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ID 15793

Immigrants on an Atlantic liner, early 1900s.

Description:
Eugenicists were concerned about the hundreds of thousands of southern and eastern Europeans who were entering the country each year through the U.S. immigration facility at Ellis Island, New York. Eugenics Record Office Superintendent Harry Laughlin provided a scientific rationale for growing anti-immigration sentiments in American society. In three Congressional testimonies, he presented data that purported to show that southern and eastern European countries were "exporting" genetic defectives to the United States who had disproportionately high rates of mental illness, crime, and social dependency. The resulting Immigration Restriction Act of 1924 reduced southern and eastern European immigrants to less than 15,000 per year. (DNAi location: Chronicle > Threat of the Unfit > Threats)
Keywords:
immigration restriction act,eastern european immigrants,immigration restriction act of 1924,congressional testimonies,eastern europeans,eastern european countries,eugenics,ellis island new york,ellis island,early 1900s,laughlin,mental illness,sentiments,eugenicists,rationale,hundreds of thousands,superintendent
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.

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