Website Search
ID 11114

"Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (12)

"Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (12)
Description:
"Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (12)
Transcript:
1135. 742 Analysis of America's Modern Melting Pot. Doctor Laughlin. The countries which run lowest in crime are those which have contributed most of the elementary foundation of the population of the United States - such as Great Britain, Scandinavia, Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands. Northwestern Europe, as a whole, fulfilled her quota only 83.55 per cent; Great Britain only 37.97 per cent; Canada, a kindred country, 65.49 per cent. Those immigrant groups that run high in crime are from the countries of southern and eastern Europe. This part of Europe, as a whole, fulfilled her quota by 141.25 per cent; Italy shows 218.49 per cent; Spain 660 per cent. In fact, the so-called old immigration, or foundation stocks, runs relatively low in crime, whereas the new immigration from southern and eastern Europe runs relatively high in this type of social defect, as we find it in custodial institutions of the United States. Mr. Box. These studies cover the State institutions, but do not include the jails and municipal institutions which take care of petty crime. The State and Federal institutions provide commitments for the more serious forms of crime. Do not these investigations then show records of the more serious crimes or felonies, rather than of the lesser delinquencies? Doctor Laughlin. That is the correct statement of the situation. These studies in relation to crime covered the most degenerate and antisocial types of conduct. Because of the higher incidence of criminalistic conduct in this country, shown by the "new immigration," compared to that shown by the present-day immigrants from the nations which supplied our foundation stocks, it makes one wonder whether this lack adjustment is due to difference in social training and ideals - the southern European having been trained to one set of ideals and finds in America a new basis of conduct t govern him, while the northern and western European finds here the same requirements which he has been used to meeting in his own country. Is this a difference in training or a biological difference in the natural reactions of the stocks? Is one more law-abiding than the other? If the difference is in training and customary conduct, then we must either change our own ideals and legal standards or require a change on the part of the immigrants who differ radically from our laws and customs. If, however, the failure to meet our requirements, in reference to conduct, not involving crime, is, in the cases found and reported here statistically, based upon fundamental heredity differences, than the admission of such persons means the change of the ultimate inborn social capacities of the Americans of the future to the degree measured by the relative numbers of such person who may become parents in this country. The values shown by these researches do not necessarily measure the relative values of different national stocks, but they do measure the relative degeneracy found among the racial groups in our population. Whether these immigrant groups represent fairly their respective home populations is a matter which we will consider later. The Chairman. Let us now have the summary in reference to the criminalistic classes. Doctor Laughlin. Criminality is an attribute of personality which, as a rule, shows its degeneracy rather early in life. Consequently, the immigration laws and service of the present generation have been able to keep out the criminalistic individuals to a remarkably successful degree. Thus, the foreign born, as a whole, contribute only 98.50 per cent of their quota to the criminalistic institutional population of the several States ad Federal Government. Theoretically their quota fulfillment should have been zero, which it would have been if we had been able to eliminate all criminals and potential criminals at the border, but in great contrast to insanity, for example, the United States has been able to reduce criminality among our foreign born, as measured by inmates of State institutions, to a degree a little lower than that which characterizes the American population as a whole. However, as in the case of many other qualities which may be carried in the blood or germ plasm and which at the same time may not show in the personality of the carrier or potential parent, the children of immigrants do not make so favorable a record, in reference to crime and delinquency, as do the immigrants themselves. The native born, both parents foreign born, fulfilled their quota 91.14 per cent in the field of crime, whereas the most criminalistic nativity group is found in the native born, one parent native born, one parent foreign born, which group is measured by a quota fulfillment of 115.58 per cent. The older America stock (81,84 per cent), that is, the native white, both parents native born, is considerably less criminalistic than the foreign born or the first generation offspring of immigrants. The Epileptic. Doctor Laughlin. The fourth type of inadequacy which was studied in the present investigation is epilepsy. Many persons with epilepsy are found in the population at large, but there is type of this disease which the psychiatrists call idiopathic
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationPublic EventsNewsstandPartner With UsGiving