Puslapio vaizdai

to the restriction of immigration, and while the inrush of aliens will be checked during the progress of the European War, peace will witness their coming in greater numbers. History does not sustain any other prediction. The Napoleonic wars, the revolutions in Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, and Germany, the Prussian campaigns against Denmark, Austria, and France, the Russo-Japanese War-all were followed by an increased immigration to the United States. Burdensome taxes, shattered families, ruined fields, and economic severities, the inevitable results of war, are bound to turn eyes to the one country that does not rest under the baneful shadow of militarism.

The question for the United States to decide is whether the same old policy of neglect, stupidity, and oppression shall be pursued, or whether a new and sincere approach shall be made to the task of assimilation. In this connection, let it be borne in mind that while the immigrant seems to suffer and die in seeming helplessness, he works his revenge upon society in a thousand ways. Out of his ignorance and despair he drags down the wagescale, acts as a strike-breaker, lowers the American standard of living, and adds the note of actual ferocity to the competitive struggle. Out of the slums where aliens fester in dirt and disease come the defectives and delinquents that fill our jails and asylums, and their ignorance and lack of civic interest make them easy prey for the unclean political influences that prosper by municipal maladministration.

Ludlow, Calumet, Lawrence, Paterson, Cabin Creek, and other revolts of oppressed aliens have cost millions in actual loss and scarred whole States with hatred. Even if justice to the alien contains no appeal, there is the instinct of self-preservation to compel drastic changes.

Certain steps are already being taken in the direction of reform. Mr. Caminetti, Commissioner-General of Immigration, has vitalized the division of information so that it is truly aiding the immigrant in making the choice of a home, and is doing a splendid work in connection with the

employment problem. Also, by an arrangement with Mr. Claxton, Commissioner of Education, the names of all immigrant children of school age are sent immediately from the various ports of arrival to the school authorities at the point of destination.

Several cities, notably Cleveland, have established immigration bureaus that guard the immigrant from the time of his arrival, watching his education, protecting his rights, promoting his interests, and helping him in the advance to naturalization. Of the States, California has moved to the front with a statute providing teachers to work in the homes of immigrants, instructing children and adults in education laws, labor laws, sanitation, and the fundamental principles of American citizenship.

The North American Civic League for Immigrants is a powerful volunteer body that attempts the promotion of helpful legislation, the positive work required to protect the immigrant, and the teaching of the English language. Through the medium of the Baron de Hirsch Trust, the Jewish immigrant receives far larger consideration than that accorded to any other nationality. The trust maintains distributing agencies at all points of entry, and not only is the alien placed in the business or job for which he has been trained, but in event of his poverty he is loaned the money necessary for transportation and equipment.

These activities are praiseworthy indeed, but they do not by any means contain the solution of the immigrant problem. The work that is to be done cannot wait upon private generosity or individual initiative, nor will the true answer ever be given by cities or States acting by themselves. The task of assimilation is national. It is the Federal Government that lets in these millions from other shores, and it is the Federal Government that must accept the responsibility for their protection, development, and Americanization. The one policy that carries with it any certainty of success is a policy that will regard every alien as a ward of the nation, to be

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guarded, aided, and protected from the very day of arrival to the day of naturalization. Until they have mastered the language, become acquainted with their rights as well as their duties, and gained a sense of belonging, these strangers within our gates are as children, and must be so treated.

Such a policy, taking account of the muddles and maladjustments of the past, will invent machinery of distribution that will end the disastrous stupidity of farmers huddled in industrial centers, tradesmen and professional men herded in mills and factories, and skilled labor wasting itself in unskilled drudgeries—a machinery that will place every immigrant to his own advantage as well as to the advantage of the state.

In the growth of the unemployment problem, and the increase in involuntary poverty, may be seen the evil results of the theory that has insisted upon government as a sovereign power rather than as a working partnership with the people. In the formulation of a sane immigration policy there is the chance for the Government of the United States to put off its purple robes of aloofness and put on the overalls of empire-building.

Government lands and state lands lie idle while the business of pioneering is turned over to promoters who are concerned only with their profits, caring nothing for the human element that figures in their close bargains. Where is there larger promise of happiness and prosperity than in the transportation of immigrant agriculturists, in community groups, to this public land, together with such equipment as will enable them to make a flying start in their conquest of the soil? It is not a new idea, or radical, for other countries are using the twentyyear-loan system to put people upon the land.

In those isolated cases where immigrant groups have succeeded in getting into agriculture, the result has been industry, thrift, sobriety, education, and Americanization. Italians are growing cotton on the Mississippi delta, fruit in the Ozarks

and Louisiana, and raising garden-truck in the Atlantic Coast States and New England, either rendering worthless land productive by their toil or else developing supposedly waste tracts.

The Poles are lovers of the land, ninety per cent. of them that come to the United States being eager to engage in agriculture, and the small number able to achieve their ambition have only stories of success to tell. The Polish farmers of Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas, and Kansas are not behind the native-born in their contributions to the general good, and the Bohemians are others who have done well wherever their feet have touched the soil.

The investigations of the Immigration Commission proved that all of those thus brought into contact with opportunity were grasping it, taking out naturalization-papers, Americanizing in every way, and playing their proper part in municipal, state, and national affairs.

A second necessary step is the creation of a federal system of public employmentbureaus which may minister to the needs of the native-born as well as of the alien. Individual States have failed abjectly in this respect, for even the nineteen commonwealths that have created free employment-bureaus have done little more than to pile up records of inadequacy. Federal control would cover the whole country, supplementing and assisting the work of existing organizations, regulating private agencies, and bringing together definitely the jobless man and the manless job. Here again it is a matter of imitation rather than innovation, for Great Britain and Germany have for years been operating national labor-exchanges successfully.

The United States must follow the example of European countries, which meet the difficulties of poverty by the advancement of transportation costs, and also guard against class control of the machinery by providing that both workers and employers shall have representation on a governing committee.

Justice must be made swift and inexpensive, and this cannot be done until the

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