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Leaders in Congress to Shut off all Immigration article in The Gazette and Courier newspaper
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Editorials such as this one from the "Gazette and Courier" are western-Massachusetts reflections of broad national anti-immigration sentiments. Popular opinion in the United States turned decisively against immigration in the last decades of the nineteenth century. A number of factors contributed to anti-immigration sentiments. Many workers observed that their own wages went down as migrants willing to work for lower and lower pay flooded the United States labor market. Immigrants were also feared as carriers of political ideologies such as anarchism and communism. The author of this editorial asserts that, "the bulk of the immigrants huddle in the larger centers and form little foreign colonies which do not absorb Americanism but do furnish fertile soil for the growth of the propaganda of Bolshevism and other isms which threaten even the very foundations of government such as Americans believe to be ideal." The Immigration Act of 1917 passed despite President Wilson's veto. It required a literacy test for certain immigrants and barred certain others from immigrating to the United States. Legislation further limiting immigration and placing stricter standards on those admitted to the United States would pass in the early 1920s.
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