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point where we can not, if we are to go on as a country, receive these people with the same open arms that we have been receiving them in the last 20 years. The country has been surfeited. For instance, in New York we have 43 different languages spoken or published within the city of New York, in periodicals or magazines. The foreignlanguage papers to foreign born, and they segregate and isolate them into groups. And there is no way to teach them English, unless to teach them in their homes.
Now, we have got to digest this population first; our first duty is to the people of this country.
We had a meeting the other night, held in Madison Square Garden, in which about 12,000 people participated-a very vociferous and enthusiastic meeting, held in memory of the death of Mohammedand there was no American flag there in the decorations. There were two small flags on the portrait of Mohammed.
Now, those that are here for certain purposes have got to be reached and we must restrict their coming without good reasons.
Senator COPELAND. Mr. Braman, are you familiar with the very excellent additions to the bill as prepared by the Senate committee, requiring that one who desires to come to America must make application and give certain information, including his prison record, and any other records that might be desirable? The very purpose is to weed out the very people you are thinking about and make it impossible to bring them here.
Mr. BRAMAN. That is very good, Senator, so far as it goes; but we want to go back to the census of 1890 to weed them out entirely.
Senator COPELAND. Why do you stop at the census of 1890? Mr. BRAMAN. Because in 1890 it was on a 50-50 basis. The CHAIRMAN. In 1890 it is estimated that it was 20 per cent and 80 per cent; 20 per cent from southern and eastern Europe and 80 per cent from northern and western Europe.
Now, Mr. Braman, I want to say to you that I agree entirely with you that our duty is to those who are here. There were 6,000,000 here. Under our present quota law we admit about 150,000 of them annually.
Now, would you pass a quota law which would reduce that nearly 107,000 or 108,000 down to where you admit 5,000 Germans to where you admit 1 Italian! Have you considered what effect that would have on the racial groups in the country! Since that was suggested these racial groups are up in arms, on the ground of discrimination. Nothing will prevent their loving their adopted country so much as discrimination. And when you discriminate markedly against any group you are raising racial antagonism, which is entirely unAmerican. We had these 40 nationalities here at the outbreak of the war and we never had any racial distinction. What was the result? They rose, with very few exceptions, and enlisted under our flag—460,000 aliens who were not subject to draft enlisted in our armies. That showed a national unity that no other country in the world, was able to show, except France. I do not want to destroy that, and if you raise this question of discrimination among these racial groups you are doing something the end of which you do not see. I commend your work of Americanization and all you are doing in teaching English to these foreigners. But think and reflect on the idea of discrimination at this time. That is a subject that has sunk deep into my heart as an American Standing on the mountain peak, we are the strongest country in the world to-day with these 40 nationalities here.
Mr. BRAMAN. I concur, Mr. Chairman, in all these things; but one thing is left out. We do not want our American stock discriminated against or stamped out.
Senator COPELAND. Where did we get them originally! I belong to various of these societies, but where did we get that stock?
Mr. BRAMAN. They came over here and became citizens. The first came from England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Holland; the Dutch settled New York.
Mr. Chairman, this is not a racial question. I want to disabuse the mind of the committee and everyone here of that. It is not a racial question; it is a language question. These people follow their language, and they go where their language is spoken, because it is easier for them to get along. There is no question of race here. That is a false issue that is raised by the press. But there is no question of race. If you will take the history of the immigrant press written by Mr. Park, one of the professors of the Chicago University, you will see how there is no racial question involved in this immigration question. They come here from nationalities, and they settle in nationalities. Now, how can we impart to them American ideas?
T'he CHAIRMAN. Through the language?
The CHAIRMAN. But, my dear sir, you attribute a fallacy to the language. The country that is most united in Europe to-day is Switzerland, with three_languages. National unity does not turn upon language. Great Britain and Scotland are entirely different, National unity turns upon kindness and justice.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, we have a great number of witnesses here. Had we not better go through them rapidly?
Senator King. You mentioned the foreign-language newspapers, and that is true; in my opinion that is true, we have too many for proper amalgamation. To what extent, may I ask, do the children of these aliens read these newspapers, and to what extent do they read the papers in the English language?
Mr. BRAMAN. There are no statistics on that point. I have looked for them, and am unable to find anything on the subject. But they go to the American schools, and when they find their parents can not read and speak the English language, they lose their respect for them. I say our job is to teach English through the high grade pupils to those who are here. But to do that we will require a breathing spell, and that is the reason we want it to go back to 1890.
Senator ŘING. What do you find among the aliens, taking them as they come, the Itabans, and the Polish children, for instance; to what extent do you find them as patriotic as children whose parents are Americans? My question does not imply any distinction?
Mr. BRAMAN. They are as patriotic as any Americans; and the aliens from the foreign countries who served in the war made our best soldiers.
Senator COPELAND. I would like to say, in reply to the question of the Senator
Senator KING (interposing). I know something about it, but I want to get his viewpoint. He is the witness.
Senator COPELAND. They are as patriotic as the children of Utah.
Senator KING. A witness is before us and I wanted his view on the subject.
Mr. BRAMAN. There are 200,000 children in New York who are able to go home and teach their parents English at night. And we had 4,000 applicants to teach their parents at night. But that is 4,000 out of 200,000. And we have to have a chance to catch up.
Senator King. Now, the children of foreign-born parents being patriotic, as I knew you would say, then what complaint can there be against admitting into the United States, in proper proportion and based upon a proper quota, those races from which such children come?
Mr. BRAMAN. Because there are so many of them who do not speak a word of English. There are 5,000,000 immigrants, as shown by the census, who have never been inside of a schoolroom door. There are nearly 20,000,000 illiterate, and that has made this country the most illiterate and the most lawless in the world. And that is what the Allied Patriotic Societies are devoting their time to, to give this Nation one common language, otherwise they can not be good citizens, and do not know who they are voting for.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. You recommend going back to the census of 1890, then?
Mr. BRAMAN. Absolutely.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. And your purpose is to get a percentage of constituency proportionate to those now in this country; that is, your immigration will be roughly proportionate to the percentage of population from those countries now in this country.
Mr. BRAMAN. I don't want the old stock discriminated against.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. That is the trouble, it discriminates against the new races?
Mr. BRAMAN. Certainly, it does.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. And ignores the native-born citizen, who is not taken into consideration in fixing the quota.
Mr. BRAMAN. Certainly.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Now, if we could make our quotas exactly proportionate to the present population of the United States it would be what you are driving it?
Mr. BRAMAN. It would aid. Senator REED of Pennsylvania. It would take care of it? Mr. BRAMAN. Yes, sir. Senator REED of Pennsylvania. In other words, it would take care of the quotas of foreign born. Mr. Braman. Yes; under this bill you are giving them about 11
Senator SHELDS. As I understand you, what you desire is a restriction of immigration down to a limited number that will be properly assimilated with the American people and become Americans, as they did, say, 50 years ago ?
Mr. BRAMAN. We want to make the law so as to allow the old stock to come in.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you, Mr. Braman. You may file your report for the members of the committee.
Senator Willis. Mr. Chairman, before the next witness is called, with the greatest respect to the other members of the committee, I want to hear these witnesses. Here are a hundred witnesses to be heard. If we are to argue with the witnesses, we will not give them all an opportunity to be heard. I appreciate the importance of asking questions, but if we will first hear what the witness has to say, and then if any questions are to be asked, make them snappy and to the point, we will facilitate the hearings.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Willis, I ought to beg the pardon of the committee. It was my intention to have the witnesses confine their remarks to a single point.
Is Representative Dickstein present?
Senator King. Mr. Chairman, I would like to have Mr. Ralston heard at this time. He will be compelled to leave the city.
Mr. RALSTON. I ask that Mr. Pollak speak for me.
The CHAIRMAN. We have two Members of Congress here whose testimony will be very brief, I am told, and I think, as they are members of a coordinate body, they are entitled to some preference. We will hear Mr. Dickstein, if he is here.
I might say, in addition to what I have said, that if the witnesses could confine themselves to 10 minutes, speaking directly on the points they want the committee to hear, it will greatly facilitate our hearings. STATEMENT OF HON. SAMUEL DICKSTEIN, A REPRESENTATIVE
FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK. Mr. DICKSTEIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, it is indeed a pleasure to come before you. I am not going to make any extended argument. I am a member of the Immigration Committee of the House of Representatives. I am one of the minority members that filed a report against the Johnson-Lodge bill. And in view of the fact that Mr. Marshall is in this room, it will probably cut my talk down to two minutes. I thought that the Johnson bill was inhumane. I still think so. I still think that this bill is just as bad, in that it takes away the only humane feature that we struggled in the committee of the House to retain for many months, if you take away the quota of relative immigrants. When we started hearings in the House--and the hearings lasted almost two months we started out with the idea that we were going to unite families, and as a result of that it would make them better citizens. We fixed a nonquota relative immigrant, which I understand you wish to understand as an immigrant who is the father or mother over 55 years of age of a citizen, or the children of a citizen, or the wife, who may come here disregarding the quota. Senator KING. We made it children under 21 years of age.
Mr. DICKSTEIN. That is some improvement anyway. We then startet out in the House to fix that status for a declarant on the theory that a man who wanted to come here wanted to have his wife and family, and in order to make good citizens they should have their wives and children here, and they should be enabled to get them here
giving you my impressions after two months of hard study and sary. They have eliminated the declarant entirely and have thrown him into that quota. And the only good feature of that Johnson, bill is the nonquota. And I find in this Reed bill you have practically eliminated the nonquota.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. We give them a preference and put everybody in the quota.
Mr. DICKSTEIN. I see that, but that is as much red tape as if you did not put it in at all.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. We will strike it out if you do not like it.
Mr. DICKSTEIN. It is not a question of what I like. I am simply giving you my impressions after two months of hard study and after listening pro and con on both sides of this question.
Senator KING. Just a short question. What do you say to this proposition: It was submitted to me this summer by many of the consuls that fraud and perjury is committed by persons who allege they are relatives of immigrants, and they sought admission as relatives of immigrants when in truth and in fact they were not.
Mr. DICKSTEIN. Well, in answer to that I will say that I am not here to protect any alien who commits fraud, or any relative that commits fraud. I believe we ought to get rid of undesirables and use the best means to get the best immigrants, but when you fix a quota on the census of 1910 without any investigation of the facts—just say arbitrarily we will fix it on the census of 1890 or 1910”-that is not the proper way to get at the situation.
Senator HARRISON. What is your way, then?
Mr. DICKSTEIN. I think we ought to take the latest present census, of 1920, of which no one could complain, and fix a proper basis on that. I think that you ought to do something for the declarant who is at times, and at the present time, unable to bet his naturalization papers because of certain conditions existing in every State in the Union. In my State of New York there were thousands of applicants to be called for their second papers months and months ago. They are behind in their work there. The first question is, “ Have you a wife? “ Yes, sir.” And he can not get his citizenship papers. Now, those conditions should be remedied.
Senator HARRISON. Then you think a quota on the basis of 1910 is as much of a discrimination as a quota on the census of 1890 ?
Mr. DICKSTEIN. No; 1890 was discrimination, and they conceded that, the consuls and all parties; 1910 is not discrimination; at least, it gives every nationality a chance. They did not get a chance in the 1890 census.
Now, I do not propose to discuss the Nordic races and other features we heard so much about in the House committee. I want to say this, Mr. Chairman, that I want to be permitted to incorporate in the record the statement of 20 Members of Congress protesting against this.
Senator King. That is directed against the Johnson bill?