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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.

(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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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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See Also...

"Immigration Restrictions Tightened to Alleviate Unemployment Situation" article from the Greenfield Daily Recorder newspaper

Tide of Immigration article in The Gazette and Courier newspaper

"Communist Impudence" article in The Gazette and Courier newspaper


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