1901 - 1910: 8,795,386 immigrants arrive in the US
1911 - 1920: 5,735,811 immigrants arrived in the US
1921 - 1930: 4,107,209 immigrants arrived in the US
1931 - 1940: 532,431 immigrants arrived in the US (massive fall due to the Great Depression)
Summary of Early 1900's US Immigration Trends
US Immigration Trends in the early 1900's: The following chart provides a summary of the US Immigration Trends.
Summary of Early 1900's US Immigration Trends: 1900 - 1940
Early 1900's Trends: The Immigration laws were tightened and then relaxed with the outbreak of WWI
Early 1900's Trends: 1.6 million African Americans in the south emigrated to other areas within the US
Early 1900's Trends: Immigrants were attracted to jobs in the cities
Early 1900's Trends: Immigrants were classified by country of origin, race and class
Early 1900's Trends: The Migrants from southern Europe and Asia were viewed as inferior
Early 1900's Trends: Preference was given by the U.S. to immigrants from Northern Europe and migrants from Puerto Rico
Early 1900's Trends: The 10 year Great Depression resulted in the numbers plummeting
Early 1900's US Immigration Trends: The Progressive Movement
The Progressive Movement encompassed a variety of different ideas and activities of reformist pressure groups. The Progressives believed that the government should take a more active role in solving the problems of society, restoring order and protecting the welfare of Americans not only by conservation and environmental reforms but also by restricting the increasing number of immigrants. In the 1910 foreign-born residents made up 15% of the U.S. population and 24% of the U.S. labor force.
Early 1900's US Immigration Trends: Laws and Immigration Policy
In 1904 the Chinese were permanently excluded from naturalization and in 1906 English was made a requirement for naturalization. The Immigration Act of 1907 then limited the number of Japanese immigrants and created the Dillingham Commission to review U.S. immigration policy.
Early 1900's US Immigration Trends: Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants
The 1911 Dillingham Commission report favored the "old immigrants" who had come from North Western areas of Europe against the "new immigrants" who came from South Eastern areas of Europe and Asia. One section in the report classified immigrants in racial terms in an attempt to discover whether to discover "whether there may not be certain races that are inferior to other races... to show whether some may be better fitted for American citizenship than others." The report concluded that the "New Immigrants" were inferior and uneducated workers who failed to integrate with Americans and posed a serious threat to American culture and society. US Immigration Trends were strongly influenced for many years by the report and the Angel Island Immigration Center was opened in 1912 and "Mounted Inspectors" were authorized along the US-Mexico Border.
Early 1900's US Immigration Trends: The Great Migration
In 1910 a massivewave of emigration by African Americans within the United States began. It was known as the Great Migration. The first Great Migration (1910–1930), numbered about 1.6 million migrants who left their rural areas in the south to migrate to northern industrial cities. In 1917, all Puerto Ricans had been granted American citizenship and were allowed to travel to the mainland without legal barriers. Following the new restrictions on immigration there was also a movement of Americans from Puerto Rico to America.
US Immigration Trends: World War 1 (1914 - 1918)
The outbreak of WW1 (1914 - 1918) saw the anti-immigration trends and pattern change as Americans left the country to fight in the war creating a labor shortage. Immigration levels from Europe fell because of the war. Mexicans were encouraged to work in the United States and Mexicans were exempted from many immigration restrictions during the labor shortage caused by WW1.
Early 1900's US Immigration Trends: Post WW1 Immigration Restrictions
The Immigration Act of 1917 influenced by the Dillingham Commission report restricted immigration from Eastern Asia by creating an "Asiatic Barred Zone" and introducing a literacy test for all immigrants over 14 years of age. The 1921 Emergency Quota Act established restrictions on the number of immigrants from a given country. The 1924 Immigration Act of 1924 shut the 'Golden Door' to America and 87% of permits went to immigrants from Britain, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia.
Early 1900's US Immigration Trends: The Great Depression
The Great Depression (1929 - 1939) was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the United States. During the Great Depression 13 million people became unemployed. Many Mexicans were deported during this period. During the Depression years, more people emigrated from the United States than immigrated to the United States. There was no form of unemployment insurance or social security in the United States at the time of the Great Depression. The US Immigration Trends of the decade were clearly indicated as immigration dropped from 4 million from 1921 - 1930 to just 500, 000 from 1931 - 1940.