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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/54

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of citizenship training : first, training of children and inspection departments and the substitution of of the Catholic school ' '" ' "' ' """^ ^ ^^ -" -:^.- j :

generation, in the

racy and in the , . _ . . ,. _

citizenship under a democracy; secondly, educating government supervision; the encouragement of the Americans immigrant population in the workings use by immigrants of United States Postal Savings of our government and instilling in them the desire Banks; the scrutiny of employment agency metn- to become American citizens and to take part in ods to i)revent immigrant exploitation; the careful our civic, political and social life; thirdly, arousing supervision of business agencies, such as steamship the average citizen to a more active performance of companies, loan societies, etc., catering to for- his civic duties; and fourthly, emphasizing to all eigners, the prohibition of pa3rment of tributes for persons the fact that religion supplies the only ef- the right to work or for the securing of jobs, and fective motives for the conscientious discharge of protection by voluntary agencies from such exploi- civic obligations. tation; and the establishment of legal and businesa

The constructive features of the Catholic Amer- aid bureaus by welfare organizations, icanization work soon won recognition from many Under the new Immigration Law passed by the organizations outside the Catholic Church, and its 67th Congress, the number of aliens of any program and literature were utilized by many of nationality who may be admitted to the United them. Americanization leaders, editors, and edu- States in anv fiscal year was limited to three per cators referred to the program of the N. C. W. C. as centum of the number of foreign-bom persons of the most constructive and practical one presented such nationality resident in the United States, as to the American public. A typical editorial com- determined by the United States Census of 1910. ment is the following from the "Post-Intelligencer," The effect of this Act was a lessening of the acute- Seattle, Washington: "It is reassuring . to other ness of the immigration problem, both as regards religionists and provocative of public confidence Americanization work generally and as regards the to be assured that the Americanization work of aid and follow-up work of the Catholic body in the Welfare Council is free from denominationalism behalf of the immigrants coming from Catholic of any kind; that the Council is planning in the countries.

most constructive way that it can devise to make The average nimiber of immigrants entering the Americans, actual and potential, realize that good United States annually during the ten years prior citizenship is a matter of great concern to them not to the enactment of the new Immigration Law was

only on election day, but on every other day 573,581. Under the new law the alien influx will

But beyond the immediate work of the Welfare be approximately 250,000 per year. According to Coimcil is the assurance that the effective machin- the 1920 census, the total foreign-bom population ery of the Roman Catholic Church is exerting its of the United States on 1 January, 1920, numbered great influence in these fretful days of reconstmc- 13,920,692, an increase of 404^06, or 3 per cent since tion in the direction of better Americanism and 1910. Of this total 6,493,088 were naturalized, better citizenship. The Church itself is intema- 1,223,490 had taken out their first papers, and tional, but its hierarchy and its membership in 5,398,605 were aliens, and for the remaining 805,509 America is American. This speaks in many ways, the citizenship status was not ascertained. Ex- but in none more plainly and forcibly than in the pressed in percentages the distribution was: natu- work of the N. C. W. C." ralized, 46.6 per cent; first papers, 8.8 per cent;

One of the problems closely related to the work alien, ZSS per cent; not reported, 5.8 per cent, of Americanization was that of immigration. Eccle- Wide differences in citizenship status appear among siastical authorities recognized that lack of proper the natives of the various foreign countries, the attention to the needs of Catholic immigrants at proportions naturalized among Uiose twenty-one the various ports of entry to the United States, and years of age and over ranging from 74.4 per cent failure to lollow them up after their arrival in for the Welsh to 5-5 per cent for the Mexicans. America, had in past years resulted in a great leak- For the five countries which contributed the largest age from the Church and delay, if not failure, in numbers of immigrants, the percentages naturalized their becoming good citizens of the country. Prior were as follows: natives of Germany, 73.6; of to the war, inadequate facilities prevented proper Ireland, 66.1; of Russia, 42.1; of Italy, 29 J8; and care of Catholic immigrants arriving in Amenca. of Poland, 28.9. The natives of these five countries The authorities of the National Catholic Welfare formed more than half of the total foreign-bom Council determined upon a national bureau of white population of the United States in 1920. immigration as one of the main activities of that Limiting the comparison to persons twenty-one orgamzation. Assisting Catholic immigrants, both at years of age and over, the natives of Germany the principal ports of embarkation and entr^, aiding numbered 1,648384; of Italy, 1,408,933; of Russia, immigrants to their destination, co-operation with i;21 1,337; of Poland, 1,048,050; and of Ireland, local Catholic agencies, co-ordination of Catholic 1,021,677. Of the total white population twenty-one immigration activities, distribution of Americaniza- years of age and over 22.7 per cent were immigrants tion and religious literature and aiding the immi- and 11.3 per cent were naturalized immigrants, grant to final naturalization, were the principal Thus in the white population of voting age there functions and "follow-up" activities of this bureau, were 146 naturalized immigrants to every 1000

Probably the greatest hindrance to the civic as- natives, similation of immigrants is the trickery and fraud According to the 1921 Annual Report of the Com- perpetrated by the unscrupulous upon the newcom- missioner of Naturalization, 18,981 loreign-bom resi- ers. Some of the things which the N. C. W. C. dents of the United States (10 per cent of the citizenship program recommended to be done to total applicants) were refused certificates of natu- prevent the exploitation of immigrants were: the ralization during the fiscal year (30 June, 1920, to purging of the police courts and other petty courts 30 June, 1921), for the following reasons: already of every practice of injustice; the establishment of a citizen, immoral character, incompetent witnesses, small claims courts where claimants, native as well insufficient residence, ignorance, no certificate of as immigrant, may secure their rights without cost; arrival, declaration invalid, no jurisdiction, motion the discontinuance of arbitrary methods of police of petitioner to deny, premature petition, want of