A political cartoon entitled “The Proposed Emigrant Dumping Site” from Judge Magazine, March 22, 1890.
National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM
Connections drawn between the Statue of Liberty and immigration were not always positive. Nativists (Americans who opposed immigration) linked the Statue to immigration most starkly in political cartoons critiquing foreigners' threats to American liberties and values. They portrayed the monument as a symbol of a nation besieged by pollution, housing shortages, disease, and the onslaught of anarchists, communists, and other alleged subversives. Such images appeared mainly in middle-class popular magazines. They appeared in response to proposed increases in New York's immigrant processing capacity or in connection to specific political campaigns. When a new immigrant processing station was proposed on Bedloe's Island in 1890, a cartoon in Judge
depicted the Statue as "the future emigrant lodging house." Expressing fears about the Statue's literal desecration by newcomers, as well as fears about immigrants' threat to the liberty it represented, the cartoon showed the monument encumbered by a tenement-style fire escape and clothesline. That same year, Judge
published a scathing image of a sneering Statue raising her robe to protect it from the newcomers "European Garbage ships" dumped at her feet.