Calvin Coolidge Says, January 6, 1931

Date: January 6, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

A few years ago we were discussing Americanization of our residents of foreign birth. Not being an appropriate word, it aroused considerable antagonism among those we desired to help, which we can comprehend by thinking of our own reaction if, on entering a foreign country, volunteer associations or governmental agencies tried to transform us into natives.

What we really intended was a course of helpful education to instruct new arrivals to the United States in the meaning of our laws and customs, so that they might better avoid the perils and secure the advantages of being here. But with the natural aptitude which people have and with the restriction of immigration, little outside help has been necessary.

The great proportion of immigrants duly became desirable citizens. But those who fail to respond to the privileges of our country, who fall into evil ways and violate our laws, should be punished for their crimes and then deported. We have all we can do to take care of deserving people without being burdened with those who demonstrate their unfitness to enjoy our liberties.

The Secretary of Labor is right in proposing to enforce the deportation law.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.

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