America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts. -James Madison (1751–1836)
I am satisfied the present Chinese labor invasion (it is not in any proper sense immigration—women and children do not come) is pernicious and should be discouraged. Our experience in dealing with the weaker races—the negroes and Indians, for example—is not encouraging. We shall oppress the Chinamen, and their presence will make hoodlums and vagabonds of their oppressors. I therefore would consider with favor suitable measures to discourage the Chinese from coming to our shores. But I suspect that this bill is inconsistent with our treaty obligations.... If it violates the National faith, I must decline to sign it. -Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)
Immigration, which even the war has not stopped, will land upon our shores hundred of thousands more per year from overcrowded Europe. I intend to point them to the gold and silver that waits for them in the West. Tell the miners from me, that I shall promote their interests to the utmost of my ability; because their prosperity is the prosperity of the Nation, and we shall prove in a very few years that we are indeed the treasury of the world.
-President ABRAHAM LINCOLN, message for the miners of the West, delivered verbally to Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax, who was about to depart on a trip to the West, in the afternoon of April 14, 1865, before Lincoln left for Ford’s Theatre.
The admission of Oriental immigrants who cannot be amalgamated with our people has been made the subject either of prohibitory clauses in our treaties and statutes or of strict administrative regulations secured by diplomatic negotiations. I sincerely hope that we may continue to minimize the evils likely to arise from such immigration without unnecessary friction and by mutual concessions between self-respecting governments.
-William Howard Taft (1857–1930), U.S. president. Inaugural address, March 4, 1909
Give me your hungry, your tired your poor
we'll piss on 'em
That's what the statue of bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses,
lets club 'em to death
And get it over with
and just dump 'em on the boulevard....