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SELECTIVE IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION

SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 1924

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UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION,

Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, in the Immigration Committee room, the Capitol, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Senator LeBaron B. Colt presiding.

Present: Senators. Colt (chairman), Keyes, Willis, Reed of Pennsylvania, King, Harris, Harrison, Shields, and Copeland.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order. I wish to say to those who have favored us with their presence here to-day that it was not the purpose of this committee to have extended hearings on this subject. The House has had extended hearings on all phases of the immigration problem, and those hearings have been published. The committee felt that it ought to hear certain representatives from California, and as that opened the door the committee decided that they would devote one day to hearings on various phases of the bill. Now, that is as far as the committee has gone at the present time. The disposition of the chairman--but I am only one member of the committee—is that if people want to be heard I am always inclined to hear them.

We will proceed then with the hearing, and whether the hearing will be extended beyond to-day will await action by the committee.

I wish that the witnesses when they testify would confine themselves to some particular phase of immigration and not undertake to go over the whole field. It is a very wide field, and therefore I hope that the witnesses will confine themselves to one or two particular points with which they feel they are familiar.

Mr. Braman, the committee will hear you.

STATEMENT OF MR. DWIGHT BRAMAN, PRESIDENT THE ALLIED

PATRIOTIC SOCIETIES (INC.), NEW YORK CITY. Mr. BRAMAX. Mr. Chairman and members of the Senate committee, on behalf of the Allied Patriotic Societies (Inc.), of which I happen to be president, I desire to address your briefly.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Braman, will you kindly state your present position and whom you represent?

Mr. BRAMAN. I am president, Mr. Chairman, of the Allied Patriotic Societies (Inc.), 55 Broadway, New York City.

At our conference on March 5, 1924, this resolution was passed (reading):

Resolved, That those present at this meeitng, voting as individuals, favor the passage of the Johnson-Lodge bill (H. R. 6540) as reported by the House

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Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in its report No. 176, fixing the quotas at 2 per cent of the foreign born of each nationality according to the census of 1890; further

Resolved, That the president of the Allied Patriotic Societies (Inc.) be, and hereby is, authorized and requested to present these resolutions to the Committee on Immigration of the United States Senate and to state the position of the Allied Patriotic Societies (Inc.) with respect to the restriction of immigration as set forth in the report of its committee on immigration approved at the meeting of June 6, 1923.

The Allied Patriotic Societies consist of the leading patriotic societies in the United States, nearly all of them sending representatives appointed by the various organizations, with powers to act and vote. We have a conference every month at the Army and Navy Club, and these resolutions are brought up and acted upon. We have a committee on immigration, numbering about 35, consisting of the leading experts that we could pick from the various representatives of these different societies who are present. They made a report to our organization, which was accepted, and a thousand copies of it ordered to be printed. The report is a very exhaustive review of the immigration situation in this country, and it was handed to a committee of four or five other members, who drafted the report. The report I have here, and it goes into the details of these questions very much; but in view of the suggestion made by the honorable chairman, I will confine myself to one particular point-possibly two points in this report.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Braman, have you copies of that report?

Mr. BRAMAN. I have, sir; and I am going to file it with each member of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, I do not think it need be made a part of the record, but if you will file a dozen or fifteen copies so that each member may have a copy, we will appreciate it.

Mr. BRAMAN. I will do so. It developed during the war, and before the war; that is, before this country went into the war, that there were large foreign groups in this country of various nationalities, wholly or partially assimilated, both racially and culturally, and who were largely under political influences from foreign countries. There were also large foreign presses, some of which presses, or publications, were printed by foreign governments and sent over here for distribution. The object of all this propaganda was to keep this country out of the war, and the Government in Washington felt that pressure through various States of the Union. There are nine States of the Union in which aliens are allowed to vote, which is a thing that is not generally known by members of the bar and judges. And these foreign presses consisted of 2,000 different papers or periodicals, and some were very radical. The German vote was pretty thoroughly organized. The German consul in New York received a list of the German residents in the United States; the Austrian consul received a list of Austrian members of their army, and it was a great menace to the safety and welfare of this Government itself, as well as to the civilization of the world. They used their influence to stop work in our ammunition factories; they used their influence to prevent a draft; they used their influence to prevent our manufacture of rifles, so that the Government of the United States had on hand only 600,000 rifles at the opening of the war.

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The CHAIRMAN. What were the governments that carried on that propaganda? Do you mean the Entente powers?

Mr. BRAMAN. Germany, Sweden, and Austria.

Senator COPELAND. Mr. Chairman, pardon me a moment. I was late in coming in. I have not quite caught the drift of the argument. Is the witness arguing against any immigration?

Mr. BRAMAN. No; the point was the danger of a restricted immigration.

Senator COPELAND. Well, the committee is not in favor of bringing in everybody. We have before us a certain bill proposing a 2 per cent allotment or quota on the census of 1910. In the House there is a bill proposing a 2 per cent quota on the census of 1890. Now, are you against both those bills, or for either one of them?

Mr. BRAMAN. The Allied Patriotic Societies are in favor of the House bill carying the quota back to 1890.

The CHAIRMAN. The Senate committee have already passed upon that proposition, and have based it on 2 per cent of the census of 1910.

Mr. BRAMAN. Yes; I understand, Mr. Chairman, but in view of the statement of the Chair, in the absence of the gentlemen here, you suggested that I should confine myself to one particular point, and the point I am leading up to is that the 1890 quota should be maintained. We find that up to 1882 the average immigration from those in northern Europe and southern Europe were about equal. From 1882 to 1900 the newer immigration began to come, and from 1900 to 1920 80 per cent of the immigrants came from those southern European countries. You are all familiar with the immigration from southern Europe. It is a discrimination, we think, against the old stocks by which this country was settled, and from whom we have descended.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Braman, the present quota law was based, in principle, upon the number of foreign-born that were in the country at the time the act was passed.

Mr. BRAMAN. Correct.

The CHAIRMAN. We could not take the figures of 1920, because the figures were not available; so we took the nearest to it, which was 1910. Now, since you go back to 1890, you violate the principle of the present quota law. If you take 1890, you take it at a time when there was a minimum number of people from southern and eastern Europe and a maximum from northern and western Europe. And, by the way, I ought to state to those here present that we have hoped to confine this testimony to one day because there have been extensive hearings in the House, and all phases of this problem have been gone over even by this committee, and so we wanted to address ourselves to some of the specific problems in the present bill.

Now, I understand that you are making the point that you think it will be better to go back to the census of 1890 ?

Mr. BRAMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator KING. I do not understand, Mr. Chairman, that notwithstanding the action of the committee this is irrevocable, and so if these gentlemen have any argument calling for a change in the quota,

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so far as I am concerned I would be glad to hear them, within the time limit. The CHAIRMAN. I quite agree with the Senator. Will you give

I your reasons then why you desire to go back to the census of 1890; that is, the House bill?

Mr. BRAMAN. Yes; because the old stock is not sufficiently or fairly represented in the census of 1910, for these reasons: The change from the older to the newer immigration began about the year 1882. The older immigration came almost exclusively from the countries of northern and western Europe and was composed of races either identical with those which colonized the country and established our American civilization or very closely related to it. The major part of our immigration since the year 1882, coming principally from the countries of southern and eastern Europe, has been composed of peoples which, whatever their respective merits may be, are for the most part widely divergent in their racial qualities from the races which were settled here before. For the two decades following 1882 our total immigration was fairly evenly divided between the old and new—that is to say, we had 50-50—but since the year 1900 the newer immigration was vastly preponderant. From June 30, 1889, to June 30, 1920, a period which includes the low immigration period of the World War, our total immigration was 15,291,484; of this immigration only 3,101,131, or 20 per cent, came from the countries of northern and western Europe. That is to say, the old immigration was discriminated against by the open door that we had.

To avoid ambiguity the countries so designated are the—that is, the old countries are the British Isles, Germany, France, Sweden. Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Nearly all of the balance, the remaining 80 per cent, consisted of immigration from the countries of southern and eastern Europe.

Senator SHIELDS. May I ask what you are reading from?

Mr. BRAMAN. This is the report of the immigration committee of the Allied Patriotic Societies.

Senator SHIELDS. Then that is not necessary. It is already in the record, is it not?

The CHAIRMAN. No; but it will be submitted.

Senator SHIELDS. I suggest that it not be read. Let it be submitted.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; some things will have to be submitted. If you will submit a dozen or fifteen copies, the committee will appreciate it.

Mr. BRAMAN. Yes, sir; I will submit them.

Senator COPELAND. Mr. Chairman, it is perfectly clear to me the gentleman is making arguments we are familiar with. He is making his arguments opposing the quota of 1910, and we are familiar with that. Is that not sufficient?

The CHAIRMAN. This is a society, Senator, that does a good deal of good. Have you anything to say in addition to that, Mr. Braman? We must limit ourselves in time.

Mr. BRAMAN. I shall confine myself to three more minutes, if that will be permitted. The Allied Patriotic Societies (Inc.) are the greatest friend of the members of foreign-born races. We teach the English language. We find that our population has reached the

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