This study examines determinants of U.S. Senate roll call votes on Progressive Era immigration policies, expanding the scope of existing scholarship on support for restriction. We measure the impact of party, region, type of restriction, and year on individual roll call votes from 1898-1924, through a two-pronged approach. Our aggregate quantitative analysis shows restriction more likely supported in later sessions of Congress, by Democrats/Southerners, and for nation of origin quotas. Votes to ban immigration completely, or by nation/race, were significantly less likely than votes to limit the flow. No difference emerged among other types of bills, such as literacy tests or head taxes. We then utilize an alternate, qualitative approach, allowing the debate record to clarify the initial findings. This reveals a strategic element to Southern support, as well as broad consensus for bills that most efficiently allow continued entry of desirable immigrants while limiting undesirables.
Romero, Francine S. and Romero, David W.
"Immigration Restrictions of the Progressive Era: Determinants of Senate Roll Call Votes,"
Journal of Political Science: Vol. 46
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.coastal.edu/jops/vol46/iss1/1
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