Sans Rose Colored Glasses
Robert R. Rosen takes a particularly clear eyed look at our immigration history in this piece. Though its been drilled into our heads that our earlier immigration was always a positive, there were some pesky details...
By the 1920s, the overwhelming majority of Americans feared the new wave of immigrants. After the Haymarket bombing by foreign-born anarchists in Chicago in 1886, the rise of violent, radical and even revolutionary labor movements; the assassination of President McKinley in 1901 by a Polish anarchist; the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917; the rise of the Communist Party in the United States; the dramatic increase in the number of Polish, Slavic, Greeks and Italian Catholics, Chinese, Jews and others whose politics, culture, religion, dress, language and behavior were alien and troublesome to the majority of Americans, the electorate demanded that Congress dramatically curtail immigration. Anti-alien hysteria reached a peak in the "Red Scare" of 1919-1920. Bombings all over the country by terrorists led to the rounding up and deportation of Communists, radicals and revolutionaries.The truth is important, note to pro-illegal immigration forces, without the truth we will have a replay of 1924. As I've said before, you want harsh and punitive? Keep trying to shut down the debate by calling folks racists and nativists and xenophobes and you will get the same result the open borders crowd got in 1924...
The clamor against the Simpson-Mazzoli bill today closely resembles the rigid opposition in the first decade of the twentieth century to any scheme of immigration restriction. The inescapable need for some rational control over the volume of immigration in an increasingly crowded world was plain to see, then as now. But unyielding resistance from the newer immigrant groups, from business interests that exploited them, and from the traditionalists who feared any increase in the powers of government, blocked all action. The problem was allowed to fester and grow-until a wave of national hysteria brought into being a system that was extravagantly protective and demeaningly racist. Hispanic leaders, chambers of commerce, and civil libertarians should take note."35Take note.
H/T Beyond Borders Blog
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