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Lunacy and Immigration in the United States

Extract

It is well known that a heavy burden has been imposed upon the United States of America by the immigration of persons already insane. A Bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives, after a full inquiry, to amend the immigration laws in this respect. Briefly, it proposes that aliens should be excluded if previously, within ten years, confined in any asylum for the insane, idiotic or epileptic, or if they have so suffered before landing in the United States, or if so affected within two years after admission, unless disorder is shown to have been due to causes arising after arrival. Certificates will be required from immigrants, and these must be granted by a local physician of experience in mental diseases whose reputation is vouched for by the local Consul, and must show whether the alien has been insane, etc. The Bill further provides for the return of aliens to their respective countries should they be undesirable immigrants for the reasons indicated. It was shown in the evidence that by the census of 1890 the foreign population of the State of New York constituted 25 per cent. of the whole, whereas the foreign population in the New York State Asylums was 50 per cent. of the whole. These and similar facts have long been recognised as vital to American interests, and it is by no means surprising that an effort is now being made to relieve the State of such an incubus.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Lunacy and Immigration in the United States

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