The Modern Social Problem, March 24, 1924 (excerpts)



Noted Educator Lectures on Immigration from Foreign Viewpoint.

Immigration became the chief topic of interest and discussion at a lecture on "The Modern Social Problem" given by Miss Jane Addams, of Hull House, Chicago, before the Forum of the Jewish Center on Eastern Parkway last night. Miss Addams approached her subject from the standpoint of her experience of viewing world conditions on her recent world tour, from which she has just returned after an absence of more than a year.

The United States used to be one of the most popular countries in the world, according to Miss Addams, "but it is turning out to be not so popular." It used to be a haven, but that is no longer possible with the new immigration restrictions. In the many times she has been in Europe Miss Addams said she has felt the change in feeling among the poor from one of warmth to one of fear of the reception they would have in America.

If the United States makes discriminations now it will be faced with difficulties later in Miss Addams' opinion. The discussion for the Nordic races is bringing in a sense of discrimination that we have never had before. "People have wondered why we got on so well in past years and the answer is that all have been treated with equal handedness," Miss Addams said.

Miss Addams gave the most definite expressions of opinion of the evening in response to the questions put to her by the audience at the end of the lecture. The first question was what ought to be done to solve the immigration problem in view of the European side that Miss Addams presented. "The first thing to do is to oppose some of the present bills before Congress," she answered. "The proposition is to go back to the census of 1890, to get the 3 [percent] quota, where the percentage of Nordic peoples is greater instead of using the 1910 census."

Another proposition before Congress, the raising of the 2 [percent] quota to 4 [percent] when 50 [percent] of those people of each race already in this country have become citizens. "The holding out of this delusive 4 [percent] is to hold it out again to the Northern races who have been here longer," was Miss Addams' comment.

Miss Addams said she would like to see the whole basis of the immigration rulings changed, using the 1920 census, but not on a quota basis. Although she does not believe in unrestricted immigration, Miss Addams thinks the present laws have worked a hardship. "If a million people a year had been coming here as before the war we would have eaten up our surplus wheat, for the immigrant is a consumer as well as a producer and has to support his wife and family," was one of Miss Addams' concluding comments.

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