"Doctor up" Immigrants To Secure
Associated Press. Los Angeles Herald,
December 19, 1905. Page 2
"Curing" of Diseased Aliens So They Can Pass Inspection in the United States is a Profitable Trade. Trachoma Is Common
NEW YORK, Dec. 15.— That diseased European Immigrants are "doctored up" in great numbers for shipment to this country is the charge made by Dr. Maurice Kishberg of this city, a special inspector of the immigration service of the United States, who recently returned from abroad. Dr. Fishberg spent several months in the Old World, visiting the Eurnpean terminals of the big trans-Atlantic steam ship lines and making a special study of the shipping of Russian immigrants across the German frontier. Most of the things which the doctor saw abroad are Incorporated in the report which he made to the commissioner general of immigration at Washington.
Dr. Fishberg said yesterday:
"The 'curing' of diseased aliens for admission to the United States has become a tremendous industry abroad. Ramifications of the business may be found at Liverpool, London, Southampton, Marseilles and at various fromtier cities of Russia and Austria-Hungary. In these cities I have personally visited boarding houses and so-called 'hospitals' where immigrants suffering from trachoma in its most advanced stages were being treated that they might pass inspection and enter the United States.
"Trachoma is a disease of the eye of which I have a speclal horror.
"In Marseilles the 'treatment' of trachoma has assumed remarkable dimensions. Here most of the immigrants from the orient, from Syria; Armenia and neighboring countries come on their way to the United States. Most of the immigrants report to a man by the name of Anton Fares, who refers them to certain boarding houses. Later they are sent to Dr. Q, Reynaut, 29 Boulevard d'Athenee, for examination. Those who are found free from contagious diseases receive tickets and are at once shipped to Havre. But as soon as one of these orientals Is discovered to have trachoma Paris takes hold of the unfortunate immigrant and says: 'There are only two ways open to you. You can either go by way of St. Nazaire to Mexico, where I have agents to conduct you across the frontier into the United States, or you can go to a doctor here and get cured. Now, the first plan is expensive and dangerous, but the doctor is very successful.'
"Of course, the poor fellow goes to the doctor, who, by the way, does a flourishing business.
"The Russian Hebrew [Jew] comes to America chiefly by way of Germany, either sailing directly from Bremen or Hamburg, or going to England and embarking from a British port. Little is done at Bremen or Hamburg to patch up immigrants, but at the stations along the Russian and Austrian borders the practice is common. In most cases the so-called 'cure' is only temporary."
10 days later, this article appears:
Los Angeles Herald, December 29, 1905. Page 1
Russian Refugees Reach Boston
By Associated Press.
BOSTON, Dec. 28.— About fifty Russian refugees arrived at this port today on the steamer Saxonia. They were mostly women and children. Among them was Mrs. Klasman, wife of a resident of St. Louis, who fled from a suburb of Vilna. Mrs. Klasman, who is a woman of wealth, said that for many days she and her children lived in the cellar of her house. Mrs. Klasman, the immigration authorities allege, seems to be a victim of trachoma, a contagious eye disease, and it is probable that she may be sent back to Russia.