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"Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (11)

"Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (11)
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"Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (11)
Transcript:
1134. Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot 741 The Chairman. If these rules present correct pictures of the actual situation, they seem to show that we are paying a severe penalty for our loose control over the immigration sieve. Will you please summarize your findings in insanity? Doctor Laughlin. In the United States the foreign born show an incidence of insanity in the State and Federal hospitals 2.85 times greater than that shown by the whole population, which latter are descended largely from older American stock. Making all allowances for any possible shock or strain on personality, due to immigration and the shifting of homes and social conditions, and to differential occupations and economic prosperity, this high incidence shows that the immigrants of the present generation have a higher incidence of mental instability that is possessed by our foundation families. After the shock of immigration is over, and adjustment more or less established, the children of immigrants, and the children of parents, one whom was an immigrant and one a native of the United States, show a lower incidence of insanity than that found in the immigrants themselves, but in this first generation of American-born children, the incidence of insanity is still approximately twice as high as that now found in the still older immigrant stocks. Compared with feeble-mindedness, insanity is a trait which easily slips through the immigration sieve. As a rule, it does not appear until after the average immigration age. Thus the immigrant who, himself, may be destined to break down, comes through without challenge, and similarly the individuals who, themselves, will not break down, but who carry the traits of insanity in their germ plasm, enter without detection. More information about the personal history and the families of would-be immigrants is a logical prerequisite to an intelligent application of immigration standards. The Criminalistic. Doctor Laughlin. The next type of inadequacy included in this investigation is crime. For the purpose of this study we have made the investigation under two headings. First, juvenile delinquency, and second, adult crime. The graphical chart (No. 3, p.740) shows juvenile delinquency and adult crime united. The tables (3a and 3bm pp. 793 and 796), show the data for each of these primary criminalistic groups separately. The institutions included in this survey comprise the penitentiaries, reformatories, and schools for the delinquent and wayward. In general, by comparing the statistical tables and the graphical charts for feeble-mindedness, insanity and crime, we find crime, in reference to institutional inmates and nativity and racial groups, occupying a place midway between the other two types. It is possible, too, that crime has its roots in causes common with the causes of degeneracy shown primarily by these companion two kinds of inadequacy, low mentality and disorders of the personality. The age of incidence of crime is an important factor in the present investigations.The antisocial individual who is to become a criminal often shows his delinquency at about the age of puberty. The result is that we have a great group of persons, both males and females, who are committed to institutions for the criminalistic in early adolescence. Besides, there is the great group of pre-adolescent delinquents. Both of these groups are, of course, younger than the average age of admission of immigrants into the United States, but unless the criminalistic tendency is rooted primarily in feeble-mindedness, it is difficult to diagnose potential criminalistic qualities in a youth. Our quota fulfillment figures, however, have shown that in difficulty of diagnosing feeble-mindedness, potential crime, and potential insanity at Ellis Island, the easiest and surest diagnosis was made of mental deficiency, the next surest of criminalistic tendencies, especially if rooted in feeble-mindedness or in dementia praecox, and the most difficult, and consequently the least sure diagnosis, was made of the potentially insane. It is interesting to note that the American negro, who runs low in institutionalization in insanity or feeble-mindedness, runs high in crime. In this type of inadequacy, the American negro fulfills his quota by 207.85 per cent. There are twice as many negroes in prisons in the United States as their total population entitles them to. Mr. Vaile. How about the criminalistic tendencies of the Greeks and the Italians in this country? Doctor Laughlin. The Italians show a quota fulfillment of 218.49 per cent, while the Greeks show 293.62 per cent. All of the Balkan States, as a unit, show a quota fulfillment of 277.67 per cent. Mexico also runs high. Mr. Vaile. All of the Asiatic countries run high? Doctor Laughlin. As a unit, the Asiatic born in the United States fulfill their quota in our prisons by 251.69 per cent. Mr. Vaile. Which countries run the lowest?
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