Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

National Origins Plan to Be Pushed in Senate


A most unexpected development has occurred in the Senate, upon which public opinion was placing its only hope for a more liberal immigration attitude. The leading Senate Republicans, at a special caucus this morning, voted 22 to 12 in favor of amending the pending Senate bill by reducing the percentage from two to one percent of 1910. This would cut immigration under the bill exactly one-half, or to 120.289.

The national origins plan, Senator Reed’s amendment to the present bill, providing for the apportionment of the quota in ratio to the national origins of the entire population of the United States in 1920, and calling for a maximum immigration, on that basis, of 300,000 annually, will be pushed for passage, according to the decision arrived at by the caucus, with but one change. The maximum number will be reduced to 150,000 annually.

Senator Wadsworth, of New York, admitted that he had voted in favor of these changes, and, with reference to the national origins plan, stated that although, in his opinion, it reduced east and south European immigration, it “is the fairest plan to all concerned because it allows nationals to enter in proportion to the total number of like nationality who have in the past immigrated to the United States ad determined by their native origin.”

Senator Reed, immediately following the caucus decision, introduced it in the Senate in the form of an amendment to the pending bill, and it may come up for vote this week, perhaps, even tomorrow or Wednesday.

According to Reed’s plan, the national origin of the entire population in the United States in 1920, which year is chosen because it is the last census year, and, therefore, the latest available source of information concerning nationalities, is to be determined by a joint board consisting of the Secretaries of Labor. State and Commerce. These shall proclaim, not later than April 1, 1926, the results of their investigation, which, beginning with July 1, 1926, shall be the basis of admission into the United States. Each nationality is to be entitled to the ratio or percentage of the total number of such nationality, as determined in the aforegoing manner.

Since the Jews and Italians did not begin to emigrate to this country until recent years, and as the predominating national origin of the total population of the United States is English and German, or Nordic, the Jews and Italians, as well as other east and south European peoples will be cut down to the lowest number admissible, and the Nordics will receive the highest number. Under the national origins plan Poland will be reduced from approximately 30,000 to 4,500; Russia from 25,000 to 4,000; Roumania from 7,500 to 500; Lithuania from 2,500 to 550; Italy from 42,000 to 6,000. On the other hand, the number from Great Britain and Ireland will be increased from 77,000 to 91,000; and Germany will still have 22,000.

The reduction for the Jews on the one percent of 1910 which the caucus decided should be in effect until July 1, 1826, when the national origin method would begin to operate, is not quite as bad as under the national origin plan, even though the total annual immigration is less. This is due to the large proportion of east European nationalities that entered America in 1910.

No exemption for close relatives was provided by the caucus. Senator Colt, Chairman of the Senate Immigration Committee, and a friend of immigration, confessed to the J.T.A. correspondent, a few days ago, that the growing prejudice against immigration in the Senate was “simply terrible,” and that nothing seemed possible to stem the tide.

It was rumored here today that Secretary of State Hughes stated that he would resign if the Senate the Johnson Bill with the Japanese exclusion provision. When a test vote was taken on the Japanese exclusion question today, the vote was 76 for to 2 against.

Recommended from JTA