(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Gazette & Courier
GREENFIELD, Dec. 4, 1920
Leaders in Congress are considering shutting off all immigration for a considerable
period of time. It is well that the menace presented by a horde of dissatisfied
foreigners pouring into the United States is receiving attention. There is unrest
and dissatisfaction enough here already. The country is going through a period
of readjustment which is an inevitable aftermath of war. It will be a difficult
enough matter to weather the stress of economic realignment without the added
burden of trying to care for a multitude of discontents from foreign lands.
Investigation has shown that there is the closing of eyes if not actual official
connivance in the departure for the United States of great numbers of undesirables
from several countries across the water. There is plenty enough work for the
melting pot without adding hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, to the
present unassimilated human grist. Labor, too, is interested in keeping out
of the United States a class of workers, who in order to get a foothold, would
undermine the American standards of living. That there is great need for man
power on American farms is only too true. Could there be an inpouring of reasonable
proportions of men and women of the right sort, those who appreciate American
ideals, who would turn to the soil as a means of livelihood, they should be
welcomed. But experience has thus far shown that immigration has not been of
great benefit to agricultural needs. 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.
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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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Leaders in Congress to Shut off all Immigration article in The Gazette and Courier newspaper
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Dec 4, 1920
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| height 7.75"
| width 2.25"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L06.056
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