Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

6. Recent immigrants in agriculture.

7. Immigrant children and the children of immigrants in schools. 8. Extent to which recent immigrants and their children are becoming assimilated or Americanized, and agencies promoting or retarding assimilation.

9. The physical assimilation of immigrants.

10. Alien criminality.

11. Immigrants in penal and reformatory institutions.
12. Immigrants in institutions for the insane.

13. Immigrants as charity seekers in various cities.

14. Immigrants in charity hospitals.

Other features included in the Commission's plan of work and which required the collection of original data through field agents

were:

1. An inquiry concerning the importation of women for immoral purposes-the "white slave traffic.'

2. An investigation of immigrant homes, aid societies, and employment agencies.

3. An investigation of the immigrant bank system, which included also an inquiry relative to the amount of money sent abroad.

4. An investigation of conditions under which immigrants are carried at sea.

5. The original plans of the Commission contemplated, in connection with the general field work, an inquiry into the alleged holding of immigrants in peonage in various parts of the country. This was I made the subject of a special inquiry, however, because of the following resolution by the House of Representatives, adopted March 2, 1908:

Resolved, That the Immigration Commission be requested to make an investigation into the treatment and conditions of work of immigrants on the cotton plantations of the Mississippi Delta, in the States of Mississippi and Arkansas, and upon the turpentine farms, lumber camps, and railway camps in the States of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and other States; and to report them at as early a date as possible.

In addition to the various branches of the investigation requiring field work, the plan of the Commission contemplated digest work as follows:

1. History of earlier European immigration to the United States. 2. Review of national and state legislation respecting immigration. 3. Review of United States and European legislation for the regulation of the steerage-passenger traffic.

4. Digest of judicial decisions on aliens, immigration, and the immigration and Chinese-exclusion laws.

5. The immigration situation in other immigrant-receiving countries and the laws of such countries regulating the movement.

6. Statistical review of immigration to the United States from 1819 to date, including revision of data for the earlier years from original reports.

7. Geographical distribution and general status of the foreignborn and their children in census years 1850 to 1900, from census reports.

As previously stated, hearings in the ordinary meaning of that term were not included in the Commission's plan of work. In lieu of this several important societies and organizations interested in various phases of the immigration question were invited to submit

in writing such statements as they desired to bring to the attention of the Commission. In response to this invitation several interesting statements were received, and these are made a part of the Commission's report.

RACIAL CLASSIFICATION OF IMMIGRANTS.

Since 1899 the Bureau of Immigration has classified arriving immigrants by races or peoples, as well as by country of last perma nent residence, and this plan was followed by the Commission in collecting and compiling original data respecting the foreign-born element in the population of the United States.

METHODS OF WORK.

By far the greater part of the Commission's work has consisted of the collection and compilation of data respecting recent immigrants in the United States. Something of the extent of the investigation is indicated by the fact that original information was secured for more than 3,200,000 individuals. This number, it will be understood, does not include data secured from existing records, but only such as were directly collected by agents of the Commission, a large number of whom were employed.

All of the field work of the Commission was carried on under the immediate supervision of committees or members of the Commission or the central office in Washington. This feature of the inquiry was practically concluded on July 1, 1909, and the compilation of data and preparation of reports have required the employment of a large office force in Washington for a greater part of the past two years.

The reports of the Commission are now completed and in the hands of the printer. The result of the inquiry will be contained in about 40 volumes of varying size, and it is the hope and belief of the Commission that the intent of the Congress as expressed in section 39 of the immigration act of 1907 has been fully carried out.

LIST OF REPORTS OF THE IMMIGRATION COMMISSION.

Abstract of Reports of the Immigration Commission.

Emigration Conditions in Europe.

Immigrants in Industries:

Summary Report. (Two volumes.)

Bituminous Coal Mining. (Two volumes.)

Iron and Steel Manufacturing. (Two volumes.)

Cotton Goods Manufacturing in the North Atlantic States-Woolen and Worsted
Goods Manufacturing.

Silk Goods Manufacturing and Dyeing Clothing Manufacturing Collar, Cuff,
and Shirt Manufacturing.

Leather Manufacturing Boot and Shoe Manufacturing-Glove Manufacturing.
Slaughtering and Meat Packing Sugar Refining.

Glass Manufacturing Agricultural Implement and Vehicle Manufacturing-
Cigar and Tobacco Manufacturing.

Furniture Manufacturing-Copper Mining and Smelting-Iron Ore Mining—
Anthracite Coal Mining Oil Refining.

Diversified Industries. (Two volumes.)

The Floating Immigrant Labor Supply.

Recent Immigrants in Agriculture. (Two volumes.)

Japanese and Other Immigrant Races in the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain
States. (Two volumes.)

Immigrants in Cities. (Two volumes.)

The Children of Immigrants in Schools. (Five volumes.)
Immigrants as Charity Seekers. (Two volumes.)

Immigrant Delinquents and Defectives: Immigration and Crime-Immigration and
Insanity-Immigrants in Charity Hospitals.

Steerage Conditions-Immigrant Homes and Aid Societies-Importation and Harboring of Women for Immoral Purposes-Contract Labor-The Padrone SystemImmigrant Banks.

Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants.

Statistical Review of Immigration to the United States, 1820-1910-Distribution of Immigrants 1850-1900.

Occupations of First and Second Generations of Immigrants in the United States--
Fecundity of Immigrant Women.

Immigration Legislation: Federal Immigration Legislation-Digest of Immigration
Decisions-Steerage Legislation-State Immigration Legislation.
Dictionary of European and Other Immigrant Races.

The Immigration Situation in Other Countries: Canada-Australia-New Zealand-
Argentina-Brazil.

The Immigration Situation in Hawaii.

Alien Seamen and Stowaways.

Peonage.

Statements and Recommendations Submitted by Societies and Organizations Interested in the Subject of Immigration.

CONCLUSIONS.

While it has been no part of the work of the Commission to enforce the provisions of the immigration laws, it has been thought best to furnish from time to time to the proper authorities such information acquired in the course of the investigation as could further good administration and the enforcement of the law. City, state, and federal officials have officially recognized such assistance in their attempts to control the so-called "white slave traffic," in the proper regulation of the immigrant societies and homes, in securing evidence and penal certificates to accomplish the deportation of criminals, and in the administration of the Chinese-exclusion act. In some instances such information has led to local reorganization of the immigrant service. While mention is made of this matter the real work of the Commission has consisted in the collection and preparation of new material, largely statistical in nature, which might form a basis on which to frame legislation. A very condensed summary of the results on some of the principal questions investigated follows.

SOURCES OF IMMIGRATION AND CHARACTER OF IMMIGRANTS.

From July 1, 1819, to June 30, 1910, 27,818,710 immigrants were admitted to the United States. Of this number 91.5 per cent came from European countries, which countries are the source of about 93.5 per cent of the present immigration movement. From 1819 to 1883 more than 95 per cent of the total immigration from Europe originated in the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Switzerland. In what follows the movement from these countries will be referred to as the "old immigration." Following 1883 there was a rapid change in the ethnical character of European immigration, and in recent years more than 70 per cent of the movement has originated in southern and eastern Europe. The change geographically, however, has been somewhat greater than the change in the racial character of the immigration, this being due very largely to the number of Germans who have come from Austria-Hungary and Russia. The movement from southern and eastern Europe will be referred to as the "new immigration. In a single generation Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia have succeeded the United Kingdom and Germany as the chief sources of immigration. In fact, each of the three countries first named furnished more immigrants to the United States in 1907 than came in the same year from the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland combined.

The old immigration movement in recent years has rapidly declined, both numerically and relatively, and under present conditions there

(15)

« PreviousContinue »