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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/342

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MIGRATION


296


MIGRATION


and coraprehcnsivp rogulntion. As the sul>ject lias such important international bearinps, the treaties covering the subject liemand attention. The most noted of these, dealing with the immigration of Chinese, was the famous Burlingame Treaty of ISOS, between the United States and China. In this treaty the contracting parties freely and fully recognize the inalienable right of people everj^vhere to migrate. They also recognize that migration should lie volun- tary, and they agree to allow svich migration to their respective countries. In ISSO a second treaty between the I'nited States and China reversed the previous policy, anil allowed each country at its option to pro- hibit further immigration, a provision upon which the United States acted in 1SS2. The last treaty (upon which sulisequent legislation touching Chinese immi- gration has been based) was signed in 1S94. A treaty similar to the Burlingame Treaty was concluded be- tween the United States and Japan in 1894. This agreement gives to the subjects of either contracting power the right to enter, and reside in, the country of the other power. A treaty granting privileges of im- migration to Italians was signed by the ITnited States and Italy in 1871. This treaty marks the beginning of extensive emigration from that country to the United States. Thus, through treaties a certain amount of control has been exercised over immigra- tion. But the problem of controlling immigration into the United States has been complicated by the dual system of government, state and national. Un- til the adoption of the Constitution of 1787 the matter rested entirely with the state governments. In that instrument no direct grant of power is made to the Federal Congress for the exclusive control of immi- gration. It was only after considerable litigation, and several decisions by the Supreme Court, that Con- gress was, in 1876, given exclusive jurisdiction. Among the earlier attempts to regulate the matter were laws passed by some of the states, particularly New York and Massachusetts. In 1824 New York passed a law covering many details of registration, reports, head tax, etc. This act went on appeal to the Supreme Court, which voided the law as conflicting with the authority of Congress to control international relationships. Other acts touching certain phases of immigration were all declared null by the court, and the exclusive jurisdiction lies to-day in the Federal Congress.

The activity of the Federal Congress dates from 1819, and was" called forth, not by any desire to limit the quantity or quality of the immigration, but by the necessity of checking the brutal agencies engaged in transportation. The first statute covering this was passed by Congress in 1819. It limited the num- ber of persons any one ship could bring; at first only two persons per ton, and later only one per- son per two tons, of the ship's displacement. Subse- quent acts made provision for more sanitary ships, better food, and more space to each immigrant. Dur- ing the first half of the century no serious opposition arose to the immigrant as such. Beginning with 1844, at the rise of the Knownothing Party, a new attitude was taken by many. This party grew strong, especially in the South, and from 1844 to 1856 it carried many states. It elected members to Congress and to local assemblies, and governors of states. One of its tenets was opposition to immigration, and as a party strong in the Southern states it did much to determine that antipathy of the South to immigration which was maintained for many years. The close of the Civil War marks a new attitude towards the im- migrant. It was a period of rapidly expanding in- dustries and there was an increased, indeed an abnormal, demand for labour. An Act was passed by Congress, in 1864, which greatly encouraged the importation of labour, really authorizing contract labour. This Act was operative till 1868. Under its


influence and other favourable conditions there was a vast increase in immigration by 1866. From 72,183 in 1862, tlie numbers sprang up to .'i32,577 in 18()6.

In the early seventies .sentiment began rapi<lly to form against certain types of immigrant. This was liartly due to the organization of the labour move- ment. It was more lurgily <lue to a vast increase of Oriental migration. Acts were jiassed prohibiting the equipping of ships to carry on the trade in coolies. A system of coolie labour hail developed amount- ing practically to slavery. In 1875 any person con- tracting for coolie labour Was liable to indictment fur felony. From 1877 on, an opposition, centred on the Pacific ('(>:i>t, di'veluped again.st the further immigration of Cliincsi' labour, and this fir.st took shape in the treaty of Issii mentioned above. On 6 May, 18S2, an Act was passed by Congress for- bi<lding the ailmission of Chinese labour for ten years. This Act, with certain changes, has been continued to the present day. No Chinese labourer may now enter the United States. No Chinese may become a citizen tmless he be born here, in which case citizenship is secured to him by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. These restrictions, both as to entry and naturalization, have been from time to time ex- tended till they now apply to nearly all Orientals. The following table shows the growth of Chinese im- migration to the United States in sixteen typical years: —

1857 4,524 1881 11,890

1858 7,183 1882 39,579

1859 3,215 1885 22

1860 6,117 1890 1,716

1865 3,702 1895 975

1870 15,714 1900 1,247

1875 16,437 1906 1,544

1880 5,502 1910 1,770

It will thus be seen that the Chinese Immigration Law has been fairly successful as a measure of exclu- sion.

The first statute covering the general question of immigration was enacted by Congress on 3 August, 1882. The purpose of this and subsequent legislation has been threefold. It was necessary to provide for a more effective administration of matters of immigra- tion. This involved the concentration of authority in federal hands and the creation of a fund for this pur- pose. The Act of 1891 gave the control of immigra- tion to the Federal Government exclusively, doing away with concurrent administration. The Act of 1882 had begun the formation of a fund by imposing a head-tax of 50 cents on each alien immigrant entering a port of the United States; this tax was afterwards (1903) raised to $2 per head, and it now produces enough to carry on the department and leave a slight surplus. The law of 1891 created the office of super- intendent of immigration, later changed to commis- sioner-general of immigration. The Act of 1903 added much to the needed control. It created a number of excluded classes, which may be grouped under three general heads: those physically, those mentally, and those morally diseased. Under the general head of physically unsound are many excluded clas.ses, the most stringent rules covering those having loathsome and contagious diseases, especially trachoma and tu- bercular affections. Idiots and lunatics are excluded. Among those regarded by the Act as morally unfit, or " the anti-social class ", are Anarchists and those ac- cused of plotting against government, all criminals and fugitives from justice, all women immigrating for immoral purposes, all prostitutes and procurers of girls or women for purposes of prostitution. There is provision excluding paupers and those who are likely to become a public charge. All those are excluded who have come under contract to labour, or who have their expenses paid by another, except that immi-