• The Dillingham Commission was also known as the United States Immigration Commission

  • Formed in February 20, 1907 because of the growing political concern about immigration in the U.S.

  • Its leader was Vermont Senator William Paul Dillingham

  • It was composed of 3 senators, 3 members of the house of representatives, and 3 presidential appointees
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  • With concern of growing population of immigrants, the Dillingham Commission's role was to come up with a plan to stop it

  • In 1907, the number of immigrants to the U.S. was 1,285,349

  • Commission's job was to decrease that number by making observations and coming up with an idea

  • Commission would come up with evidence on the immigrants and make policy recommendations to analyze the economic and social problems

  • A positive effect for the U.S. of the Dillingham Commission was that after 1907 it decreased the number of immigrants coming in

  • In 1908 the number of immigrants was 782,870 and in 1909 the number decreased to 751,786 people

  • Succeeded in decreasing the number of immigrants coming in, thus helped the political and economic concern from all those immigrants coming in

  • In 1911, the Dillingham Commission concluded that immigrants from southern and eastern Europe are a threat to U.S. society and culture

  • In decreasing immigration, it inspired the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, which restricted the number of immigrants from each country, to 3% of total population of U.S. in 1910
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  • The Commission also suggested to exclude those immigrants unable to read or write in a language, to come

  • Positives for immigration were few but those who were skilled and would benefit the U.S. had a better chance of coming into the country as an immigrant

  • More negative aspects to immigration came up through reports from the Dillingham Commission to congress

  • Had Dictionary of Races in their reports, where they named immigrants based on their language and physical characteristics

  • Had cases challenging racial prerequisites and this caused problems because in cases disputes were over if the individuals were "white" to be eligible to gain citizenship


The relevance of this primary source document is that the author is an outsider who talks about the Dillingham Commission and lists its pros and cons, while illustrating the role of the commission.