Italian Immigration Abuses

Italian Immigration Abuses (1)

Three hundred and fifty disappointed Italians who came to this country with the expectation of obtaining steady work at high wages, left a Brooklyn wharf yesterday for home. it has been shown by the Congressional Committee appointed to investigate immigration abuses, that the Italians and others who come here are fleeced not only by the agents in Europe who induce them to leave their native shores, but that as a general rule, they fall into the hands of frauds as soon as they reach Castle Garden. Without money and unfamiliar with the language, they become a burden on the community unless they fortunately retain sufficient to pay for a return passage.

Tricked on both sides of the water, it does not take them long to find out that America is by no means the labor paradise they expected to find it. But this is not all. If the Italian who comes here expecting to find work is deceived, does not the American laborer suffer also by the wholesale importation of the lowest classes of immigrants, who force down the rate of wages, and to that extent increase the profits of the capitalists?

The manufacturers who are loudest in their denunciation of the "pauper labor of Europe" are those who are most eager to make use of it. The cotton mills of Massachusetts and the collieries of Pennsylvania alike attest the truth that the cry of Protection to the American workingman is a shallow humbug and that home industry is forced out of the market by the starvation wages paid to the immigrants.

It has been shown that there are Poles and Swedes working in our factories who are glad to receive less than even $5 a week, and it is assuredly significant that the States which are supposed to reap the greatest advantage from our high Protective tariff are the very ones in which strikes and lockouts most frequently occur.

There surely must be some remedy for this immigration evil, and the sooner it is applied the better. Yet if it does nothing else, it must serve to direct the attention of the American laborer to the fact that he does not receive the "Protection" which high duties are alleged to guarantee, but that, on the contrary, his condition is undergoing a steady change for the worse. In other words, that it is the employer, and not the employee, who derives all the benefit of our taxation system.

Rush of Italian Immigrants Not Able to Land? (2)

The Anchor Line Steamship Hesperia arrived at the Union Stores this morning from the Mediterranean ports. She brought 752 steerage passengers and a fair sized cargo. This consists of 21,000 boxes of macaroni, olive oil, cork, wine, flax, marble and general merchandise.

There has been a tremendous inrush of Italian immigrants recently, owing, it is said, tot he statements made by unscrupulous steamship agents to the effect that there are unlimited prospects of employment on the rapid transit tunnel. There is at present at sea a Spanish steamer, the Grau Autilla, with 1,000 immigrants on board, of which she took on 600 at Genoa and 400 at Naples. it is said that the American consuls at Genoa and Naples have investigated the ship and her passengers with the result that the government here may prevent the landing of the people unless bonds are filed that they will not become public charges and that the Barge Office officials have been notified of this action by the Treasury Department.


Website: The History
Article Name: Italian Immigration Abuses
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle : (1)August 9, 1888; (2) June 5, 1900
Time & Date Stamp: