(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Gazette & Courier
GREENFIELD, APRIL 17, 1920.
The tide of immigration has turned and the flow to this country is becoming
large again. Never has the problem of restricting or selecting immigrants been
so difficult to solve and never has there been a more pressing need for solving
it rightly. Organized labor is strong for drastically restricting immigration.
Capital on the other hand favors a wider opening of the doors to newcomers.
There is a great need at the present time for both skilled and unskilled labor
and the need in agriculture is also pressing. But that is not all there is to
the story. There must be rigid investigation and selection of immigrants if
this country is to remain the best in the world in which to live. There are
plenty enough agitators, extremists and reds in this country now without allowing
more to enter. Better a shortage of labor and resulting high prices than the
admitting of a horde of trouble makers with a possibility that prices may go
down or may not. There is room here for a great many immigrants of the right
sort. The question is how shall it be determined as to who are proper to enter
and who must be kept out. Congress has some 200 bills looking towards dealing
with the immigrant question. There is the hope that among them may be some plan
which shall present a satisfactory solution of the problem.
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Most citizens of the United States are either immigrants themselves or have in their family trees relatives who immigrated to this country. Despite this fact, the American public has always remained ambivalent over the issue of immigration. Anti-immigration sentiment had reached one of its peaks in the years immediately following the end of World War I. Historians have identified a number of factors contributing to these nativist feelings. During the 1880s and 1890s the nation faced a sharp economic recession with significant rates of unemployment. Many citizens believed that immigrants flooded the labor market and reduced job opportunities and wages for those born in the United States. The new immigration of the late-nineteenth century, brought immigrants from eastern Europe and from southern European countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece. Many American citizens viewed these people as racially inferior. Finally, it was believed that southern European immigrants brought to these shores political ideologies such as anarchism, and communism, which most Americans saw as both radical and threatening. This editorial reflects all of these sentiments.
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Tide of Immigration article in The Gazette and Courier newspaper
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Apr 17, 1920
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| height 6.75"
| width 2.5"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L06.055
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