Wanted that red, wanted everything tucked inside that red, that body, it seemed, turned inside out, that walking flower, petals furled, leaved by the trees by the forest path, the yellow basket marking the center-- wanted to raise that rose petal skin to my gray face, barely to brush that warmth with my cold nose, but I knew she'd cry for mercy, help, the mother who'd filled the basket that morning, Wolf, she'd cry, Wolf, and she'd be right, why should she try to see beyond the fur, the teeth, the cartoon tongue wet with anticipation? And so I hid behind a tree as she passed on the path, then ran, as you know, to her grandmother's house, but not as they say, I knocked and when she answered I asked politely for her advice. And then, I swear, she offered me tea, her bonnet, an extra gown, she gave me more than advice, she tucked me into a readied bed, she smoothed my rough fur, I felt light as a flower, myself, stamened and stemmed in her sweet sheets. Not ate her, you see, but rather became her, flannel chest for the red head, hood that hid the pearl that when I touched it flushed and shone. What big eyes! and she opened the cape, tongue, mouth to her mouth, and opened everything, I crooned, crawling inside, wolf to flower, gray to rose, grandmother into child again, howl to whisper, dagger to cloak, my mother father animal arms, disarmed by love, were all she ever dreamed of.
Alien, Part One
If you were Chinese, you had (mostly) been excluded since 1882.
If you were Japanese, things were complex after 1907–8.
If you were anything else, you were not excluded as such in 1916
although there were many who thought you should be
if you were the eastern or southern European
that you increasingly were: Russian / Polish
Jewish Italian Polish Slavic Greek . . .
—and you could have been excluded as a convict
lunatic beggar pauper polygamist anarchist
prostitute epileptic contract laborer mental defective
bearer of loathsome / contagious disease . . . : a growing list.
If you came after 1892, you probably (90%) arrived on Ellis Island,
where in 1906 you were still likely (99%) to be admitted,
but where, if you came in 1914, you might have been given
an intelligence test by Henry Goddard, the results of which
were inconclusive (and your chances of being excluded small)
but in 1916 you might (10%) have been marked X mental defect.
If you came in 1917, the new Immigration Act could have excluded
you for 33 reasons, and for the first time would have done so
if you could not pass a literacy test (for which Madison Grant
had lobbied) or if you came from an extensive Asiatic Barred Zone.
If you were admitted, you might have taken a train
from New York to southern Illinois, where you probably
would have worked in a mine, especially if you were Italian.