“Then, immigration was suspended in 1924.”
No, that’s not what happened. The immigration act of 1924 merely sought to lower total immigration rates and limit immigration percentages from given nations to match the demographics of America at that time the act was written. For example, as a set percentage of Americans in 1924 were Irish-American, that preexisting demographic percentage would set the percentage of the annual quota of immigrations allowed from Ireland in the years after the act was passed. The goal was to match future immigration to the same kind and nature of immigrants as we had in 1924, while limiting the overall rate of immigration.
This is an important element to understand clearly; the act’s purpose was not to stop immigration, the purpose was to LIMIT immigration to low-enough levels and of the right demographic mix so that neither the natural-born Americans nor the immigrants were significantly harmed by said immigration. The purpose was not to halt immigration, or to “keep America white”, the purpose was to keep America simply American.
The act was drafted and passed with the understanding that rapidly and radically altering the cultural, ethnic, linguistic or religious character of the nation would be damaging to both native-born Americans as well as immigrants. Perhaps so damaging that the nation might cease to exist.
The act was an incredibly reasonable response to the social ills caused by almost entirely unconstrained immigration. By this I mean the poverty, crime, misery and rising sectarianism that fed into the anarchist movement of the day, and the radical socialist movements, as well as racist organizations among natives as well as immigrants. These social ills conspired to reduce our republican form of government to an uncivil war at the ballot box between competing tribes, or spark into outright warfare in the streets.
Despite the basic humanitarian and inherently just nature of the act, the act and its supporters were derided as racists — paradoxically enough they were called racists by virulently racist Hyphenated-Americans who really sought to subvert the legislative process in order to benefit their minority groups over the nation as a whole. Reading over the congressional records of the debates surrounding this act one is simply taken aback by the absolute hatred and venom spewing from the detractors, and the eminently reasonable and humanitarian concerns of the act’s supporters.
Within a few short years after the passage of the act, after we turned off the fire-hose of immigration, the immigrant slums in New York and elsewhere underwent a miraculous transformation: without a constant influx of poor, uneducated, unassimilated immigrants competing for limited jobs, the immigrants that were here had the opportunity to work, to accumulate wealth, to attend American schools and send their children to the same, to learn our language and our customs, and eventually assimilate. By turning off the flood of immigration, the slums ceased being immigrant slums and started becoming working-class American neighborhoods; something that would never have been possible if we’d kept importing huge quantities of unskilled, uneducated, virtually expendable human beings to scrabble around in the muck knifing each other for the few economic opportunities available.
By taking a trickle of immigrants, not so much of an influx that unskilled labor becomes prohibitively competitive, the immigrants already here in this nation and the small number that arrived after were able to be culturally, linguistically, and politically assimilated into the wider American identity.
That is a VERY important distinction to understand, that immigration is a benefit only so long as it is kept to a trickle and only as much as it matches the wider demographics of America. It’s important to understand those key points whenever you see crony capitalists trying to muck with immigration laws and visa requirements in the hopes that they can import a continuous flow of cheap, disposable laborers. It’s important to understand those things when you see America-hating progressives trying to drum up division and hatred in this country in the hopes of fomenting revolution. It’s important to understand those things when you hear race-baiting minority activists demanding we change our laws to give their race or tribe more votes.
An excellent post. Thanks
Very good. The Left has long known how to destroy our republic.
That was educational. Thanks for posting.