Guided Primary Source Analysis: The immigrant. Acquisition or detriment?

The immigrant. Is he an acquisition or a detriment?
Gillam, F. Victor. “The immigrant. Is he an acquisition or a detriment?” Illus. in: Judge, 1903 September 19.

According to this political cartoon, what were the pros and cons to immigration in 1903? Take a look at this black-and-white version to more clearly read the cartoon’s text labels. List each group represented and the cartoon’s representation of their views.

Investigate historical newspaper articles from 1903 discussing the immigration problem and immigration benefits. List the problems and benefits you uncover. Then compare and contrast the issues raised in the newspaper articles with those from the political cartoon.

What do you think are some pros and cons to immigration today (you may wish to do some research before answering)? Are any of the issues similar to ones that were raised in the early twentieth century? What has changed? Present your view of today’s immigration debate in the form of a written or podcast editorial, a political cartoon, or an infographic.

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!

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