100 years ago, the US took a break from immigration - and America thrived

Article author: 
Mark Krikorian
Article publisher: 
New York Post
Article date: 
26 May 2024
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

One hundred years ago this Sunday, the Ellis Island wave of immigration was brought to an end.

And all Americans are better for it.

For decades we've been taught to be ashamed of the period of immigration restriction the law inaugurated.

And it's true that many supporters of the 1924 immigration law were motivated by racial and ethnic concerns that are rightly rejected today...*

Only by taking an extended breather was America able to successfully assimilate the 25 million-plus newcomers wh'’d arrived after 1880.

The pause in immigration led to a half-century-long decline in the foreign-born share of the population, from a level that fluctuated between 13% and 15% of the nation’s inhabitants during the Great Wave, to a low of less than 5% in 1970.

Immigrant communities were thus not continually refreshed with newcomers; that, combined with vigorous and self-confident Americanization efforts in schools and elsewhere, forged the strong common national identity that helped America prevail over Nazism and Communism.

In contrast to the more gradual process of assimilation, the economic benefits for American workers were immediate and immense...

Simply put, a tight labor market (i.e., low immigration) is the best social policy...

Our situation today is not unlike that of 1924.

We have experienced more than a half-century of another Great Wave of immigration, unintentionally sparked by the 1965 immigration law, that undid the ethnically discriminatory national origins quotas of 1924, but failed to cap the overall number of newcomers.

The result has been the largest wave of immigration ever, with arrival of more than 40 million legal immigrants, plus millions more illegal immigrants [illegal alien invaders].

It’s been supercharged under... Biden, with at least 6.4 million - that we know about - entering the country since he was inaugurated...



* Every nation has the right - and indeed the obligation - to control its borders and manage immigration (if any) in the best interests of the nation. A nation has the right to prioritize immigration of demographic and nationalistic groups who most closely match the nation's existing demographic, cultural, ethical, and political makeup.

Consider what happens when this fundamental principle is abrogated: Europe is being colonized by Islamic invaders who have no intention of assimilating to European law and culture.

America needs an immediate 15-year immigration moratorium, where net immigration is no greater than net emigration.

If Congress is too weak to implement the much needed moratorium, America should resurrect quotas, while lowering the legal immigration to less than 50,000 per year.

May is 100th Anniversary of Congress' 1924 Immigration Reform, Breitbart, 28 May 2024:

One hundred years ago on May 26, American voters pressured Congress in 1924 to end the Ellis Island wave of migration and to reduce the inflow of new immigrants...

Arrivals dropped by two-thirds, from 700,000 in 1924 down to an annual average of 200,000 from 1926 to 1970. That inflow added just one migrant for every 12 births in 1939 - which is far below... Joe Biden's policy of adding roughly one migrant for every U.S. birth. By 1970, migrants comprised just 5 percent of the U.S. population — far below the 15 percent seen in 1910 and again in 2024.

The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 was sidelined 41 years later when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

That 1965 law is now quickly transforming the United States' population, society, and economy...

Roy Beck, former head of the NumbersUSA reform group, has a more optimistic view of the 1924 law:

All classes and ethnicities of American workers benefitted. But Black workers' status soared nearly twice as fast once expanding industrial opportunities allowed them to prove their productivity. Between 1940 and 1980, for example, the real incomes of Black men rose four-fold. More than 70% of Black Americans were found to belong in the middle class by 1980, up from 22% in 1940. Combined, lower rates of migration and lower fertility caused around one-third of a great reduction in U.S. inequality during those decades, according to economic historians Jeffrey G. Williamson and Peter H. Lindert.

No wonder W.E.B. DuBois observed, in the NAACP magazine Crisis, that the 1924 legislation's "stopping…the importing of cheap White labor on any terms has been the economic salvation of American Black labor."

That "economic salvation" could have arrived decades earlier, if Congress had simply ended mass immigration. Williamson and economist Timothy J. Hatton calculated that, without foreign immigration from 1890 to 1910, real wages for urban workers could’ve been 34% higher in 1910.

Since 2021, average income has been pushed down by Biden's massive inflow, according to a May 22 bulletin from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City...


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