ARE AMERICANS EXTINCT? by Jethro K. Lieberman


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A study of U.S. immigration policy. The author examines the social Darwinist and white supremacist doctrines which rationalized it for 44 years, as well as the relevant legislation, court decisions, and political debates. Practice caught up with turn-of-the-century theory in 1924, when the national origins system was instituted, due in part to ""red scares"" and popular anti-immigrant feeling. Hitler quoted the 1924 Act to prove that Americans agreed with his racial views. The State Department turned away young refugees from Hitler because it held that as ""motherless, embittered, persecuted children of undesirable foreigners,"" they might become subversive. Consequently, quotas went unfilled from 1933-43 while potential immigrants were doomed. Postwar legislation admitted former fascists but not ex-Communists, maids more easily than relatives. In 1965 major steps were taken to substitute skill for national origin as the criterion for entrance; Lieberman includes transcripts of Congressional hearings on the subject, with Senator Ervin playing a comic devil's advocate. As social history, the book is sketchy; but as a policy study it has considerable interest for reference and also general reading.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1968
Publisher: Walker