The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Herbert Hoover
White House Statement on Government Policies To Reduce Immigration.
March 26, 1931

PRESIDENT HOOVER, to protect American workingmen from further competition for positions by new alien immigration during the existing conditions of employment, initiated action last September looking to a material reduction in the number of aliens entering this country. At his request, the Department of State examined the operation of the immigration law and reported that the only important provision of the law useful in the circumstances is that one requiring the exclusion of those who are liable to become public charges. Since then consular officials, charged with the duty of issuing visas to intending immigrants, have carefully examined each applicant. A tabulation completed today shows that during the first 5 months ending February 28, 1931, of the administration of the "likely to become a public charge" provision approximately 96,883 aliens did not receive visas who normally would have immigrated into this country.

Reports from American consuls assigned to 21 countries whose annual quotas total 148,466 of the total quota of 153,714 indicate that only 10,277 visas were issued during the 5-month period against a possible 74,233 allowable under law, or an under-issue of 86 percent.

Incomplete reports from the remaining 46 countries with annual quotas totalling 5,248 indicate an issue of 270 visas, a reduction of 90 percent.

Canada and Mexico furnished 70 and 19 percent, respectively, of the 61,504 nonquota visas reported issued during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1930, remaining 11 percent having been issued to natives of Central and South America.

During the 5-month period involved only 3,876 visas were issued to natives of Canada and 884 visas to natives of Mexico, as compared to 15,997 and 19,336 visas, respectively, in the corresponding 5 months of the last completed normal fiscal year, thus representing decreases of 76 and 95 percent.

Citation: Herbert Hoover: "White House Statement on Government Policies To Reduce Immigration.", March 26, 1931. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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