over..

28. 6 The proportion of mothers in each group employed is not stated, but since not less than 63.7 per cent of every age group of women between 16 and 45 are employed, clearly the mothers of young children are largely included among those who work for pay.

It is plain that under the four heads enumerated a depressed level of existence is revealed. While many factors, chiefly economic, are involved in the decline of these islands, it is believed that a careful study of the conditions surrounding the mothers and children would be of material aid in proposing methods of securing more satisfactory living conditions.

Porto Rico: By the ratification of the treaty of 1898 the island of Porto Rico was placed in the hands of the United States Government. According to the census of 1910, the population totaled 1,118,012, representing an increase of 17.3 per cent in 11 years. Of this number, 893,392, or 79.9 per cent, were living in rural areas, while only 224,620, or 20.1 per cent, were recorded as living in cities and towns. This indicates that the problems which affect rural communities are the problems which affect, to a great extent, the entire island.

At the time of this census the density of the population per square mile for the size of the island was more than 10 times as great as that of the United States proper.

In 1910 the percentage of illiteracy for all classes 10 years of age and over, for both sexes, was 66.5 per cent, or practically two-thirds of the population of that age. This showed an improvement over 1899, when for the same classes it was 79.6 per cent. In that year (1899) the percentage of illiteracy for all children between 10 and 14 years was 82.1 per cent; in 1910 this dropped to 49.2 per cent. Despite this improvement, the rate is alarmingly high when we compare the figures for another island possession, Hawaii, for 1910, where the percentage of illiteracy between 10 and 14 years of age is only 3.2, and for the age group between 15 and 19 years, only 13 per cent, as compared to 59 per cent for Porto Rico.

In comparison with the United States, France, Germany, England, and Sweden, Porto Rico represents a very high birth rate. But this is accompanied by a high infant death rate. In 1916–17, the infant death rate was 199; in 1917-18 it was reduced to 173.4.

The report of the Governor of Porto Rico for 1918 states that the reform school is still overcrowded, owing partly to the large demands made for space for boys under sentence by the juvenile courts. Some improvements and enlargements have been made since 1917. The average number of boys in the school for 1917-18 was 156, but the number has lately reached 200, the maximum capacity of the school, but this is not sufficient for the need. From January 1, 1917, to June 30, 1918, 452 children came before the juvenile courts. Nearly one-third of this number were born out of wedlock; more than half never attended school, and of those who did, very few had passed the fourth grade; 77 were homeless.

The most serious drawback to the effectiveness of the juvenilecourt law has been the lack of adequate facilities to take proper care of delinquent children. The minimum needs according to the governor's report are a temporary detention home for each juvenile court, a separate home for delinquent children, and an institution to care for the abandoned children. This statement is corroborated by the following: 1

According to the last report of the insular chief of police, it is estimated that there are in the island of Porto Rico at the present time about 10,000 homeless children under 12 years of age who live by whatever means they are able, many of them begging or steal. ing, and most of them having no permanent lodging place, sleeping at night on boxes or on door steps, or wherever they happen to find a lodging place secure from the rain. These children are for the most part deserted and abandoned children of illegitimate parentage, or orphan children whose parents have left no provision for their care and education, and they constitute a fertile soil for the implanting of criminal tendencies and are ready material for older people of criminal habits.


The work of the Bureau of Naturalization during the past year shows more conclusively than ever before the lack of relationship between citizenship and immigration. During the past year immigration was at its lowest ebb, while the converse was true of applications for naturalization. In the last fiscal year there were 235,894 petitions for naturalization and 346,827 declarations, making a total of 581,730 aliens who took the initial or final steps toward securing citizenship in this country.

The number of admissions to citizenship during the past year was larger than in any preceding year, amounting to 217,358. Leaving

Fleagle, Fred K.: Social problems in Porto Rico, p. 32.

out of consideration the year 1918, this was a far greater number than were admitted in any two years during Federal supervision. Military statistics show 128,335 aliens who acquired citizenship after they had assumed the military uniform of the United States. Of 107,559 civilian petitions filed during 1919, 33,251 were filed during the last quarter and could not come to maturity because of the requirement that petitions be posted not less than 90 days before hearing. This left a total of 74,308 petitions filed during the year that could mature. During the last quarter of the fiscal year ended June 30, 1918, there were 34,233 petitions which failed to mature until after July 1, 1918, making a total of 108,541 petitions eligible for hearing during the fiscal year. Of these 89,023 were admitted, leaving a total of 19,518 who failed to receive a final favorable hearing. There were 13,119 petitions denied during the year, leaving 6,399 that were continued. In addition, 38,288 petitions filed prior to the beginning of the year became due for hearing but for various reasons were continued, making a total of 44,687 continuances of petitions for nåturalization during the year. In a few cases legal technical requirements were the causes for the unfavorable action. The majority of those not favorably acted upon were continued merely to give the candidates an opportunity to avail themselves of educational facilities now offered in 2,240 communities of the country through the public schools. The number of continued cases is proportionately increased as the public school facilities become more firmly established in the various foreign communities where applicants for American citizenship reside.

The number of declarations of intention filed is 346,827—less than in the fiscal year 1917 but considerably more than in 1918. However, reports by field officers indicate that throughout the country there are many foreigners unable to file their declarations of intention because of lack of facilities in the offices of the Naturalization Service and of the clerks of the courts exercising naturalization jurisdiction.

Forty-five certificates of naturalization were canceled and 6 persons convicted for violations of the naturalization law. Five of these cancellation suits were instituted under the provisions of the act of May 9, 1918, and 40, which were instituted prior to July 1, 1918, under the provisions of section 15 of the act of June 29, 1906.

Under the increased authority of the bureau contained in the act of May 9, 1918, the naturalization work was extended to the war camps prior to June 30, 1918, and intensively carried on in them until after the armistice. From that time demobilization gradually lessened this work in the general camps and produced an ultimate discontinuance of naturalization of soldiers, with the exception of those camps in which the returning soldiers were assembled.


The Bureau of Naturalization is one of the few self-sustaining branches of the Government. Its revenues from naturalization fees during the year were $599,087.97; the cost of administration was $812,056.38; showing that the expense of administration during the past year was $214,968.41 in excess of the revenues from naturalization fees. This is the first time in the history of the bureau that its expenditures have been in excess of its revenues. The total expenditure for administration since its creation was $4,109,321.64, while the total revenue from naturalization fees was $4,648,768.44, showing a net total of $539,446.80 excess revenues for the entire period of Federal supervision.

SPECIAL AMERICANIZATION WORK. The fifth year of the Americanization work of the Government, carried on under general and specific acts of Congress, was crowned with greater success than any previous one. There was a steady increase in the number of communities pledging cooperation with the Federal Government through the Bureau of Naturalization in providing facilities for the educational training of those who seek citizenship through the naturalization law. Four hundred and thirty-eight new communities, making a total of 2,240, have pledged themselves through the public schools to reorganize their school systems in order that these incoming members of the body politic may be equipped for the responsibilities which they desire and which the welfare of the Nation clearly requires them to assume.

The striking feature of this work is the development of the new element of attendance at these classes. Heretofore, with few exceptions, they have been carrying an enrollment of foreign-born residents only. The percentage of the student body seeking citizenship has ranged from 20 per cent in the first years to more recent instances of 100 per cent attendance of candidates. Under the influence of the communities in which they live and attend the public schools noncandidates have applied for and secured their first or final naturalization papers. The particularly striking now element in the personnel of these classes is the presence of illiterate adult Americans. Reports of 166 superintendents of schools show the organization of 840 classses, 68 of which were holding day sessions and 772 evening sessions. In an enrollment of 15,874 there were 77 classified nationalities reported. The four leading nationalities were Italians, Poles, Portuguese, and Americans. The Italians represented 9.4, Poles 8, Portuguese 4.3, and Americans 4 per cent. The causes leading to the attendance of Americans in these classes primarily organized for the training of the foreign-born are many and need not be enumerated here. The principal cause is doubtless to be found in the fact that for the first time in the history of the country there has been an organization of classes where the illiterate adult American can pursue his education in association with other adults. Heretofore the school systems of the country have been organized solely for the junior element of society. Under the law which has authorized the Government to promote the training and education of candidates for citizenship, organization of public-school systems all over the country has been effected in virtually every community where foreigners live and are candidates for citizenship, and this has offered means heretofore unprovided for illiterate American men and women to overcome the handicaps of life which circumstances in their childhood forced upon them. In this manner machinery has been established by which the problem of illiteracy may be at least partly solved.

Another conclusion that is forced upon the public mind is that men and women aged 30, 50, or 60 years or more may be enabled to acquire a reading, speaking, and writing knowledge of the English language. In the reports referred to from the 166 public-school systems there were 131 men and women over the age of 60 years in attendance, 352 between the ages of 51 and 60, 3,698 between the ages of 31 and 50, 6,059 between the ages of 18 and 31, and 5,634 not classified by age.

It is under specific authority that the Bureau of Naturalization has definitely assumed a new relationship with the foreigner. This authority is found in the language of the act authorizing the promotion of the education and training of the candidates for citizenship by the public schools. Increased public interest bas manifested itself through employers of foreign laborers in all parts of the country. Employers who previously had no other relationship than that of employer to employee have felt the necessity for sentiments of interest in and loyalty to this country and have appealed to the Bureau of Naturalization to provide the means by which foreign-born employees desirous of seeking American citizenship may do so at their places of employment. Representatives of industry, either individuals or committees representing the employers and employees, have been organized and trained in the work of preparing naturalization papers, ordinarily performed only by the clerks of the naturalization courts. As a result of the facilities brought close to hand many thousands of foreigners who under the previous lack of organization had remained inactive have expressed a desire to declare their intention. The creation of these facilities, with the resultant applications for citizenship submitted to the naturalization examiners for examination and the clerks of courts for filing and execution, precipitated a condition not previously reckoned with. The offices of the clerks of courts and the examiners were overwhelmed, and the congestion of applications compelled a virtual cessation of the filing of naturalization papers,

142901-LAB 191918

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