« AnteriorContinuar »
country. Such a thing has not been thought of. Immigration from here is not of very frequent occurrence, and the immigrants do not belong to the agricultural class of the population. There is no law here against immigration. There is only a surveillance over the immigration agents, who have to be recommended by a commercial house of high standing in Hamburg and Bremen, and who give bonds before they are permitted to engage in that business. The Leipsie Consal adds, that in one of his epistolary communications to the State Department at Washington, he said : “Beware of the German immigrants; their intention is, to form a new (State of) Germany, which anquestionably may prove most detri, mental to the American Union, especially in a political point of view." Dr. Flugel has also forwarded the following communications to Mayor Wood, which he received, in reply to his inquiry, from the National Society of German Immigration in Leipsic. It will be seen that a frank admission is made respecting the character of many of the immigrants to this country, which fully endorses the opinions expressed both by Senator Cooper and Mayor Wood, and not only justifies but demands the most stringent remedy.
Leipsic, June 4, 1855. It cannot be denied that for some time the governments of some States, and also the authorities of several communities, have deemed it convenient to free themselves from their paupers by shipping them to the United States. It is also notorious that criminals, after having suffered punishment, have in the same manner been transported to the United States, with the view to free the community of them forever. In consequence of this, a system of economy was adopted productive of unavoidable evils, as they (the immigrants) were supplied merely with money sufficient for the payment of their passages, and hence, on their arrival at distant ports, being destitute of all means of support, they were compelled immediately to apply for aid, and were, therefore, regarded as very unwelcome visitors.
These practices are certainly as inhuman as they are imprudent, but the government of Saxony has not at any time had recourse to this system of economy.
We have been thoroughly acquainted with the immigration affairs of Germany for the last eight years, during which time not a single case which could implicate the Kingdom of Saxony in such action has ever come within our knowledge. On the contrary, it is a subject of regret to us that, with very few exceptions, the greater part of those who immigrate from Saxony are composed chiefly of the wealthier class of our people and our best mechanics. We, therefore, instead of gaining, are put to a loss of millions of dollars, and of the best portion of our honest and most valuable citizens.
As it appears the German immigration to the United States is becoming too powerful and troublesome, you may assure the American authorities that a speedy change in this respect is unavoidable. The decrease of immigration in general, and to North America in particular, during the last year, has become so apparent that we are warranted in . asserting that the immigration of this year will not be half so numerous as that of.last year. The seaports present quite a desolate appearance at the usual time of immigration, but the accounts which we receive from all the interior parts of Germany, of the great change in immigration, is still more remarkable. Hundreds of thousands who intended, to immigrate have entirely abandoned the notion. Most respectfully, The Directors of the National Society of German Immigration.
Department of State, Washington, Sept. 3d, 1855. Sir-I bave the honor to transmit to you for your information the following extract from a despatch dated August 4, ult., received at this Department from Mr. A. D. Gall, United States Consul at Bremen:
“ The circulars issued by the immigration agents in the interior of Germany caution immigrants who are deformed, crippled, or maimed, &c., against taking passage to New York, and advise them to go by way of Baltimore, New Orleans, or Quebec, where the laws prohibiting the landing of immigrants of the above classes do not apply.' I am, sir, with high respect, your obedient servant,
W. HUNTER, Assistant Secretary. To the Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana.
How far Congress has the power, under the ninth section of the first article of the United States Constitution, to regulate, restrain, or prohibit the immigration of foreigners, or whether it has any power over the subject, is not very well settled. That section provides that “the migration or importation of such persons as any of the States, now existing, shall think proper to admit, shall not be probibited by Congress prior to the year 1808, but a tax may be imposed on sach importation not exceeding ten dollars for each person :" and it was undoubtedly understood by its framers to apply altogether to slaves. See Elliott's Debates, vol. v. 457 to 177. And it was so construed in The Federalist, the forty-second number of which, written by Mr. Madison, than whom no one better understood its object and intention, contains the following in relation to it:
“ It were doubtless to be wished that the power of prohibiting the importation of slaves had not been postponed until the year 1808, or rather that it had not been suffered to have immediate operation. But it is not difficult to account either for this restriction on the General Government, or for the manner in which the whole clause is expressed. It ought to be considered as a great point gained in favor of humanity, that a period of twenty years may terminate forever, within these States, a traffic which has so long and so loudly upbraided the barbarism of modern policy.” *** Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution, by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial immigration from Europe to America. I mention these misconstructions not with a view to give them an answer—for they deserve none—but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct their opposition to the proposed government.”