January 10, 1941
The stranger in town may be outnumbered five thousand to one by the other inhabitants, but for a time he'll outdistance all of them in winning attention.
So it has been with the refugees who have recently sought sanctuary on America's shores. The attention they have received has been out of all proportion to the numbers. The suspicion that the country is being overrun with a great flood of immigrants is groundless. The actual facts of the matter are interesting and worth looking into.
During the last eight years, 1,230,192 immigrants could have entered the United States under the quotas. Actually, only 395,716 did. It is noteworthy that during these same eight years, almost as many foreign-born persons left the United States permanently as entered this country.
Prehent laws limit the number of immigrants to 153,774 persons a year. Of this total, 83,574 are allotted to Great Britain and Ireland. However, immigration figures show, the quotas since 1932 have not even been one-third filled. A recent survey by the immigration and naturalization service for 1939 yields the further enlightening fact that only one out of a typical 100 immigrants is an unskilled worker, likely to compete on the nation's labor market. Many of them, of course, bring specialized skills which are not duplicated here.
It is evident that the amount of immigration to America has been, and remains, extremely small, while at the same time the inflow of immigrants and emigrants have just about balanced.
If America desires to continue her role, which has been traditional for more than three centuries, of offering freedom and hope to those of other lands, plainly she can do so without jeopardizing her own security.