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 posed a serious threat to American society and culture and should be greatly reduced in the future. The Commission made only one recommendation: that Congress enact a "Literacy test as the most feasible single method of restricting undesirable immigration." [1]

The Commission's overall findings were used a decade later to support the 1920s immigration reduction acts, including the Emergency Quota Act of 1921.

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. ^ vol. I, p. 48
  2. ^ Reports of the Immigration Commission. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1911

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