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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/170

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

old world, and often contain considerable sums of money, which is convincing evidence to the European peasant. During periods of depression the tone of the letters reflects the change of circumstances and letters are less likely to contain cash remittances. According to statements of steamship officials, from 40 to 55 per cent, of our immigrants come here on tickets prepaid by friends in the United States—so that the successful immigrant here is the best advertisement of the advantages afforded by the United States, and one of the greatest factors in inducing immigration.

There is no doubt that in the past large employers of labor encouraged emigration from Europe, but there is no longer any necessity for them to induce emigration, either by agents or by advertisement, and the practise has almost ceased.

The transatlantic steamship companies have found the business of transporting immigrants to America very profitable and have done much to develop our immigration to its present mammoth proportions. Although the steamship companies deny the fact, a well organized system undoubtedly exists in Europe, by means of which agents and sub-agents of the steamship companies induce emigration. The companies do not openly countenance the system of misrepresentation which the sub-agents employ, but the fact remains that it is in their power to remedy this evil, which they still permit to be practised. For the sake of the commission allowed them these sub-agents picture America as an El Dorado to the peasants, telling them that passage to America is the certain road to fortune.

One of the most potent causes of emigration from Europe is the assistance given the poor of certain races by rich individuals or philanthropic associations. Thousands of Roumanian and Russian Jews, forced by persecution to emigrate, are assisted by the Jewish societies or individuals in the towns through which they pass and are thus helped to the seaboard. Many are passed on through Hamburg, Rotterdam, Libau or some other continental port to London. Here they are met by the representative of the 'Hebrew Shelter.' This institution was founded in 1885, for providing a temporary refuge, and to assist Hebrews en route to America. The Jewish Board of Guardians was founded in London in 1859. According to the report of the British royal commission on alien immigration the policy of this Jewish Board of Guardians is to lessen the pressure of alien immigration upon England.

They persuade undesirables of their own race by circulars issued abroad, to embark for other countries than England, and if such undesirable persons arrive in England, render them assistance, and help them to emigrate to other countries. The majority of the undesirable Jews, thus persuaded and assisted, eventually land in New York. They are a hopeless, poverty-stricken people, fleeing anywhere, without object