They Who Knock at Our Gates: A Complete Gospel of Immigration Mary Antin Author
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They Who Knock at Our Gates: A Complete Gospel of Immigration by Mary Antin, the author of: They Who Knock at Our Gates. Illustrated; The Promised Land. Illustrated.With Illustrations by Joseph Stella COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY THE PHILLIPS PUBLISHING COMPANYCOPYRIGHT, 1914, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY CONTENTSIntroductionChapter 1. The Law of the FathersChapter 2. Judges in the GateChapter 3. The Fiery Furnace IntroductionThree main questions may be asked with reference to immigration--First: A question of principle: Have we any right to regulate immigration?Second: A question of fact: What is the nature of our present immigration?Third: A question of interpretation: Is immigration good for us?The difficulty with the first question is to get its existence recognized. In a matter that has such obvious material aspects as the immigration problem the abstract principles involved are likely to be overlooked. But as there can be no sound conclusions without a foundation in underlying principles, this discussion must begin by seeking an answer to the ethical question involved.The second question is not easy to answer for the reason that men are always poor judges of their contemporaries, especially of those whose interests appear to clash with their own. We suffer here, too, from a bewildering multiplicity of testimony. Every sort of expert whose specialty in any way touches the immigrant has diagnosed the subject according to the formulæ of his own special science--and our doctors disagree! One is forced to give up the luxury of a second-hand opinion on this subject, and to attempt a little investigation of one’s own, checking off the dicta of the specialists as well as an amateur may.The third question, while not wholly separable from the second, is nevertheless an inquiry of another sort. Whether immigration is good for us depends partly on the intrinsic nature of the immigrant and partly on our reactions to his presence. The effects of immigration, produced by the immigrant in partnership with ourselves, some men will approve and some deplore, according to their notions of good and bad. That thing is good for me which leads to my ultimate happiness; and we do not all delight in the same things. The third question, therefore, more than either of the others, each man has to answer for himself.


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