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both at rest and in motion

A man’s posture, a movement of his head or the appearance of his ears, requiring only a fraction of a second of the time of an observer to notice, may disclose more than could be detected by puttering around a man’s chest with a stethoscope for a week, yet a week might be required to demonstrate what was really wrong with the man.
      An attempt was made to utilize this general scheme in securing the examination of aliens contemplated in the law. The scheme as it was maintained in actual operation at Ellis Island during my time there provided an opportunity for an observer to inspect an immigrant systematically both at rest and in motion at a distance of about twenty or twenty-five feet; for an observer to inspect or scrutinize the immigrant as he approached the observer, and finally after the immigrant came close at hand. Somewhere in this inspection process provision was to be made for the close examination of hands, eyes, and, if deemed advisable, of throat...

ex Chapter 11, “Medical Examination of Aliens,” in
Immigration Problems : Personal Experiences of an Official, by Victor Safford, “Author of ‘Immigration with References to Its Causes and Its Effects upon the Growth and Ethnical Character of the Population of the United States’” (1925) : 246 : link
same (UC copy, via hathitrust) : link

nice passage on testing this system on people entering the foyer of the Opera House (nearly everyone would be detained for further examination), at page 250


amazing, disturbing and instructive volume, that appears in literature on immigration policy, race, disability policy, etc., etc.

  1. Joel Perlmann, “Race or People”: Federal Race Classifications for Europeans in America, 1898-1913, Working Paper, No. 320, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (January 2001) : link
  2. Douglas C. Baynton, “Defectives in the Land: Disability and American immigration policy, 1882-1924,” Journal of American Ethnic History 24:3 (Spring, 2005), 31-44 : link (found via google scholar : link)

  3. Amy Fairchild, “Comment: Historicizing the Notion of Disability” JAEH 24:3 (Spring 2005) : 45-48 : link

  4. Moses “Victor” Safford (1867-1947) : a short (incomplete) bio, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Athenaeum : link

8 January 2023