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UnwantedItalian and Jewish Mobilization against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882-1965$
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Maddalena Marinari

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652931

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652931.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

The Battle Begins

The Battle Begins

World War I and the End of Open Immigration from Europe

Chapter:
(p.14) Chapter One The Battle Begins
Source:
Unwanted
Author(s):

Maddalena Marinari

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652931.003.0002

The first chapter examines Italian and Jewish immigrants’ efforts to oppose proposed restrictions on new immigrants from eastern and southern Europe from the passage of the 1882 Immigration Act to the adoption of a literacy test in 1917. During this critical period in the rise of the antirestrictionist movement, both groups created national advocacy organizations (American Jewish Committee and the Order Sons of Italy) to negotiate with legislators in hopes of achieving more political influence. These organizations successfully opposed the passage of a literacy test for arriving immigrants older than 16 until World War I, when organizations like the Immigration Restriction League successfully used the war to mobilize labor unions, reformers, regular Americans, and politicians from the South eager to preserve their political influence to push for the test, which Congress passed over President Wilson’s veto. War and immigration emerge as linked processes in U.S. history. Amid rampant anti-immigrant rhetoric and violence during WWI, the debate over immigration policy pitted advocates for qualitative restriction against those who advocated for quantitative restriction as the best approach to curtail immigration from eastern and southern Europe. Supporters of the literacy test won a temporary battle.

Keywords:   Advocacy, New immigrants, Literacy test, Immigration restriction, Qualitative restriction, Quantitative restriction, American Jewish Committee, Order Sons of Italy, Immigration Restriction League, World War I

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