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PREFACE THIS book is an attempt to present in simple form the main facts concerning large scale immigration in the modern world. The problems induced by immigration in the United States have become pressing in recent years with consequent changes in policy. It is therefore incumbent upon those
. who would be informed upon further possibilities for the distribution of the surplus population of congested countries to follow the course of immigration in other lands as well as in their own.
This does not claim to be an exhaustive study; it is a presentation of existing conditions, a view of a situation. So far as the United States is concerned, an additional book on the subject of immigration almost calls for an apology, but in the other countries considered the literature is meagre, practically confined to government reports. Jenks and Lauck, following the method of the Report of the United States Commission on Immigration, have a short chapter on “Immigration Policies of Other Countries” in their book, The Immigration Problem; aside from this, I am not aware that the subject as a whole has been treated. I am therefore offering this as a bit of pioneer work with the inevitable imperfections.
In such a study, it would be a great advantage for the writer to spend some time in each of the countries concerned. This I was unable to do. With intimate details of immigration in the United States and Canada, I am personally familiar; with the countries in the Southern Hemisphere my orientation was brought about by extensive general as well as specialized reading, by correspondence and by conversations with residents of the countries considered who were temporarily in the United States. It would be of the greatest interest to supplement this work by a study of the tide of men throughout the world. The coming and going of the
human race is not without its effect on the various civilizations. Linguistic and other difficulties, however, render this practically prohibitive as a piece of work to be undertaken by one person. There is an ebb and flo for Sumatra and Raratonga, for Kenya and Peru, as well as for larger and more developed lands. It may not be chimerical to hope that some time it may all be recorded and made available for the student.
It is not possible here to acknowledge indebtedness to all who have helped me. Credit is given to authors in appropriate places, but there are persons of whom I wish to make special mention: Professor W. G. Smith, now of Winnipeg, Canada, has been helpful with correspondence as well as with his authoritative book:“ A Study in Canadian Immigration”; Mr. Angus Fletcher, Director of the British Library of Information in New York, has been most kind in granting special privileges; Mr. D. B. Edwards, Director of the Australian Bureau in New York, has also been helpful; Captain Kilroy Harris, D.S.O., F.R.G.S., F.R.C.I., of Newcastle, Australia, has given me valuable assistance; the High Commissioner for South Africa, resident in London, has been generous with information; the Director of the Pan American Union, Washington, D. C., has been helpful with material on South America, while the various immigration and other officials in all the countries studied have courteously aided me. To all of these it is a pleasure to give grateful recognition.
ANNIE MARION MACLEAN.
EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION THOSE who recall the introduction to the first volume which appeared in this series will remember the statement that the series was to include two classes of books. Those in one class were to be chosen primarily for their scientific value, those of the other class primarily for their practical value. Not that the two kinds of value could not, or should not, be combined in a single book, but that in any given book one or the other would usually predominate. The present volume belongs to the class of practical books. It contains the information about immigration and immigration laws in the United States which is most important to the citizen. And it has the distinctive merit of presenting this information in connection with similar information in regard to the six other chief immigrant-receiving regions of the world. This affords not only a basis of comparison between the extent and conditions of immigration in these different countries, but also, what is more important and enlightening to the American citizen, a basis for comparison between our immigration policy and the immigration policies of these other countries. A useful supplement to this broad outline, and guide to more intensive study of divisions of the vast theme is furnished by the footnotes and selected bibliographies.
The value of the book is greatly enhanced by the extensive acquaintance and thorough sympathy of its author with American laborers, who are largely immigrants, an acquaintance and sympathy abundantly shown in her previous books.
The main practical conclusions upon this whole matter seem to be these :
(1) In the absence of any control, Asia could deluge America with immigrants without permanently diminishing the over-population of Asia.
(2) Because it is usually the poor and discontented that emigrate, therefore it is predominantly the lower strata of European population, in respect at least to culture and standard of living, that tend to be drained off to immigrantreceiving lands, and especially to the United States, whither transportation is easiest and the tradition of immigration strongest. These people once here fulfill the law that a low standard of living is accompanied by a high birth rate. They out-multiply us.
(3) The citizens of the present are the trustees of the future. Sympathetic interest in the individuals who would like to come to our shores must not blind us to the welfare of the nation and of the world. To maintain a high and advancing standard in the United States is a greater aid to similar progress elsewhere than freedom for some to escape to our shores. Such freedom being granted they will come so long as America has any advantage over the more crowded portions of the earth. That policy, unaccompanied by cultural changes, offers no promise of permanent reduction of overcrowding abroad, for in the long run the natural ratio between fecundity and natural and cultural resources will be maintained. That policy tends to establish in the whole world a similar low level. The way to raise the whole world toward a similar high level is first to uplift parts of it, and to protect those parts in the race between a human standard of living and the animal tendency to multiply excessively. Only by such a policy can a satisfactory standard become and remain general even in the most favored lands. By the example of these more favored lands and the inculcation in other portions of the earth of the necessary economic and social standards even the most backward portions of the race may be advanced.
(4) The way to defend ourselves against evil effects from socially or economically undeveloped immigrants who have already come, or who may be admitted in future, is to initiate them fully into whatever is good in our civilization, not by any sort of compulsion, which is worse than useless, but by opportunity and example; by contact, not with the worst and harshest, but by generous and friendly contact with the best or at least with the normal and typical aspects of American life.
E. C. H.