Pulling up the Ladder
The Anti-Immigrant Backlash
“Many persons who have spoken and written in favor of restriction of immigration, have laid great stress upon the evils to society arising from immigration. They have claimed that disease, pauperism, crime and vice have been greatly increased through the incoming of the immigrants. Perhaps no other phase of the question has aroused so keen feeling, and yet perhaps on no other phase of the question has there been so little accurate information.”
By Doug Brugge
These words, written in 1912 by Jeremiah Jenks and W. Jett Lauck, who had been part of the United States Immigration Commission, sound surprisingly contemporary. In 1995, there is a popular argument that immigrants are responsible for many, if not all, of the problems facing our country. This theme has been struck before in US history. It has arisen now in part because right-wing organizations have promoted immigrants as a group targeted for blame.