" Annotation: In 1923, the Supreme Court ruled that Asian Indians were ineligible for citizenship, even though they were considered “Caucasians.”
Bhagat Singh Thind (1892-1967), who was born in Punjab, migrated to the United States in 1913. He attended University of California at Berkeley, and eventually earned a Ph.D. He also served in the U.S. Army during World War I and applied for U.S. citizenship in 1920. Despite a Civil War era law that allowed aliens who had served in the U.S. military to become naturalized citizens, he was turned down. "
"Since 1973, the Ellis Island Oral History project has been dedicated to preserving the first-hand recollections of immigrants who passed through the Ellis Island immigration station between 1892 and 1954 and the employees who worked there.
Over the years, the project has grown to include approximately 1900 interviews. The interviews include people from dozens of countries, former Immigration and Public Health Service employees, military personnel stationed at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty as well as people detained at Ellis Island during World War II until it closed in 1954."
"Between 1880 and 1930, approximately 28 million immigrants entered the United States. In contrast to earlier waves of immigrants, most of whom had originated in western and northern Europe, this group arrived from eastern and southern Europe. As they entered through Ellis Island in New York Harbor and made their way into various new lives—in cities and rural areas coast to coast, from urban tenements to Midwestern farms to seaside towns— they encountered mixed reactions from existing Americans. They also entered into a political climate that was charged by the sweeping immigration restrictions placed on the Chinese in 1882 through the Chinese Exclusion Act. While some Americans favored immigration, many opposed it, and responded during the 1920s by pressing for a tightening of the nation’s borders. This set of photographs, plays, and primary sources allows users to immerse themselves in the debates that surrounded turn-of-the-century immigration and to consider the nature of Americanization."
"This digital collection of historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums documents voluntary immigration to the United States from the signing of the Constitution to the start of the Great Depression." Most materials cover the 19th century.
"In its decision in the case of U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923), the Supreme Court deemed Asian Indians ineligible for citizenship because U.S. law allowed only free whites to become naturalized citizens. The court conceded that Indians were “Caucasians” and that anthropologists considered them to be of the same race as white Americans, but argued that “the average man knows perfectly well that there are unmistakable and profound differences.”" - History Matters at GMU
"In this interview for the radio program “Nosotros Trabajamos en la Costura”(We Work in the Garment Industry), garment worker Luisa Lopez told how she faced discrimination from European immigrant workers when she went to work in garment factories in the 1920s. Yet sometimes alliances crossed ethnic lines: Lopez found an ally in an Italian-American socialist. " History Matters - GMU
"During congressional debate over the 1924 Act, Senator Ellison DuRant Smith of South Carolina drew on the racist theories of Madison Grant to argue that immigration restriction was the only way to preserve existing American resources. Although blatant racists like Smith were in the minority in the Senate, almost all senators supported restriction, and the Johnson-Reed bill passed with only six dissenting votes. " GMU - History Matters
"...Japan Times & Mail editorial, entitled “The Senate’s Declaration of War,” denounced the 1924 immigration law and speculated on the reasons for the decision. The paper suggested that the Senate “deliberately” sought to “insult” the Japanese."
"For example, on April 8, 1924, Robert H. Clancy, a Republican congressman from Detroit with a large immigrant constituency, defended the “Americanism” of Jewish, Italian, and Polish immigrants and attacked the quota provisions of the bill as racially discriminatory and “un-American.” " - GMU - History Matters
Book Sources: Immigration - the 1920s
A selection of books/e-books available in Trible Library.
Click the title for location and availability information.
"Readers can discover the history chronologically, chapter by chapter, or serendipitously by exploring the trove of supplemental materials. These include interviews, newspaper clippings, period documents, and photographs that bring the history to life." http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Italian-Americans/