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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. 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 per cent.
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 nere 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? Mr. DICKSTEIN. Yes, sir. Mr. SABATH. Where is that from? Mr. DICKSTEIN. This is from the State of New York. The CHAIRMAN. It may be inserted in the record :
(The statement is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF 20 OF THE 22 MEMBERS OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC DELE
GATION IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SIXTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS, IN OPPOSITION TO THE RESTRICTIVE IMMIGRATION BIIL H. R. 6540, REPORTED BY THE COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION.
The undersigned, being Democratic Members of the House of Representatives of the State of New York, are unalterably opposed to the rigidly restrictive immigration bill reported by the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization and known as the Johnson bill, H. R. 6540.
The foreign-born population of our country and those born here of a foreign parent comprise 33 per cent of the total population. Of these, at least 25 per cent are recent immigrants and constitute the young men and women of to-day's laboring classes so necessary to our industrial prosperity.
We are underhoused, underconstructed and underdeveloped and are in sore need of those who are willing to do our work, both skilled and hard and laborious, but this bill would tend to keep out that class of immigrants best suited for such occupations.
It would not, moreover, bring into this country a better class or a more assimilable body of immigrants.
Our national policy, as expressed in the act of 1917, a destinctly selective measure, has been to welcome to our shores all immigrants who are desirable, that is, all who are mentally, morally, and physically fit, and friendly to our form of Government.
The proposed bill goes even further than the present law in fixing an arbitrary number of immigrants who can be admitted.
It is the avowed purpose of the Immigration Committee to have this law enibody our permanent policy of immigration and bind us to a program which is enflexible, unscientific, and unjust and is, furthermore, an attempt to treat a human problem upon a cold, mathematical formula, since its basis is quantitative rather than qualitative.
The Johnson bill is particularly objectionable because it discriminates against certain nationalities already going to make up a great part of our population and fans the flames of radical, religious, and national hatreds and brands forever elements already here as of an inferior stock.
It discriminates against Italy, who gave us the great Columbus. It discriminates against Poland, who gave us our Revolutionary heroes Kosciusko and Pulaski. It discriminates against Russia of the great Tolstoi, against Hungary who gave us the great patriot Kossuth, against Greece, the land of Venizelos, against Czechoslovakia, from whence hails the distinguished Masaryk, against Jugoslavia, who sent us the great inventor Michael Pupin, and finally against France, from whence came the immortal Lafayette and Rochambeau.
Have we so soon forgotten the World War when the youth of those same nationalities, resident in the United States, joined hands with their relatives across the seas and brought victory to us and our allies in that great conflict? Shall we exclude those compatriots in arms by a mere mathematical formula? Is it fair? Is it American ?
This proposed law would adopt as a basis of entrance 2 per cent of the foreign population of 1890. In its determined effort to be as unfair as possible, the committee in addition to reducing the percentage from 3 per cent adopts, as a basis, census figures 34 years old, instead of taking the census of 1920 now available or even the census of 1910, the basis of the present law. This basis was deliberately selected to favor the so-called Nordic races and discriminate against races from southern and eastern Europe, which discrimination is, indeed, a new but perilous doctrine for democratic America, founded upon the declaration that “all men are created equal."
Our great country is still big enough, geographically, politically, and socially, to receive those persons knocking at our doors, whether of brain or brawn, who answer our mental, moral, and physical requirements and can contribute to our science, our art, our literature, our commerce, or our industry.
John F. Carew, eighteenth congressional district; John Kindred,
second congressional district ; Christopher D. Sullivan, thirteenth congressional district; Thomas H. Cullen, fourth congressional district; James M. Mead, forty-second congressional district; Anthony G. Griffin, twenty-second congressional district; William E. Cleary, eigth congressional district; John F. Quayle, seventh congressional district : David J. O'Connell, ninth congressional district ; Loring M. Black, jr., fifth congressional district : Sol Bloom, nineteenth congressional district; George W. Lindsay, third congressional district; Emanuel Celler, tenth congressional district; Parker Corning, twenty-eighth congressional district; Samuel Dickstein, twelfth congressional district; John J. Boylan, fifteenth congressional district; John J. O'Connor, sixteenth congressional district; Frank Oliver, twenty-third congressional district; Anning S. Prall, eleventh congressional dis
trict; Royal H. Weller, twenty-first congressional district. Mr. DICKSTEIN. I also ask permission, Mr. Chairman, to incorporate a brief which I have here, prepared by Judge Salvatore A. Cotillo, justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. On account of the shortness of the time which you allowed to prepare for this hearing, I was not able to get the New York delegation here who were trying to get here to be heard at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. The brief may be inserted, if there is no objection.
(The brief is printed in full, as follows:) To the United States Senate ('ommittee on Immigration, Washington, D. C.:
The immigration problem occupies to-day a foremost place in our national mind. It is a question of current discussion not only because very soon the present per centum limit act under which the inflow of immigration to the United States is largely regulated will expire by statutory limitation and will be abandoned or continued in a modified form or be supplanted by more drastic legislation but also it is the culmination of more than a century's debate of the question.
Immigration has had a most remarkable growth within the past hundred years. Official figures are not available back of the year 1820; in that year when our population numhered 9,638,453, the total immigration was 8,385. Year by year it grew until in 1842 it had crossed the 100,000 mark with 104,565 inmigrants, and in 1854 the 400,000 mark had been passed. Then came a falling off, so much so that during the Civil War the country experienced a serious labor shortage on account of which the Federal Govern. ment passed a law favorable to the entrance of foreign labor induced to come to the United States under contract.
With the impetus to industrial development that came in the years after the Civil War and with rapid expansion of our railroad system and consequent opening of new territory, immigration took a new spurt, and in the year 1882 the number of aliens arriving was close to 800,000. For more than 20 years immigration remained between 800,000 and the 1,000,000 mark, but in each of the years 1905, 1906, 1907, 1910, 1913, and 1914, over a million immigrants came into the United States. The highest point was reached in 1907 when 1,285,349 arrived but the figures for 1914 were only slightly lower with 1,218,480 immigrants. During the recent World War, as might naturally be expected, immigration fell to a low level, but in the fiscal year which ended June 30, 1921, it was again 805,228 and the subsequent falling off in immigration is directly attributable to the per centum limit act which became operative in May, 1921.
Looking broadly over this century of immigration flow and ebb we may note an interesting factor, namely; that even before there was any legal restriction on immigration, the immigration movement was in a sense its own regulator. Immigration considered in relation to business activity shows that in years of prosperity the inflow was in the ascendent, but when business activity fell off immigration also declined, as in respect to the panic years of 1837, 1873, 1884, 1893, and 1907 which were each followed by a marked decline in immigration.
The immigration policy which should be adopted at this time must be based on scientific, practical, and humane plans both for the welfare of the United States and for the maintenance of international good will. The Johnson bill which is at present before the United States Senate, discriminates most de cidedly against the nations that make up southeastern Europe. This I consider most unfair. One of the nations that belong in this group is Italy.
Before discussing further policies, I would like to review very briefly first, what Italy has contributed to the world and second, what she has contributed