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Curran Advocates Two Percent Quota on Basis of 1890 Census

Henry H. Curran, Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island, announced himself as favoring “any change that will give us less immigration”, in a speech in Town Hall Friday night. Mr. Curran asked his audience to support the proposed quota law with its provisions for a two percent quota and the fixing of the 1890 census figures as a basis. He urged further, however, that the laws be revised to do away with needless hardships to immigrants. “Our gates have stood open to the immigrants of the world for many years,” the Commissioner said. “Now I think it is time we close them a bit. We have too much in our country of foreign colonies, foreign papers, foreign points of view, foreign loves and foreign hates inherited from the history of other continents. No nation can bear its part effectively in the future of the world if it be discordant disunited, divided against itself within its own borders. We are dangerously near that today.”

Commissioner Curran recommended a period of 15 to 20 years, instead of five, before an alien might be naturalized. “I think it is time to put the quality of American citizenship ahead of the quantity of American dollars that we pile up out of foreign labor,” he said.

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