United States Congress Joint Immigration Commission

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The United States Immigration Commission was a bipartisan special committee formed in February 1907 by the United States Congress, to study the origins and consequences of recent immigration to the United States. It was a joint committee composed of members of both the House and Senate. It was known as the Dillingham Commission after its chairman, Republican Senator William P. Dillingham of Vermont.

The Commission ended its work in 1911, concluding that immigration from southern and eastern Europe was a serious threat to American society and culture and should be greatly reduced in the future.

The Commission's recommendations had a substantial impact on American immigration policy. The recommendations lead to the introduction of literacy tests, quotas based on national origin, quotas severely restricting non-Western immigrants, supplanted earlier acts to effectively ban all immigration from Asia, and placed immigration policy firmly in the hands of the federal government. The standard scholarly history by Katherine Benton-Cohen argues that recent historians have overemphasized the influence of eugenics. Instead the economists led by Jeremiah Jenks set the interpretive framework. [1]

Commission members[edit]




Commission reports[edit]

In 1911, the Dillingham Commission issued a 41-volume report containing statistical overviews and other analyses of topics related to immigrant occupations, living conditions, education, legislation (at the state as well as the federal level), and social and cultural organizations. A planned 42nd volume, an index of the other 41 volumes, was never issued.[2]


  1. ^ Benton-Cohen, Katherine (2018). "Inventing the Immigration Problem". Harvard University Press.
  2. ^ Reports of the Immigration Commission. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1911

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Further reading[edit]

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