tv 19th Century Irish Immigration CSPAN June 25, 2017 6:20pm-6:31pm EDT
c-span's open q&a." -- "q&a." >> american history tv was at the annual meeting in new orleans, where we spoke with a historian about irish immigration in the 19th century. the interview focuses on the book "expelling the poor, atlantic seaboard states and the origins of american immigration policy." this interview is about 8 minutes. >> your research focuses on immigration restriction and the united states. when do you see this begin? >> i think it started mid 19th century when a large number of impoverished irish catholic immigrants came to the united states. it was this immigration status in massachusetts and new york developed a series of laws to
prohibit the landing of destitute foreigners and to depart those already in the states. were there any federal laws in place at the time? hidetaka: not really. federal law had to wait until the late 19th century, before that moment, states and local governments were largely responsible for immigration control. so state governments rather than federal governments are the major administrators of immigration control. >> what were the perceptions of irish immigrants at the time? hidetaka: the american perception of the irish can be characterized by three issues mainly. one is anti-catholicism. the vast majority of the catholics were irish and many of the americans were protestants at that time.
americans really disliked catholic immigrants because they felt that the catholics were trying to overturn america for cap society. another dimension is ethnic dime nsion, in that many anglo-americans thought that irish were inferior culturally, ethnically. finally, there was an economic argument against the irish. many of the irish immigrants arrived in the u.s. in a debilitated state. they were impoverished heavily. many of them began entering the charitable institutions. many americans thought they were abusing american welfare funded by american taxes. >> who determined if an irish
immigrant would be turned away or deported? hidetaka: miley immigration officers. new york and massachusetts had their own immigration agencies who are taking care of the law enforcement. the state immigration officers impacted the condition of immigrants, and they excluded the acceptable classes. at the same time in massachusetts in particular, fed officers are limited to charitable institutions. when they discovered foreign-born inmates there, they deported back to europe. >> and you supported these measures? hidetaka: the natvivisits. diversemericans were groups of people. middle-class people detected the poverty and catholicism of the irish immigrants, and working-class people as well didn't like immigrants because
they thought were the -- they were exact job competitors for americans. just like today's undocumented immigrants were accused of lowering wage standards for americans, working-class americans believe that irish immigrants would take away their jobs. >> were there any legal protections for the irish immigrants? hidetaka: yes. -- biggest production is protection is citizenship. irish immigrants were white, so they could become citizens through naturalization if they live in the u.s. for 5 years. technically deportation will only apply to noncitizens. if you become a citizen through naturalization, estate, that would exempt you from deportation. is a 14th amendment affect the status of these immigrant groups? hidetaka: yes. 14th amendment is very important.
with, it provided for the first time the definition of u.s. national citizenship. provided that anyone born or naturalized in america is citizen of the united states, and by doing so, it affirmed the equality of earth right and naturalized citizenship, and that was an empowerment for seekingmigrants you are integration into society. >> power the experiments -- experiences of the irish different from other immigrants? regarded asish were whites, and they could become american citizens through naturalization unlike some other immigrant groups such as asians, who were not eligible for naturalization until the
mid-20th century. the 14th amendment is important also for asian immigrant group as well. the children of the asian immigrants were citizens by birth. those also an empowerment for the families and communities of immigrants who themselves were not eligible for naturalization. >> and when do you see opinions about irish start to change? hidetaka: this question came really slowly. as newer immigrants arrived in the u.s., in places such as eastern and southern european comparativelysh rose, in contrast to these newcomers. and also toward the end of the was anntury, there
increasing number of asian immigrants coming to the u.s. the presence of non-white people, comparatively, contributed to the improvement of the status of irish within u.s. society. >> what sort of sources did you use for this research? hidetaka: public, governmental and legal documents, especially those concerning state immigration agencies in new york and massachusetts. also used 19th century newspapers to re-contract the scenes deportation explosion, as well as to illustrate the public perception of policy and the irish immigrants, and finally i used the records of charitable especially like patient records, case records of institutions.
these records provide information about the social profile that immigrants who were deported. >> thank you for talking to us. hidetaka: thank you so much. >> interested in american history tv? visit our website, c-span.org /history. schedule,v preview upcoming programs and watch college lectures, archival films, and more. american history tv at c-span.org/history. "afterwards," a financial expert and economics professor detail how low to moderate income families manage money. in their book, "the financial diaries" -- how american families cope in an air of uncertainty. by "two countered dollars a day, living on nothing
in america." >> to risk a small decisions going badly is so much higher for people at the bottom. wealthier people make poor spending decisions all the time. i can come up from some -- with some for me in the last year. but the consequence of that is diminutive. but the consequence for people who are struggling is often really big. >> one of the pieces of data that really surprised me, this is the survey of income and program participation, the government survey. it said between 2009 and 2011, an unusual period after the recession, but during that period, 10 million americans were poor during every month of that period. but 90 million americans at some point were poor during that period. 1/3 of america has experienced poverty at some moment in that period. that's a short time, but it
means we have to really rethink what's going on. >> tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2's booktv. >> this year's the 30th anniversary of president ronald reagan's visit to berlin where he delivered his turn down the wall speech. next, a former u.s. ambassador to germany recalls the president's speech and trip. the international center for journalists hosted this event. it is an hour and a half. >> good evening, everybody. please find your seats. good evening.