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U.S. Labor Department is Preparing to Enact National Origins Plan

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Interesting details of the plans of the Labor Department for the abolition of the present quota system and the putting into effect of the national origin plan were given in a statement by Robe Carl White, Acting Secretary of Labor.

The department already is planning for operation of the immigration law under the new national origins plan, through an inter-departmental committee in which Walter W. Husband, Second Assistant Secretary of Labor, is the department’s representative, Secretary White stated.

The law provides that the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce and State shall jointly, as soon as feasible, prepare a statement showing the number of nationals of other countries resident in continental United States, as determined by the United States census of 1890, to serve as the population basis for determining quotas of immigration from the respective foreign countries.

“The three Secretaries, Mr. Kellogg. Mr. Hoover and Mr. Davis,” Acting Secretary White said, “have not yet prepared their report, so there is nothing to say as to that. You will recall perhaps, that Statistician Trevor, long connected with the Carnegie Institute, compiled a statement of what the effect of the origins plan of determining would be on the different countries. According to his figures, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Ireland would be reduced in the quotas from their countries while Great Britain would gain in number. That is an unofficial estimate, however, and the official figures have yet to be determined.

“There have been many protests voiced against the national origins plan of determining immigration per country, but of course that is the business of Congress, not of the administrative functions of the Department of Labor. The national origins law, which the President approved on May 26, 1924, is presumed to take the place of the present quota, with its maximum of 150,000 immigration from all countries. Unless the Congress should repeal the origins law of 1924, it automatically, beginning next July, will replace the present quota system, with the same maximum of 150,000, according to origin.

“The new law says, among other things, that the annual quota of any nationality shall be two per cent of the number of foreign-born individuals of such nationality, resident in continental United States, as determined by the United States census of 1890, but the minimum quota of any nationality shall be 100. It says that the annual quota of any nationality for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1927, and for each fiscal year thereafter, shall be a number which bears the same ratio to 150,000 as the number of inhabitants in continental United States in 1920 having that national origin bears to the whole number of inhabitants in continental United States in 1920.

“National origin is to be ascertained by determining as nearly as may be in respect of each geographical area, treated as a separate country (except Canada, Newfoundland, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, or an independent country of Central or South America), the number of inhabitants in continental United States in 1920 whose birth or ancestry is attributable to such geographical area. The determination is not to be made by tracing the ancestors or descendants of particular individuals but to be based upon statistics of immigration and emigration, together with rates of increase of population as shown by successive decennial United States censuses and other reliable data.

“Secretaries Kellogg, Hoover and Davis, after getting expert information and assistance from the Census Bureau, are to report to the President the quota for each nationality and the President, under the law, has to issue proclamation of such quotas by next April 1. Nationality is to be determined by country of birth, treating as separate countries the colonies, dependencies or self-governing dominions, as separately enumerated by the 1890 census, with certain specific exceptions.

“There is an interesting field of study in our recent compilations of alien immigration. Compare them with our official figures for the year ending June 30, 1914. approximately a dozen years ago, but comparable as a year before the operation of the present quota restriction law and before the disturbed conditions of the World War.

“Germany, which during the past year furnished the largest number of immigrant aliens, furnished 79,871 in 1914, but 58,675 in 1926. England, from which the next largest number came in 1926, dropped from 51,746 in 1914 to 44,206 in 1926. Mexico furnished 13,089 alien immigrants in 1914, which increased to 42,638 in 1926. From Ireland came 33,898; from Scotland, 18,997 in 1914, but 27,298 in 1926.

“French alien immigrants numbered 18,166 in 1914 and 22,237 in 1926. Scandinavian countries in 1914 furnished 36,053, but these Norwegian, Danish and Swedish arrivals dropped to 19,418 in 1926. Hebrew immigrants, who numbered 138,051 in 1914 were but 10,267 in 1926. Italians, from the north of that country, in 1914 were 44,802 and in 1926 were 1,486, while from the south of Italy the 251,612 in 1914 are compared with 7,888 in 1926.

“The Polish numbered 122,657 in 1914; in 1926 their alien immigration into this country had dropped to 3,175. There were 12,566 Dutch and Flemish in 1914; in 1926 there were 3,156. Spanish American immigration registered in 1914 1,544 as against 2,519 in 1926. There were 9,298 Bohemians and Moravians among the alien immigrants of 1914; they numbered 2,494 in 1926. There were 44,957 Russians among the alien immigrants here in 1914; there were 938 in 1926. Japanese numbered 8,941 in 1914, and 598 in 1926; Chinese, 2,354 in 1914, and 1,375 in 1926; Cubans, 3,539 in 1914, numbered 1,476 in 1926. Magyars numbered 44,538 in 1914, but 1,076 in 1926; Welsh, 2,558 in 1914, 1,314 in 1926.

“All the other races or peoples enumerated for 1926 were less than 1,000. The others, for 1914 and 1926, respectively, were;

“African (black), 8,447 in 1914 and 894 in 1926. Armenians, 7,785 in 1914. and 741 in 1926; Bulgarians, Serbians and Montenegrins, 15,084 in 1914 and 532 in 1926; Croatians and Slovenians. 37,284 in 1914 and 692 in 1926; Dalmatian, Bosnian and Hersegovianian, 5,149 in 1914 and 75 in 1926; East Indian, 172 in 1914 and 50 in 1926. There were 12,805 Finnish in 1914 and 674 in 1926; Greeks, 45,881 in 1914, against 1,385 in 1926; Koreans, 152 in 1914 and 52 in 1926. There were 21,584 Lithuanians in 1914; in 1926 they numbered 393. There was only one Pacific Islander alien immigrant in 1914 and only two in 1926.

“Portuguese, 9,647 in 1914, dropped to 793 in 1926. From 24,070 Roumanians in 1914, the immigrant aliens from there in 1926 had decreased to 319. The Ruthenians (Russniak) numbered 36,727 in 1914; their number in 1926 was 505. Slovaks numbered 25,819 in 1914 and their number in 1926 was 534. Spanish alien immigrants in 1914 totaled 11,064 in 1914; the number was 699 in 1926. Syrians dropped from 9,023 in 1914 to 488 in 1926. Turkish alien immigrants, 2,693 in 1914, numbered 197 in 1926. The West Indians (except Cubans) totalled 1,396 in 1914; in 1926 the number was 373. Other peoples, a general classification not included in those I have mentioned, numbered 3,830 in 1914 and 381 in 1926,” the statement concluded.

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