« PreviousContinue »
IMMIGRATION QUOTAS ON THE BASIS OF NATIONAL
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
IN RESPONSE TO SENATE RESOLUTION 156, A COPY OF THE JOINT COMMUNICATION OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, AND THE SECRETARY OF LABOR TO THE PRESIDENT, DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1928, RELATIVE TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE IMMIGRATION ACT OF 1924
FEBRUARY 27, 1928.–Read; referred to the Committee on Immigration, and
ordered to be printed
THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 27, 1928. To the Senate:
In response to Senate Resolution 156 of February 23, 1928, there is transmitted herewith a copy of the joint communication of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Labor to the President, dated February 25, 1928, with accompanying report of the departmental committee appointed under the provisions of the immigration act of 1924.
FEBRUARY 25, 1928. The PRESIDENT,
The White House. DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The immigration act of 1924, as amended, provides for a system of determining the immigration quotas on the basis of national origin. Among the provisions of that act are the following:
(b) The annual quota of any nationality for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1927, and for each fiscal year thereafter, shall be a number which bears the same ratio to 150,000 as the number of inhabitants in continental United States in
1920 having that national origin (ascertained as hereinafter provided in this section) bears to the number of inhabitants in continental United States in 1920, but the minimum quota of any nationality shall be 100.
(c) For the purpose of subdivision (b) national origin shall be ascertained by determining as nearly as may be, in respect of each geographical area which under section 12 is to be treated as a separate country (except the geographical areas specified in subdivision (c) of section 4) the number of inhabitants in continental United States in 1920 whose origin by birth or ancestry is attributable to such geographical area. Such determination shall not be made by tracing the ancestors or descendants of particular individuals, but shall be based upon statistics of immigration and emigration, together with rates of increase of population as shown by successive decennial United States censuses, and such other data as may be found to be reliable.
(d) For the purpose of subdivisions (b) and (c) the term "inhabitants in continental United States in 1920" does not include (1) immigrants from the geographical areas specified in subdivision (c) of section 4 or their descendants, (2) aliens ineligible to citizenship or their descendants, (3) the descendants of slave immigrants, or (4) the descendants of American aborigines.
(e) The determination provided for in subdivision (c) of this section shall be made by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Labor jointly. In making such determination such officials may call for information and expert assistance from the Bureau of the Census. Such officials shall jointly report to the President the quota of each nationality, determined as provided in subdivision (b), and the President shall proclaim and make known the quotas so reported. Such proclamation shall be made on or before April 1, 1927. If the proclamation is not made on or before such date, quotas proclaimed therein shall not be in effect for any fiscal year beginning before the expiration of 90 days after the date of the proclamation. After the making of a proclamation under this subdivision the quotas proclaimed therein shall continue with the same effect as if specifically stated herein and shall be final and conclusive for every purpose except (1) in so far as it is made to appear to the satisfaction of such officials and proclaimed by the President that an error of fact has occurred in such determination or in such proclamation, or (2) in the case provided for in subdivision (c) of section 12. If for any reason quotas proclaimed under this subdivision are not in effect for any fiscal year, quotas for such year shall be determined under subdivision (a) of this section.
In accordance with the act, we have appointed a departmental committee to make calculations of what the quotas would be as provided under the above provisions and we submit their report herewith.
We wish it clear that neither we individually nor collectively are expressing any opinion on the merits or demerits of this system of arriving at the quotas. We are simply transmitting the calculations made by the departmental committee in accordance with the act. Faithfully yours,
FRANK B. KELLOGG,
Secretary of State. HERBERT HOOVER,
Secretary of Commerce. JAMES J. Davis,
Secretary of Labor.
FEBRUARY 15, 1928. The SECRETARY OF STATE, The SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, The SECRETARY OF LABOR.
Sirs: The committee which was appointed by you to conduct investigations and submit a report containing recommendations respecting immigration quotas upon the basis of national origin which might be reported to the President of the United States, as required by section 11 (pars. b and e) of the immigration act of 1924, submits the following report supplementing the report which was submitted on December 15, 1926.
The figures in the previous report indicating approximately what the quotas of the several countries would be as nearly as could be determined on the basis of national origin were submitted as provisional and subject to revision. The action of Congress in postponing for one year the operation of subdivisions (b) and (e) of section 11 of the act afforded an opportunity to make a more thorough study of the basic data and various sources of information than would otherwise have been possible, and the importance of the subject is such that your committee felt that they ought to devote to it all the time that was available.
In the work of revision, your committee has had valuable assistance from an unexpected quarter as a result of the fact that the American Council of Learned Societies, recognizing the importance of determining as accurately as possible the composition of the American people by racial or national origin, appointed a committee to report upon the feasibility of undertaking a study of that subject. Upon the recommendation of that committee, the council, having secured funds for that purpose, employed two expert research men to make a study of the available sources of information. One of these men had been engaged for several years in the preparation of a comprehensive history of immigration into the United States during the nineteenth century, and the other had made a special study of the origin and occurrence of family names and had come to be an authority on that subject. Both men since their appointment last summer have been working here in Washington in the Library of Congress and, although they have not completed their studies or submitted a final report, have nevertheless been very helpful in supplying your committee with data of value in relation to the revision of the immigration quotas.
One of the main sources used in determining the provisional quotas previously submitted was the classification by nationality of the population enumerated in the First Census of the United States, a classification which was made in the Bureau of the Census about 20 years ago and published in the volume entitled “A Century of Population Growth." While your committee in its previous report accepted this classification as furnishing the most complete information available regarding the national origin of the population of the United States in 1790, it realized and pointed out that there was a "considerable element of uncertainty" in a classification based, as that was, on family names, “partly because many family names undergo changes as time goes by and partly because many names are common to two or possibly more countries.". It was to be expected that whatever error there might be in this classification would be in the direction of an overstatement of the English element in the population, because that was the dominant element in most parts of the United States at that period, and for that reason the name changes would naturally be in the direction of the Anglicization of names of non-English origin. Moreover there would be a natural and justifiable tendency on the part of the classifiers to assign to the dominant element in the population all names not clearly of other origin.
The investigations carried on by the research experts employed by the American Council of Learned Societies bore out this expectation, indicating that the English element as given in the Century of Population Growth was too large; and on the basis of data which they submitted and of information derived from other sources your committee came to the conclusion that the English element, as there given, should be reduced by a little over 10 per cent and the amount of the reduction distributed among the other nationalities represented in the population of the United States in 1790. This revision affects only that portion of the several quotas which is derived from the 1790 population, which we termed "the original native stock.” It does not affect that portion which is derived from immigrant stock coming into this country after 1790.
The other revisions which the committee has made in the figures previously submitted are of less importance. It has revised its estimate of the size and composition of the white population of 1790 in territory not covered by the First Census, including settlements in Florida, in the territory afterwards acquired by the Louisiana Purchase, and in the old Northwest and the old Southwest. The white population in these areas was small and has but little effect upon the final quotas, but it has to be taken into account. Fortunately, available historical works and records made it possible to estimate this element of our population with a good degree of confidence.
Another element which has to be estimated is the unrecorded immigration which came to this country between 1790 and 1820. There are no definite figures. But it seemed necessary to make allowance for this immigration although it is not a factor of very great importance in the final result.
The committee has also reviewed and revised the adjustments made necessary by changes in political boundaries.
The revised immigration quotas, based on the national origin of the population as determined by your committee, are shown in the attached table. Respectfully submitted.
Richard W. FLOURNOY, Jr.,
S. W. Bogos,
JOSEPH Ă. Hill, Chairman,
LEON E. TRUESDELL,
W. W. HUSBAND,
National origin immigration quotas
Country or area of origin:
Tasmania, and all islands
appertaining to Australia, Austria...
Quota 1, 328
100 100 100 100
100 2, 726
137 1, 234
100 1, 639