chapter  5
Immigration and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Interwar Period
WithManfred Jonas
Pages 14

The relationship between immigration and United States (US) foreign policy is a subject that is both tantalizing and frustrating. Immigrants can, as part of the "public," presumably affect foreign policy in three basic ways: through their voting behavior, their media efforts, and their lobbying. In conformity with sentiments, the US proceeded to keep its distance from the League of Nations and from international efforts to end or prevent conflict. Irish Americans, just like the German Americans, "made it a point to attend public meetings en masse, and by their vocal and manual approval of attacks upon the treaty they gave the false impression that public sentiment was overwhelmingly opposed to the League." The decline in isolationist sentiment in the US after 1938 was clearly the result of world events that undermined many isolationist assumptions. Immigration, like anything else that alters the composition of the US population, affects the foreign policy of the United States in the long run.