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Discuss the New Immigration and the Eugenics Movement

Discuss the New Immigration and the Eugenics Movement

In 1833, Francis Galton came up with the term Eugenics[1] which in other words meant, “Well born”. This was a moral philosophy geared towards encouraging healthy people to reproduce. He saw it best to motivate the healthy people to procreate and thereby discouraging the unfit people from procreating. This move was geared towards creating a perfect society free from unfit people. However concerns were raised by the Americans about the hereditary of the unfit. Many believed that problems affecting the society such as burglary, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, poverty emerged from the unfit people. Otherwise if the unfit people were ‘wellborn’ then these social problems will not have been evident. Later on, tests on intelligence were done on individuals who were mentally impaired otherwise known as the antisocial clique in order to stop them from reproducing. These people were regarded as a burden in the society and the tests would permanently sterilize them from procreating.

In 1927, a ruling named Buck V.Bell was implemented by the supreme court of united states to affirm the 1924 Virginia sterilization bill which advocated for the sterilization of unfit’ individuals. Between 1927 and 1970s, at least 60 000 of Americans underwent the sterilization process[2].Reformers believed that sterilization would result to savings since confining mentally impaired individuals in institutions proved expensive and a waste of time and resources. It meant that once sterilized these individuals would be in a better position of caring for themselves other than causing unnecessary burden to the society. In the early 1790’s, issues related to race, citizenship and immigration were introduced since the process of naturalization[3] was only possible for the white people. Concerns were raised over the Chinese immigrants who had posed threats to the American government and its workers. American detractors argued that Chinese immigrants do not qualify for citizenship because they were docile and immature workers who would slow down Americas independence .In 1882, the Chinese Excursion Act was passed which restricted Chinese laborers from migrating to the United States. This was the first legislation on a national basis restricted a specific group.

Alleged threats posed by new immigrants

The shipping of immigrants in the United States always caused a strain to the economy. It was because of the increasing population that issues of unemployment became rampant. There was a dire need for white collar jobs and accommodation of immigrants to various towns and cities

Mexican immigrants were considered to be unhygienic in the way conducted themselves. They were feared by the Americans’ who opted to deport them back to their country. They were believed to have terminal diseases such as tuberculosis and cholera.However, in the 1920s as the immigrants were restricted and quotas were given for the Europeans the Mexican immigration to Chicago rapidly increased[4]. Consequently, most immigrants were backward and illiterate and therefore America had to spend their wages to involve them in civic education. In addition, some immigrants were not allowed to settle in the American lands because the Americans feared that they might possess antisocial behaviors which may be inappropriate to the citizens America.

Solutions eugenics offer to combat threats

The United States came up with a way of combating threats from the immigrants and this was through establishing immigration laws. The purpose of this law is to avoid further mongrelization or degredation, Americans saw it best to protect its racial stock. They believed that a mixture of racial blood has a negative effect on the individual and thus it will degrade his ideals on political and social values within the society. In addition, the law aims at protecting the society from being affected by immigrants who are barbaric and diseased thus protecting them from crime related activities and pauperism.




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