Difficulties of Administration of Immigration Law

The enormous difficulties of a just, humane, and still strict enforcement of the law appear when one considers that at the port of New York sometimes 5,000 immigrants are admitted in one day; that it is impossible, in consequence, to give much time to each doubtful case; and that the cases themselves are often of extreme complexity, involving judgment of health, of character, of purpose, of future promise.

Often the law commands the separation of a family, or the turning back of all its members from what has been to them a land of promise, on account of the defects of a single member.

At times, the rigid enforcement of the law means the public disgrace of one who to family and the world at large has borne hitherto a good reputation, and whose exposure would seem to work only injury to all. Sometimes even the decision to reject what the law requires, seems little else than the death warrant of the applicant.

With such responsibilities carried always with the welfare of the whole people in mind, the immigration service should demand and pay for officials of ability, training, and the highest character.

Jeremiah W. Jenks, Ph.D., LL.D. and W. Jett Lauck, A.B., "Difficulties of Administration." In The Immigration Problem, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1912, P. 324-325.

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