Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/396

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of the present medical laws will automatically exclude these races to a sufficient extent, admitting the few who are fit. This, combined with a strictly enforced five-year probation period, with deportation as the penalty for any criminal conviction or for failure to qualify for citizenship afterward, would go far toward relieving the situation. This need not disqualify aliens from travel in the United States.

The immigrant per se has no moral or social right to enter this country against the will of its citizens. An enduring commonwealth must of necessity guard rigidly the health of its citizens and protect itself against undesirable additions from without. There was a time when European immigration was free, and almost entirely of desirable classes. That time has passed. The less desirable classes are increasing actually and relatively, and at the expense of the more desirable. It can truthfully be said that the dregs and off-scourings of foreign lands, the undesirables of whom their own nations are only too eager to purge themselves, come in hosts to our shores. The policy of those advocating free immigration would make this country in effect the dumping ground of the world.

Exclusion of these undesirables works no injustice to the lands from which they come. A large emigration from a land usually is followed by an increased birth-rate, and the net change is slightly affected, if at all.[1] Admitting undesirables to this country will in no wise elevate the world's human standard, because those undesirables will multiply as fast here as in their original home, and their stock will only become extinct when it ceases to perpetuate itself. High requirements for admission to this country reflexly raise standards of living and education in those lands from which our immigrants are drawn. This was illustrated in Italy[1] a few years ago when the higher requirements for admission caused an enforcement of the primary education laws which were dead letters before. Again, increase of a poorer class of immigration decreases the number of the better class and also decreases the chances of those who do come.

The medical phases of immigration blend very quickly into the subjects of national health protection, national eugenics and even the future existence of the ideals and standard of life which we are proud to call American. Conservatism and a carefully maintained medium between absolute exclusion, and free immigration, certainly seems the best policy.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hall, Prescott. F., "Eugenics, Ethics and Immigration."