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By: Mary Antin (1881-1949)

Book cover They Who Knock at Our Gates: A Complete Gospel of Immigration (Version 2)

In this extended essay, Mary Antin asks us to consider three questions: First: A question of principle: Have we any right to regulate immigration? Second: A question of fact: What is the nature of our present immigration? Third: A question of interpretation: Is immigration good for us? In doing so, she asks us to step back from the usual discussion around immigration, which tends to focus on practical matters, and consider the underlying principles involved. What do we owe our fellow humans and what is our national mission as Americans?

Book cover They Who Knock at Our Gates

In 1914, over one million immigrants arrived in the United States, following in the footsteps of approximately ten million others who had arrived in the preceding decade. Faced with so many newcomers, many of them from backgrounds new to the American mix, voices in government and in the press had begun arguing in favor of more severely restrictionist immigration policies. In They Who Knock at Our Gates, Mary Antin broke down the discussion into three basic questions. First, the ethical question --...

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