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"Biological aspects of immigration," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (9)

"Biological aspects of immigration," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (9)
Description:
"Biological aspects of immigration," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (9)
Transcript:
1120. Biological Aspects of Immigration 17 those times. So it was really a newer Britain; that is what it amounted to - a New England. Mr. Box. May I ask a question? In those studies of yours, which are highly interesting, have you studied the races of Europe comparatively? For instance, take the old American stock, which is largely English, with much Irish, much Scotch, some, German, and people from northwestern Europe. And you also have observed in your studies that the immigration of the last 30 years is coming in much greater proportion from other countries - from Italy and from the countries of southeastern Europe. Have you compared those races in your studies, as to whether they show greater inferiority in the particulars which have come under your attention than that old stock of which Benjamin Franklin spoke? Mr. Laughlin. It is doubtful whether there is a single country in the world that does not have many families so splendidly endowed by nature that they would not make excellent and desirable additions to our citizenry. But because our foundation stock is largely from northwestern Europe and our national life was largely determined after the northwestern Europe pattern, we find the assimilation of immigrants from this section of Europe to be a much simpler task than the Americanization of Latin or other stocks less closely related to us in nationality. We like to think also that the percentage of hereditary excellence is higher in our parental countries of Europe than in other nations. Perhaps it is; but by setting up an eugenical standard for admission demanding a high natural excellence of all immigrants regardless of nationality and past opportunities, we can enhance and improve the national stamina and ability of future Americans. At present, nor inferior nationalities but inferior individual family stocks are tending to deteriorate our national characteristics. Our failure to sort immigrants on the basis of natural worth is a very serious national menace. In the institutions for the criminal insane of New York State in 1912 among the total foreign-born inmates in Austria furnished 5.3 per cent. I have a list of the different nationalities, but it will take too long to read it all, but I will give some extracts from it. Italy furnished 23.1 per cent; Russia and Poland furnished 12.6 per cent; Scandinavia furnished 1.8 per cent; Scotland furnished 0.2 per cent; England and Wales furnished 5.5 per cent. Mr. Vaile. Those figures would only be valuable in connection with figures showing the percentage of those nationalities in the community. Mr. Laughlin. Yes, sir; or the number. Those numbers are given in this table also. The Chairman. Will you insert that table in the record? Mr. Laughlin. I will be glad to do that. (The statement referred to is as follows: ) From James V. May: Immigration and the Insane in the State of New York, New York State Hospital Bulletin, April, 1912. (Abstracted by Dr. C. B. Davenport.) In 1890, 455,302 immigrants and in 1910, 1,041,540. Twenty-six per cent of these aliens became residents of New York State. From 1890 to 1900 increase in number of insane per 100,000 of the population was 26 per cent. In 1890, 20402 - 21 - 2
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