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Expelling the PoorAtlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy$
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Hidetaka Hirota

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190619213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190619213.001.0001

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Problems of Irish Poverty

Problems of Irish Poverty

The Rise of State Control on the Atlantic Seaboard

(p.41) Chapter 2 Problems of Irish Poverty
Expelling the Poor

Hidetaka Hirota

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the growth of anti-Irish nativism and early forms of immigration control in the United States. Although many coastal and New England states had had laws regulating the landing of passengers or banishing paupers from the territory since the colonial period, these laws either failed to receive adequate administrative support for implementation or became dead letters by the 1840s, except in New York and Massachusetts. In these states, the influx of destitute Irish famine immigrants provoked the introduction of state-led passenger control, which had previously been conducted by towns and cities, in New York in 1847 and in Massachusetts in 1848. The seeds of American immigration control lay in these Atlantic seaboard states that cultivated intense nativism in response to the poverty of the famine Irish.

Keywords:   colonial poor law, warning out, states’ rights, immigration federalism, commissioners of emigration, superintendent of alien passengers

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