tv Immigration in America CSPAN May 29, 2016 10:40pm-12:01am EDT
of evidence from this question. do you trust william jefferson clinton? >> we have witnessed something that has never before happened in all of senate history. the change of power during a session of congress. >> what the american people still don't understand in this bill is there are three areas in this bill that in the next five years will put the government in charge of everybody's health care. >> plus, an interview with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. >> i'm sure i have made a number of mistakes in my political career. having voted against having c-span televised the senate is one of them. watch 30 years of the u.s. senate on television beginning thursday on c-span. to see more of our 30 years of coverage on the senate on c-span2, go to www.c-span.org.
>> coming up next, albany law school professor emeritus paul finkelman delivering a keynote address at a symposium focused on the history of immigration in america. mr. finkelman compares the roles of congress, states, and the president in developing immigration policy from the colonial period to modern day. this event is part of a two-day u.s. capitol historical society symposium. it's about an hour and 15 minutes. >> for the keynote opening this particular symposium, we have professor finkelman. again, those of you who come on a routine basis, know paul well. he's been our fearless leader for the past several years in helping to direct the symposium. because of that i feel like no introduction is needed. but really in paul's case it's really true. i'll just say that he comes to us from the university of
saskatchewan to give you a sense of how far he's come to be with us today. he's there on a visiting professorship on human rights. he'll be speaking on a "a nation of immigrants." the keynote is an opportunity to look at the theme in a broader sense. so he's going to be laying the groundwork for everything that we're going to be discussing tomorrow. i hope you'll all come back if you can tomorrow as well. one last thing before paul comes to the podium. we have a special lunch program. something we don't do typically. we're going to have a speaker join us during the lunch period tomorrow so we can keep people in the room. we'll have box lunches to make that easy for you. i think you'll really enjoy it. if you're suspicious about what a living historian interpreter does, it's a good chance for you to find out what kind of historians deal with the public directly. these are people who speak to classroom groups, tour groups at specific historic sites and so on.
i think you'll be really impressed by ron dukett interpreting tomorrow. without further ado, paul finkelman. [applause] professor finkelman: thank you very much. it's delightful to be here. i think it's marvelous that we are doing this on cinco de mayo. of course when, as chuck pointed out, when we planned this conference about a year ago, we had no idea that it would be as much in the news and as important a topic as it has become. i would like to say we're prophets and that we could envision the last year of american politics but then that would also not be true and it would also be impossible. so here we are. we are a nation of immigrants. it's a theme that runs throughout our history,
throughout our public schoolbooks. i did a quick search of something called world cat which tells you where all the books are located in libraries around the world. i find dozens of entries with the title "a nation of immigrants" including, perhaps, the most interesting one, a book written by senator john f. kenny in 1958, republished in 1964, posthumously with an introduction by his brother robert kennedy and then republished again in 2008 with an introduction by his other brother, senator edward kennedy. the phrase appears, of course, in scholarly articles, popular journals, and popular media all the time. most americans take pride in the notion that we are a nation of immigrants. the story of immigrants' success, the story of america as a safe haven for immigrants is woven in much of our history. more than one scholar has, indeed, noted that the history of immigration is the history of
america itself. this would even be true, of course, if you were focusing on native-americans because they would be seeing the history of america from the other side of immigration. but, in a sense, immigration runs throughout our history. when i was growing up, the schoolbooks focused on the famous successful immigrants, andrew carnegie, alexander graham bell, whose name, of course, became synonymous with the telephone he invented, john ericsson, the great engineer, and occasionally jack warner and his brothers who helped create the movie industry. every book would have a mention of the great immigrant scientists who helped us win the war. albert einstein, edward keller, leo szilard, enrico fermi, while skipping over the postwar nazi immigrant wernher von braun.
day, immigrant heroes are more likely to be found in high tech. andy grove from hungary, vinod dham, from india, invented the pentium chip without life itself would not be possible anymore, and, of course, sergey brin of russia, co-founder of google, which is, in fact, life itself. [laughter] professor finkelman: alternatively, of course, we learned of the great entertainers, irving berlin, cary grant, greta garbo, sophia loren, zsa zsa gabor, and now the most recent entertainers, natalie portman from israel, arnold schwarzenegger from austria, dan akroyd from canada, and, of course, most important of all, eddie van halen from the netherlands. there is the litany of sports figures, the first generation was actually children of immigrants, lou gehrig, joe dimaggio, hank greenberg. and, today, of course, we have the immigrants themselves, yao ming, serge fedorov, martina navratilova, wayne gretzky, and,
of course, the single greatest athlete of our generation, mariano rivera. >> [laughter] professor finkelman: who? the people from boston have spoken. >> [laughter] when wer finkelman: consider the role of congress and the executive branch in immigration, it is, of course, important to understand that immigrants and their children -- and when we speak about immigrants, it's almost always important to talk about the first generation because they are almost always raised in immigrant communities. indeed, there's a phenomenally wonderful map that the census produced for the 1910 census which shows county by county the percentage of immigrants and their children across the united states. bright red meant they were 50% or more immigrant. and not surprisingly, all of new york city, most of new jersey are bright red.
but so is virtually all of idaho, all of montana, the dakotas, wisconsin, minnesota. we forget how incredibly important immigration was with their children across the settlement of the united states. and today, of course, popular culture -- so when we talk about politics, we talk about both the immigrants and the children of immigrants who are in politics. popular culture, of course, today celebrates the west indian kid who came to new york looking for a college education and instead ended up as the secretary of the treasury. meanwhile, while he's unlikely to have a broadway play after him, there's also the son of the west indian immigrants who went to public schools in new york, went to city college, and ended up being chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and secretary of state. colin powell, of course, followed in the recent footsteps of many immigrants and their children who have ended up in presidential cabinets and their equivalent.
indeed, in the last half-century there have been at least 20 immigrants and their children who have served at that level of american government. we have had two secretaries of state, one secretary of the treasury, one secretary of interior, two national security advisors, one of whom was also secretary of state, and one ambassador to the united nations, all of whom were naturalized american citizens. when we think about the role of the immigrant in american history, we have to wonder what would it be if we cut off this stream of immigration that has provided us with so much leadership. there are, of course, many children of immigrants in congress today and presidential cabinets. and the numbers of grandchildren of immigrants who were raised in families where immigration matters is simply too big to count. this has always been the case.
in the 1790's, there was senator pierce butler from ireland. and as we will learn tomorrow, senator albert gallatin from switzerland. in the mid 19th century, in the senate there was judah benjamin, peter soule, david, and carl schurz, all of whom were immigrants. in the 20th century we saw robert wagner, s.i. hayakawa, rudy boschwitz and mel martinez serving in the senate. and this is only the skimming the easy names off the top. it would be too difficult to list all the house members which simply run out of time. in 1790, 10% of congress was foreign-born. in the mid 1880's, 8% of congress was foreign born. today it's down to 2%. central to the notion of the nation of immigrants has been that america has been a refuge of the oppressed.
americans, of course, have been proud of this. and this is part reflected by the nickname of the two great entrees to the united states, both ellis island and angel island were known as the golden door at the time that they were active and in subsequent history since. there is a good reason for this. whatever else we may say in criticizing some aspects of american culture and american society, the golden door is provided an enormous amount of economic opportunity as well as a safe haven for political and religious refugees from around the world. emma lazarus' home on the base -- poem on the base of the statue of liberty encapsulates the ideals and ideology of both the nation of immigrants and a golden door. "keep, ancient lands your storied pomp!" she cries with silent lips.
"give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, i lift my lamp beside the golden door!" for many newcomers, historically the sight of lady liberty was something they never forgot. my own grandparents and great aunts and uncles were called the -- recalled the thrill of seeing the statue as their ship came into new york harbor after a less than pleasant voyage and steerage from europe. my own grandfather, on my father's side, the statue had greater meaning. he came to america at a time when federal law banned immigrants with various kinds of loathsome or dangerous diseases as the federal statute put it. my grandfather wasn't sure what loathsome or dangerous diseases was but he knew that he had bad eyes. and he knew that if you had bad
eyes, you didn't get into the united states. he didn't know what trachoma was and he didn't know he didn't have it. so instead of going through ellis island, how his siblings and parents went, he went from southern poland to hamburg to manchester to halifax to montreal. and he took the train from montreal to plattsburgh, new york. one can hardly imagine a more dismal way to enter the united states. [laughter] professor finkelman: and he crossed in as a tourist. he took the train to new york city. and he stayed in new york city until he discovered that his bad eyes were not what they would stop you for at ellis island. so he took the boat out to ellis island. he's one of the few immigrants to go reverse trip to ellis island so that he could come in to the united states. he came into the country, in a sense, through the back door and
only later reentered through the golden door. my other grandfather came through the golden door in 1913 when he was about 13 years old. but you had to be 16 to work so he lied on his immigration papers, said he was 16 so he could go to work. and then when he was only about 17, uncle sam sent a little letter of greetings, world war i is now here. so my grandfather got drafted before he was eligible but he couldn't very well say, oh, no, no, i'm too young. and then on august 8, 1918, he became a citizen under the amendatory act of may 1918 while stationed at camp gordon in georgia. so we are a nation of immigrants but not everybody came in according to the rules. thus, i am the face of the illegal alien. >> [laughter] professor finkelman: my father
and mother, both born in new york city, were what some people would call anchor babies. they were anchoring their illegal fathers who today, of course, would be expelled from the united states for the way they came into the country. they snuck in through the golden door and lied about it to stay here. now, despite the easy praise for immigrants who made good and the easy case to be made for immigrant contributions to american society, there has always been, of course, the counter narrative. often immigrants are seen as a threat to society or the cause of social and political problems. immigrants have been condemned for undermining the moral climate of america and have been singled out for criminal misbehavior when, of course, american citizens who did the same thing don't make headlines. religion, ethnicity and race have been a constant theme of anti-immigration rhetoric in the united states. at various times the nation and
even some states in many cities have encouraged immigration for economic reasons while at the same time opponents of immigration have vigorously argued immigrants depress wages and threaten the incomes of native-born citizens. by the way, this is going on right now today. there are a number of cities that are seeking out immigrants to revitalize depressed neighborhoods, depressed cities, even as other people complain about the flood of immigrants that keep coming to the united states. thus historically, and certainly today, there have been loud calls for immigration reform and severe immigration restrictions. immigration is, of course, a central issue in the presidential campaign this year. this is, of course, the elephant or the donkey in the room. i'm not sure which it might be. ironically, four of the major
presidential candidates this year are the children of immigrants. this has never happened before. two of the major presidential candidates are married to immigrants. and one was born outside the united states and is arguably not a natural-born citizen and therefore was never eligible to be president in the first place. at no other time in u.s. history have so many children of immigrants been viable candidates for a presidential nomination. should donald trump become president, he would be the first child of an immigrant to become president of the united states while simultaneously being a serial spouse of immigrants. >> [laughter] professor finkelman: this, of course, is a new world for us. as this conference will demonstrate, the rules for immigration and citizenship have been constantly changing.
what i'd like to talk about for the rest of the evening is opposition to immigration and the way it has affected the rules for immigration. obviously they are interconnected. when opponents of immigration the rules have , changed, making it more difficult for the huddled masses who are yearning to breathe free, to, in fact, become free and if they get here at all, to become citizens. opposition to immigration, as i've noted, has been based on religion, ethnicity, race, and sometimes unabashed bigotry. sometimes these sentiments, known in u.s. history as nativism, have been quite open. sometimes they are couched in terms about economics, competition, or respect for the law. often immigration has been based on narrow political considerations. most famously, of course, in 1798, the federalist party tried to stop immigration, made it far more difficult for immigrants to
become citizens. why? because the federalists understood most of the new immigrants were voting for the party of thomas jefferson. similarly, in the 1840's and 1850's, the nativist movement culminating in the no-nothing party with its presidential campaign of 1856, again, did not want catholic immigration in part because a number of the no-nothings, including their 1856 presidential candidate, millard fillmore had previously lost elections because they lost the catholic vote. now, fillmore never understood why the catholics didn't vote for him after he campaigned in favor of mandatory protestant bible reading in the new york public schools. but perhaps that was his own limitation. but perhaps that was his own limitation. the earliest example that i can find of anti-immigration sentiment comes from an outburst in governor william bradford's
diary in 1642. bradford was the governor of the plymouth colony and claimed the population was being corrupted by recent immigrants who were, quote, wicked persons and profane people who had so quickly come over into this land and mixed amongst us. the religious men who began the community had come for religion sake and now they had these wicked people. bradford was referring to the recent execution for beastiality of a young man, thomas granger, who at age 17 had been caught in the barnyard doing things which were illegal. when asked where he learned this immoral behavior, granger said, quote, he was taught by another who had heard of such things from someone in england when he was there and they kept cattle together. thus, radford claimed grangers fatal behavior on recent immigrants who corrupted this
young man living in plymouth. bradford also noted that another young man had been recently executed for sodomy confessing that he long ago used it in england. bradford concluded that this illustrated how one with the person may affect many and he urged residents to be careful of what servants they bring into the family. bradford recorded the case in his diary, including various details about rangers behavior which i will not going to. suffice to say granger confessed to having sex with various barnyard creatures as well as a wild turkey. [laughter] he was subsequently hanged and all the barnyard creatures were killed and thrown into a big pit. by the way, massachusetts magistrates were truly both huddled by what to do about the turkey and so they went in and shot three wild turkeys and through them in the pit to symbolically cleanse the society from this immorality.
after the execution, bradford try to understand why wickedness did break forth in the land where it so much was witnessed against and so narrowly looked unto. he concluded that grangers behavior plus adultery and nonmarital sex and even sodomy and buggery have broke forth in this land oftener than once. bradford focused on the fact that most of the offenders were immigrants or people who had been corrupted by immigrants. he tried to explain this by looking at the labor shortage in plymouth. he noted that many of the settlers, desperate for laborers, that when they could
not have such as they would, were glad to take such as they could. so of course, settlers of plymouth were willing to take irreligious people, people of questionable morals, recent immigrants because they were desperate for labor. then he concluded, another and more main reason was that meant finding so many godly persons disposed to these parts, some began to make a trade of it. to transport passengers and the goods. hired ships for that end. to advance their profit, they cared not to the persons were if they had the money to pay them. by this means, the country became pestered with unworthy people. in other words, plymouth in the 16 40's was being overrun by the wrong kind of immigrants brought
by greedy capitalists who were willing to fill their ships with anybody who could pay their passage. this, of course, reflects the problems that opponents of immigrants often talk about. not only bad people coming, but local citizens beginning to look the other way and hire anybody they could hire without regard to whether they were the right kind of immigrants. bradford's analysis, by the way, dovetails with that of theodore roosevelt. the annual message to congress in 1905, roosevelt played the nation could never have too much immigration of the right sort and we should have none of the wrong sort. the debate from the time of bradford to roosevelt to our own
time is how do we figure out what the right sort of immigrant is and how do we figure out what the wrong sort of immigrant is. bradford, of course, was not the only colonial official to do this. in the interest of time, i will not go into too many details, but it is worth noting that just a few years after bradford's outburst, the governor of the dutch colony of the new netherland faced the problem of quakers and lutherans and jews creeping into new amsterdam and corrupting the society. when 23 jews arrived in 1654, he tried to expel these homeless, stateless people. they had no place to return to and no nation to protect them, thus, no plans to go anywhere. he immediately wrote to his bosses in amsterdam and asked for permission to expel them because they were " very
repugnant to the colonies magistrates." he absurdly claimed that he feared they would soon be up to their old customary usery and deceitful trading with christians. the only problem was they had no money to lend and no money to buy and nothing to sell. that did not worry him. he referred to these 23 immigrants as the deceitful race. such hateful enemies and blasphemers in the name of christ and he hoped they would not be allowed to infect and trouble this new colony. the religious leader of the community similarly wrote authorities in holland and asked that the godless rascals be expelled. the religious leaders noted that many puritans, independence, lutherans, atheists, other
servants of bahl under the english who conceal themselves under the name of christians will create further confusion if the immovable jews came to settle here. this fascinating outburst seems to be more aimed at non-jews but the general issue is that the authorities in the new netherland colony wanted to make sure that they got the right kind of immigrant, and not the wrong sort that had troubled and when trouble americans. official of the dust west indies company sympathized with stivenson. they said they would like to agree with the wishes and request that the new territory are being paid by people of the jewish race, but they concluded that this would be unfair to these immigrant jews who had escaped from a dutch colony in
brazil were a number of jews had died fighting the portuguese invaders and that they had in fact, the authorities and holland noted that dutch merchants living in amsterdam also wanted to come trade in the new world and ever going to get permission to do so. the dutch authorities refer to a petition of the portuguese merchants as the jews in amsterdam were called and in that position the margins has that the american colony was a land that needs people for its increase. that becomes the counter theme to anti-immigration sentiment. we don't want any of these people, but we really need people and as bradford noted, people took what they could get rather than what they would want. between the british acquisition of the new netherland colony and the eve of the american revolution, there was
substantial on terry immigration into the colonies that would make up the united states. most came from great britain, wales, scotland and ireland, the irish were quite considered english so they were among the wrong kind of immigrant, but since they were coming from the realm of the king, it was hard to keep them out. there were also significant numbers of dutch ancestry. the largest non-british immigration came from germany. immigrants flooded the colonies. in 1740, england made it easier for immigrants to become citizens. they did not make it easy enough in the eyes of most of the american colonies. in the declaration of independence, one of the complaints against king george was he has endeavored to in dent the population of the states with the purpose of constructing laws of naturalization of foreigners refusing to pay ours others to encourage their migrations hither.
in other words, the american revolutionary's understood that they needed immigrants and that one of king george is false was that he was not doing enough to encourage immigration. after the war, america opened its arms to immigration and gave citizenship to many that come to fight in the war including the marquis lafayette's was granted citizenship even though he had no plans to attend the united states. i suppose it is worth noting and passing, as a historian i'm trying not to get too involved in the present debate, one might make the argument if one believed in the intentions of framers that the intentions of the framers of the decoration of independence and the constitution was that we should have open immigration because immigration is what makes america grow and what makes america strong. that would have been the
ideology of those people who participated in america's first political tea party in 1773 in boston harbor. after the revolution, the nation initially was receptive to immigration. the constitution adopted in 1789 allowed for a uniformed rule of naturalization and furthermore, ban congress from interfering with immigration of any kind until 1808. it did allow the states to interfere with immigration. the new constitution gave power to congress the right to control immigration once they got here and to expel people who did not fit in as in the 1798 series of laws known as the alien acts. this then set a pattern that would continue on and off for most of the century. at times, the u.s. would encourage immigration and other
times, the u.s. would discourage immigration. the federalists used immigration laws to reduce the number of new citizens who might vote for the opposition, but of course, the federalists lost power after 1801 and many of those laws were repealed or expired or fell into disuse. meanwhile, the states aggressively tried to deal with immigration. new york, for example, require that ships bringing immigrants in the 1820's and 30's register the immigrants with authorities in new york. the mayor of new york versus milne, the supreme court upheld this noting, it is worth understanding for the court says, this law was obviously passed with a view to prevent citizens from being oppressed by the supporting multitudes of poor persons who come from foreign countries without
possessing the means of supporting themselves. in milne the supreme court develop state police powers which allows states to protect themselves from undesirables and the courts argument, the argument of lawyers and of some of the concurring judges in this case compared new york's desire to limit the number of poor immigrants and, by the way, that translates into irish catholic immigrants, to limit irish catholic immigrants precisely the way south carolina was allowed to prevent the immigration of free blacks from other parts of the united states or from the british caribbean. just as philip barbara concluded, we think it as competent and necessary for a state to provide precautionary measures against the moral
pestilence of poppers, vagabonds, and possibly vagabonds as it is to guard against be physical pestilence which may arise from unsound and infectious article supported or should more through which may be laboring under an infectious disease. thus irish immigrants, free blacks, and other undesirable foreigners were really no different than an infectious disease. this is the supreme court of the 1830's. a decade later, there's a new wave of anti-immigration and the first native is our elected to congress in the 1840's. more famously, they come in to congress in larger numbers and 1850's. in the passenger cases, the supreme court overrules laws of new york and massachusetts which had a tax on new immigrants because the court said that only the federal government could tax immigrants. this was the development of what is in part known as the dormant commerce clause. is important to notice that
these major constitutional aspects and there is such a state police powers and dormant commerce clause come from two areas of jurisprudence. one is from immigrant jurisprudence and the other is simultaneously jurisprudence around slavery. as we saw in milne, it is both free blacks and poor irish and criminals and immoral people and diseases. all wrapped into one. we have to fight against this. 1844, the american party won the mayor's race in philadelphia and new york and one a few seats and caucus. as i said, hurts millard fillmore by endorsing him because all the calix all voted for the democratic candidate. in the mid-1850's, the anti-immigrant, anti-catholic american party known as the know nothing party had fleeting
success sending 50 members to congress and taking 397 out of 400 seats in the massachusetts legislature. meanwhile, the know nothings elected governors in massachusetts, maine, pennsylvania and mayors in boston, philadelphia, and san francisco. in 1850, fillmore would run for president and carry the state of maryland. ironically, ireland was first begun as a haven for catholics and so that is why the catholic -- anti-catholic party won maryland. it should be noted, by the way, when i say anti-catholic that meant the know nothings, one of their platforms was that no catholic should ever be eligible to hold public office in the united states.
another piece of their platform was that any immigrant who came had to reside for 21 consecutive years in order to become a citizen. if the immigrant left the united states for any reason, the 21 year clock would start again. this was essentially an attempt to prevent immigrants from ever becoming citizens. despite hostilities in the wrong leg wishing spoken and had a strange and odd appearance or went to the wrong church, most americans tolerated and welcomed immigrants. the know nothings, of course, headed brief amount of success, but they were doomed to failure. in 1855, the leader of the new republican party of illinois wrote to a friend, i'm not a know nothing, that is certain. how could i be? how could anyone who endorses the oppression of negroes in favor of degrading classes of white people talk of our progress of generously appears to be rapid. as a nation, would begin by declaring all people could equal.
now reads all the men are created equally negroes when the know nothing get control, it will read all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and catholics. when it comes to this, i should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense about loving liberty. to russia for instance where despotism can be taken here without the base alloy of hypocrisy. this was abraham looking to five years later would become president. who would understand the sympathy for immigrants was truly important because, in the civil war, about a half a million immigrants would serve
in the end states army or navy. at least 200,000 german immigrants come at least a hundred 50,000 irish immigrants, there were numerous irish brigades, german brigades and regiments of swiss, italian regiments. polish and norwegian regiments. there were numerous important generals from overseas. there are number of german generals. but reflecting the diversity of america, there were also a number of jewish generals in the civil war. frederick nelfer and several others. recognizing the importance of new immigrants, the lincoln administration changed american military law to allow for the appointment of jewish clergymen in the clergy core for the first time in american history.
in 1864, i was passing a statute to encourage immigration and one of the pieces of this new statute was that immigrants who came over not be subject to the draft. if they do not want to be. they were encouraging more immigrants because with hundreds of thousands of men in the field, we needed new people to work in the factories in the fields of america. starting in the postwar period, we get the age of mass immigration from scandinavia and the ottoman empire in eastern europe and these dramatically change both america's ethnic culture and the nature of the society. the new immigrants, not surprisingly, give rise to a new anti-catholic sentiment, merge with anti-semitism, merge with just general anti-immigration.
what interesting things, this is the first large muslim immigration from the ottoman empire, i've yet to find any people worried about muslims coming into the united states at that time. every hatred has its moment and so, that could wait. [laughter] in the 1890's, the american protective association merges. throughout this time, there are debates as to the race of these new immigrants. the american naturalization law after the 1870's allowed only white people and people of african ancestry to be naturalized citizens. so the question is, were syrians, turks, armenians, jews, italians, people from south asia, where they white? were they not white? who could come in and who could not?
the obvious big issue was if the chinese in the last half of the 19th century and japanese immigration in the first 20 years of the 20th century. all these issues begin merging in a variety of ways. millions of immigrants come to the united states. 22 million between 1880 and 1914. one of the things to think about when we think about the poor huddled masses, after about 1902, they are required to have $50 in currency. there is an enormous treasure of wealth from europe to parts of asia and the united states.
they are bringing the money. i wish i could be a time traveler to go back to a bank in new york as you can imagine there would be this plethora of foreign currency coming into the bank from every part of europe in some parts of asia as immigrants forked over $50 and a two dollar process the to go through ellis island. then, of course, we've got world war i. after world war i, we had the 1921 and 1924 immigration ask. which essentially close the golden door to most immigrants. the tragedy of the 24 act is that the door will remain closed for hundreds of thousands of europeans, mostly jews, but also many others who would have escaped not to use them and fascism had the door been open.
similarly, of course, i will talk about this briefly, the door had already been closed to chinese immigrants so that, again, hundreds of thousands if not millions of chinese who were about to face slaughter by the imperial japanese army could also not come to the united states in the 1930's because the door was closed to them as well. until the 1950's, most often on terri immigration and was of european origin and after the 1850's, would begin to get large numbers of chinese coming. there are almost no chinese before this time. 1850, the census found 758 people of chinese birth live in the united states. since the revolution, there had been a smattering of chinese come as merchants, occasionally
as students, sometimes merchant seamen. there is a large trade, the china trade and ships were always adding a few seamen here or there. occasionally, you get some chinese immigrants coming in. the chinese begin to pour in and 1850's. initially, they are welcomed. initially there are people saying how important the chinese are. how helpful they are. how either labor. that quickly changes. will hear much more about this tomorrow so don't want to go into any detail except simply to say, by the 1870's, the west coast of the united states has a -- essentially making war on chinese immigrants doing everything possible to prevent them from coming in from being successful when they arrived and ultimately, this leads to the chinese exclusion act which does not in fact exclude all chinese, it excludes and awful lot of
chinese. there was still be significant chinese immigration of to world war ii, but not in anything like the numbers before. meanwhile, starting in the mid-1890's, we begin to get japanese immigration. the japanese had not been part of the chinese exclusion act. at the time, it was illegal for japanese to lead the country say do not have to worry about excluding them. however, when the japanese come, they are immediately met with hostility. they are essentially seen as like the chinese, except worse perhaps. the failure to include japanese in the final exclusion act of 1902, which was only directed at the chinese, injury did people of california. there is an important difference. this is where i will get to bring all this to a close. by 1900, japan was a formidable
country. it had a growing economy, a force to be reckoned with, it had played a major role in suppressing the boxer rebellion in china and by 1906, japan has defeated russia, the largest country in europe in a war. america had to take notice that people the wrong race and wrong religion had suddenly defeated a white european power that was much bigger. teddy roosevelt negotiated the piece for the russia japanese war. for that he would win the nobel peace prize. roosevelt came away impressed by the japanese. the japanese never told me
anything but the truth of the nations unlike the -- negotiations unlike the russians. he came away despising the russians and admiring the japanese at the same time he is fearful and wary of the fact that japan is a rising economic power and a rising military power. roosevelt does everything he can to be conciliatory to the japanese from the time he takes office most of the end of his administration. when san francisco try to segregate japanese schoolchildren, roosevelt steps in and does everything possible to stop san francisco from doing it, but, of course, he was limited by both federalism. education is a state and local policy. and also by the supreme court which has said that segregation is ok. if blacks can be segregated in the south, why can't asians be segregated in california? the difference of course, the southern blacks were only
protected by the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment and the whims of congress and the executive branch. none of whom were sympathetic to the plight of african-americans. on the other hand, the japanese were protected by a treaty by the japanese and government of america. ultimately, san francisco would back away from it segregation of japanese, but not before san francisco had done enormous damage to u.s.-japanese relations. in 1900, the united states reached a gentleman's agreement in which japan promises to limit
exit visas to the united states. this worst breakup leaders but the japanese immigration rises again. in 1908, there is another great. japanese immigration goes down a little and then goes back. in 1924, the united states eliminates all japanese immigration in the immigration act of 1924. in the early 1900s, the united states was enormously popular in japan. japanese admire the u.s., they saw the united states as their friend and americans were considered friends of the japanese after the san francisco earthquake. japanese earthquake specialists can to help san francisco dig up. by 1921 and especially after 1924, the united states was seen as an enemy of japan.
in part because of the immigration acts, but also because of the vigorous anti-japanese laws passed in california between 1905 and 1924 restricting landownership to aliens eligible for citizenship. japanese are not because they are not white. that becomes the story of american immigration in 45 minutes. it is hard to cover this much ground in any great detail. one of the things that is clear is that the decline of immigration after 1924 fundamentally changed the united states. people growing up in the 1920's, 30's and into the 40's grew up in a nation of immigrants. people went to school with immigrants, people knew immigrants, there were the immigrants euros, the joe dimaggion's, the lou gehrig's who americans cheered for..
by the 1950's, there were few immigrants in schools. i would to high school in a town that had a large italian-american community. number of irish-americans, a very small smattering of jewish americans. there was one immigrant kid in my class. everybody else had grandparents were immigrants or even parents who were immigrants. the generation of the postwar baby-boom up through the millennials is a generation that grew up without knowing immigrants, without understanding them and that i think has led to greater hostility to immigrants than any time since the 1920's. because people who do not know
other people fear other people and are bothered by other people. that is one of the lessons, i think, of closing the golden door. by closing the golden door, we in fact increased the potential for hostility to the foreigner because the foreigner was truly foreign. for my parents generation, the foreigner was not for us all, the foreign or their classmates or parents or the parents of their classmates. and so, that is the world that we have been bequeathed to us. and the rest of the symposium, we will examine in much greater detail many aspects of this immigration detail -- history. thank you very much. [applause] we have lots of time for questions.
wait until the microphone reaches you and perhaps stand up. are there questions? yes, over there. >> thank you. do we know much about variable rates of migration, some groups come and go home or is it that who comes to america and stays? question two, have you characterize immigrants, individual choice or communities that are relocating? >> the first question is easy. the vast immigration from 1880-1924, we have fairly good statistics of re-migration.
as you might expect, re-migration varies by country. for example, significant numbers of italian immigrants and polish immigrants return home. they make money and go back him. the debate over the 1924 act, one of the congressman pushing for the act said something about these immigrants coming, make money and then back to italy. congressman fear and said yeah, but they leave the roads and sewers and bridges and subways they build. that was part of that debate. on the other hand, as you might expect, jewish immigrants who had no home to go back to have a repatriation rate of 8%, i think. they come and talk about because there is no home to go back to. the other phenomenon which is much more modern, post-world war ii, a significant number of
immigrants retire to their home country so that, at one point, which still may be true, i was anticipating the question, there were social security offices in warsaw and dublin and tel aviv and athens and rome and very southern cities in italy because so many americans spend their lives here and go back home to receive the social security. a reversal of the balance of payments. in terms of how an immigrants come, i think some, as individuals. basically get on a boat. others come as communities. more likely, i think they come as families. there is a fairly standard pattern. men come first. immigrants are
disproportionately male. for those communities where you get the rest of the family coming over, the men come over and earn money and send money back. their sisters and daughters and wives and grandmothers come over and so you get, get families coming over. there are communities. there are organizations and people who came from particular cities that exist. i have an uncle who is buried in the cemetery area and everybody in that cemetery's descendent of somebody who came from the same place in eastern europe. i'm guessing that may be true and lots of other communities as well. there are catholic churches, polish catholic churches and probably catholic churches that are northern italian and
southern italian. i think that is the answer. there is a hand over here. >> intriguing points about how after 1924, the generations that go to school in the 40's and 50's, there are not too many immigrants that they go to school with. you are saying, connecting how that leads to if you don't know immigrants, you will be more hostile. then i looking at the last half-century, since the 1965 act that reopens immigration and am i correct that in the last 20-25 years, there has been probably the highest immigration, at least in raw numbers at any time in the last 100 plus years. how does that connect to the recent anti-immigrant stuff? >> i have seen studies in the study suggest that people who
are most hostile towards immigration today, and this of course gets to the elephants and donkeys in the room, this is modern politics, the people most hostile to immigration are people who grew up in the 50's-60's and 70's. that is where the core is. the pew foundation has done a lot of research on this. this is similar to issues of race. children who went to integrated schools are less likely to be hostile to racial integration than people who did not go to integrated schools. to know people is to be more respectful of them and to be left uncomfortable for them. there was a hand, you yes. >> you mentioned that today,
both your grandfathers would be deported. what percentage of do you think they would be deported? 20%? not that many illegal aliens are deported. >> but my grandpa's would have been deportable because they came in under fraudulent circumstances. he had no intentions of leaving, he overstayed as a tourist. my other grandfather lied to immigration authorities. i wrote about this on huffington post on a piece that i co-authored, i got a ton of e-mails on people who said "me too."
my relatives too. one person said their grandfather came over alone, he was too young to immigrate, he came over alone and he found a family with 12 children and he just got in the middle at the right height and walked off the boat and got a new name. then he was here. there were lots of people like this who came over and, of course, immigration inspectors were mostly concerned about people with diseases or anarchists after the assassination of mckinley or people with certain kinds of criminal records.
by the way, it is interesting that the criminal records law has an exclusion for people who are convicted of political crimes. in fact, and 1840's, there is a case where they are trying to deport an irish immigrant who is wanted for murder in england in the deportation fails because he convinces the court that it is a political crime, not a murder because when an irishman kills an english man, it is always a political crime so he's allowed to stay. you can misunderstand, i probably misstated. i said they would have been deportable. not everyone who is deported. the other thing about this is
that if you are deportable, then you are always vulnerable. if you are here with some kind of problem in your status, you are always subject to different rules. even naturalized citizens and our people here who can better talk about this than i can, even naturalized citizens don't have the same protections as american-born citizens when it comes to issues of deportations. that is true in the past at least if it is not currently true. i will defer that to people who know immigration lot better than i. courts decimate things and then they underestimate them. other questions?
a hand over here. >> thank you very much. they're interesting topic. i hope i have not missed something earlier, when i am curious is about, how many of the three hundred million people here in the nine states are immigrants at this point? do we have an idea of the percentage? >> does someone know? >> about 40 million. >> they would be from many decades ago. mr. trump's wife is now a naturalized citizen, but she is an immigrant. we have lots of immigrants in the country and most of them
have come in the last 30 years. >> 10-14% which would be about 40 million and then i think about 1910 and 1920. >> we would have been higher than that. the number of immigrants is truly a trickle compared to what it has been. other questions? last minute. go ahead. >> i don't of this is a question or an observation, i worked for the u.s. capital historical society and i've been looking at around the room at the different phases and thinking about myself, i'm adopted and i only found out by these ago -- five
years ago, my grandparents are from russia and my grandfather came to philadelphia first. then the rest of the family, including the siblings came over and one of the siblings was my mother in the house is still standing in south philadelphia with the house where they lived in the budget shop on the bottom. the only reason he was outside there was because he had a trade. he was a butcher. he was in the ghetto. i was thinking about this while you were talking and it is not a question rather an observation about immigration and how it affects people down the line. sometimes, i grew up in people asked me where i was from my life.
i'm not immigrant per se, i'm not first-generation, but i have -- >> if your mother came over, you are first-generation. >> i am. >> if your mother was an immigrant, you are the child of an immigrant. you are first-generation american. how do you like that? [laughter] >> makes you no different than marco rubio. [laughter] ted is an immigrant from canada, but that is a different question. [laughter] >> i need to clear up the naturalization. >> she practices immigration law so i defer to her.
>> and naturalized citizen has the same rights as a person born. the only issue is that the government can ring a federal suit to take this citizenship away if it is obtained illegally. it very rarely happens. most of the time, we see the nazis been deported and having their citizenship taken away. >> that is fine. that is is a difference. we could have two individuals, one of whom is an american who went somewhere and became a war criminal and the other is a war criminal and they both come back to the united states and the foreign-born workers becomes a citizen -- war criminal becomes a citizen and can lose his citizenship. the american war criminal cannot.
>> yes. to really go off the reservation, it has been kind of interesting to watch after 9/11 how some u.s. citizens have given up u.s. citizenship. they gave it up as part of a deal. >> ok. the brave new world of citizenship. one question in the back. >> talking about statistics, have you seen the new smithsonian museum in american history, they have this innovation wing talking about immigration and places of invention and it is decade by decade that want to say that in the basement of american
history, it is worth seeing. >> again, the smithsonian is always worth seeing. [laughter] there is some fabulous stuff there. what is important is that almost anywhere you go in this country, there are museums that do with immigration. -- deal with immigration. how we come to terms with that, is fascinating. some people don't recognize the immigrant status because it was 7-10 generations ago. it is still always interesting, i made i suppose the weirdest encounters are the people who
are the children of immigrants and want to shut the door behind them as they come in. i would find that to be the weirdest where the people for the grandchildren of immigrants and don't want -- that may be another from a moment on -- some nominal -- phenomenon want to as much as possible melt into the system and disappear. they want -- when i thought about speaking here, i thought i might just do a litany of name changes in american history and the way, part of the golden door is that you reconfigure yourself as something else. even beyond that, the names you take and there are all kinds of first name naming patterns that are fascinating amongst certain ethnic groups try to be americanized. they're the people who change names because they want jobs. in order to get the job, he had
to pretend your not who you are. i believe, i could be wrong, there may be other exceptions, but for example, when barbra streisand became a famous singer, everyone told her she needed to change her name because that last name would not make it in america. there's one behind you. >> a comment on generations of the immigration historian marcus hansen, a hansen law that the third-generation wants to member with the second one was to forget. my question is about the concept of naturalization. my sense is naturalization meant
something different and 18th century than what it means today. warm and economic for economic rights as opposed to citizenship and political rights. or am i wrong? >> it has to do with everything. there are certain economic rights that come with naturalization, but -- it might surprise some americans to know that at various times, noncitizens have been allowed to vote. in both national and local elections. at other times, only citizens could vote. if you wanted to be in the political process became naturalized. certain economic rights came with naturalization. the other piece of it is, and i think this is important, naturalization is also a symbolic and personal compliment. my grandparents had a naturalization papers friend on the wall and i suspect that was very common for hundreds of
thousands and millions of immigrants who became citizens and were fiercely proud of becoming citizens because it gave them a place of belonging and a place to be where they were. >> is there always the concept of citizenship in the colonies? they are not really citizens per se. >> they are. in the 1740, there is an imperial law. in 1740, the law allows protestants and others to become citizens. what are the others when you read this? they turn out to be quakers and jews. now we know who can't become citizens, catholics. in the 1740's, you can migrate
to the american colonies and become a citizen of the british empire and that meant a great deal. that meant you were part of something, you are protected. if you were a merchant seaman, are protected by the british navy heard if you were abroad, you could get a passport. there are huge advantages to being a citizen as well as, he could participate in the clinical and cultural process. -- political and cultural process. >> they could naturalized and that would give them economic rights, but they could not hold office, not political rights. >> lots of people do not have complete political rights. they could also serve on juries. jury service, for the average american in the 18th and 19th century, jury service is a lot more important than what he will be elected alterman.
write to him, he have to be able to inherit the land. there are some citizenship issues for women as well. >> a lot of citizenship issues for women. they cannot naturalize. -- could not naturalize. >> one question over here. >> i don't have a question, it is more about an amusing anecdote. several years back, i met a fellah and i asked what nationality he was and he explained that his ancestor came through ellis island with a name tag on that said the u.s. all of them were called theus. that is how he got his new name. >> yes. [laughter] thank you all very much. [applause] >> just a reminder, everyone who can, join us tomorrow. the instructions are on the yellow piece of -- yellow flyer outside. i look forward to seeing you tomorrow. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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