Immigration (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The entrance into a country of foreigners for purposes of permanent residence. The correlative term emigration denotes the act of such persons in leaving their former country.
(The entire section is 29 words.)
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Immigrants, Immigration (Encyclopedia of Public Health)
Immigration is a major historical, yet current influence and integral part of how nations continue to grow and change in population and diversity. M. Fix and J. S. Passel (1994) list the principal goals of U.S. immigration policy as: social, economic, cultural, moral, and national and economic security (includes protection from infectious and animal-borne diseases, environmental hazards, food safety, terrorists, and various criminal acts). Canadian and European policies encompass similar goals, but with greater emphasis on the economic impact of immigration. In 1999 over 16 million legal immigrants in Western Europe earned more than $460 billion. However, despite the projection indicating that European countries face a dramatic population decline over the next 50 years, many European countries want to restrict immigration on the basis of economic reasons, including the fear of exacerbating the already significant problem of unemployment. Immigration policies are the responsibility of national governments, while the policies regarding how countries deal with immigrants are shared by the various levels of governmentational, state, and local.
At the federal level in the United States, for example, several agencies play key roles in developing and implementing national immigration and immigrant policies. The principal immigration agencies are: the United States Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the admission of foreign-born persons(i.e., aliens) to the United States and for administering various immigration benefits, including naturalization and resettlement of refugees; and the Department of Treasury U.S. Customs Service, which is the primary enforcement agency protecting the nation's borders. Other federal agencies deal more directly with the public health dimension of immigration and immigrants. Although many countries have organizations dealing with immigrants and immigration issues, there are international agencies that act as important brokers regarding migration among countries. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an intergovernmental body that is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. Since 1951, the IOM has acted with member countries (currently 79) to assist in meeting operational challenges of migration, to advance understanding of migration issues, to encourage social and economic development through migration, and to uphold human dignity and well being of migrants.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is another international agency which, since 1951, has played a significant role in responding to the world's growing refugee predicament. As one of the world's principal humanitarian organizations, the UNHCR provides international protection to refugees and seeks durable solutions to their plight. For the year 2000, there were about 22.5 million refugees and other persons of concern to the UNHCR.
HISTORY AND DEMOGRAPHICS
Immigration policies have directly influenced the demographic composition of the immigrating populations over the lives of the nations. The first immigration office in the United States and Canadian federal governments were created in the nineteenth century by laws intended mainly to encourage immigration. Later, the U.S. Immigration Act of 1891 provided for deportation of aliens living unlawfully in the country. About this same time, in 1882, the U.S. Congress asserted the first broad federal regulatory power regarding immigration by passing the Chinese Exclusion Act, which suspended immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years. In Canada, although there was no law passed to exclude any particular group of immigrants, careful procedures were developed to ensure most applications submitted by black people were rejected. From the late nineteenth century to the year 2000, most North American, European, and Australian immigration policies have shifted from a focus on qualities of individuals(e.g., excluding illiterates, criminals, those with illnesses) to a focus on countries of origin with a more inclusionary focus using preference categories, to a sharpened humanitarian approach in admitting those in need (such as refugees) through permanent and systematic assessments. In European countries, various approaches for integrating immigrants are at work. Germany has developed special institutions and programs for foreigners, while France tends to stress general rather than foreigners-only programs. The European Union recognizes that immigrants are needed for demographic and economic reasons.
Census data indicate that the percent of foreign-born persons in the total U.S. population has waxed and waned from a high of 14.8 percent in 1910 to a low of 4.7 percent in 1970. In July 1999, the foreign-born resident population estimates totalled about 25.8 million, or about 9.5 percent of the total U.S. population. Likewise, Canada's peak year for immigration (1913) saw the arrival of about 400,000 people. Its 1996 census showed a continued growth in immigration with 17.4 percent of Canadian residents being first-generation immigrants. From 1990 to 1999, the United States foreign-born population increased. Hispanics increased from 8 to 11 million persons, and the Asian and Pacific Islander groups increased from4.5 to 6.3 million. More than 60 percent of the Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the United States and about 35 percent of Hispanics are foreign-born.
These statistics reveal how changes in immigration policies, especially within the past fifty years, have influenced the makeup of the foreignborn populations in the United States. For France, there have been several immigration priority shifts over the years. Initially priority was given to members of France's colonies, subsequently, to Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, and, more recently, to North African guest workers. A shift of immigration priorities also occurred in Canada when, after its 1976 Immigration Act was passed, immigrants from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America were welcomed.
The late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century provided a different country-of-origin profile for immigration to the United States. Since 1820, Germany has been the greatest source of immigrants to the United States, with Mexico ranking second, Italy third, and the United Kingdom and Ireland a close fourth and fifth, respectively. Changes were evident in 1996 when the country-of-origin profile for immigration showed that of the top ten nations, four were Asian nations, three Latin American nations, two from the former Soviet Union, and one from the Caribbean. The United States Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 provided an amnesty for undocumented persons living in the United States under certain conditions, which resulted in about2.8 million persons attaining legal statushe majority of whom were Hispanic. The 1996 count used by the INS for "illegal alien populations" or undocumented persons is about 5 million, with about 2.7 million estimated to be from Mexico. Other countries in Europe indicate that 300,000 to 1,000,000 "unauthorized immigrants" reside within their borders.
Immigrant populations in the United States from the Asian and European countries have more years of education than immigrants from Latin American countries. Further 1999 estimates of the average age of foreign-born racial and ethnic groups range from seven to eleven years older than the U.S. total population estimates for the respective groups. The occupations of immigrants depend on their education and their proficiency in speaking English. It was estimated that in 1990 about 40 percent of immigrants were either operators/laborers/fabricators or service workers. Immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy not only in terms of labor force participation rates but also in terms of taxes paid and earnings spent for goods and service on their local economies. On the other hand, in 1997, the unemployment rates for immigrants were much higher in France than for French nationals. The French nationals' rate was 12 percent compared with 31 percent for immigrants from non-European Union countries and 50 percent among North Africans.
Geographic distribution of the foreign-born within the United States from the 1990 census indicates that most live in the West and are from Mexico. Immigrants settle and reside mainly in metropolitan areas such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami; this is also consistent with the living patterns of Hispanic and Asian populations in the United States. Projections of the immigrant populations by the Census Bureau at the low, middle, and highest series indicate that the largest growth will be in the Asian and Pacific Islander populations over the next fifty years. Using the 1990 base for population projections, the Census estimates that by the year 2045, foreign-born populations will grow to about 13.5 percent of the total population, compared to 9.5 percent in 1999. The distribution of immigrant ethnic groups in Canada shows people from the British Isles as the majority throughout Canada with the exception of Quebec where the French dominate. The West and prairie provinces include about 15 percent German and significant numbers (9 to 11 percent) of Ukrainians.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH
Although immigration policies are complex, much of the work of responsible public health professionals and organizations is to consider how best to serve the immigrant populations who arrive. As noted above, there are several public health agencies in the United States responsible for the health of the entering populations. Other nations and international organizations also help with caring for the education, social, and health needs of immigrants. For refugees, in particular, the resettlement process in the United States includes the federal agency working with local providers to ensure health services are provided. Other than refugees and asylees, immigrants must ensure that they do not become a "public charge," that is, dependent on the government for subsistence. Based on determinations of INS in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, United States federal health services programs can be provided to immigrants without being considered "public charges." There are other restrictions to public benefits that are part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which restricts access by some legal immigrants to certain programs and denies access by undocumented/unauthorized immigrants to many government funded programs. Federal and state programs affected under this law include Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and food stamps.
For public health purposes, the state's restriction of certain public benefit programs must not inhibit the public health system in serving immigrant populations with interventions and services that target at-risk populations. Knowing the populations within the community is a fundamental requirement in public health. Assessments of immigrant populations must take into account the country of origin and its socio-political context, language use and level of language proficiency, age and educational profile, cultural nuances including specific gender practices and protocols, time in the country and familial ties, particular health practices and beliefs that may be common to the population, social and religious beliefs and practices, and the economic conditions of employment. Such assessments then include not only a quantitative epidemiological approach, but also a qualitative ethnographic inquiry as complementary data.
Policies developed for public health systems are critical in addressing the particular characteristics and needs of immigrant populations. Being consistent in serving the populations establishes a trusting environment for newly arrived and foreign-born populations who may have emigrated from countries where governments were not trustworthy. In keeping with the United States Healthy People 2010 report's second goal of eliminating health disparities, policies will also need to be flexible and allow for interpretation in the field.
Providing the proper interventions and services through culturally competent systems becomes a major challenge for the public health community, not just the public health government agencies. Generally, immigrants are not familiar with the variety of places (both private and public) from which services and promotion of healthy practices are derived. Getting to know the different sources of services is much more complex than immigrant populations may have experienced in the past. (Moreover, it is not unlikely that in some countries the systems are such that even the native-born populations are still unfamiliar with how their public health systems work.) Such coordination requires collaborative trust among providers and their respective organizations, and will help to build more confidence in the use of the system by the immigrant populations.
As a final point for the public health community in refining experiences with immigrant populations, there is the need to keep up with what potential public health issues are occurring globally, nationally, statewide, and, of course, locally. Experience has shown that refugees and other immigrants can quickly be placed in a community due to some type of international disturbance. Keeping informed of immigrant populations as part of the community allows for better decisions on what health improvements may be needed, and what actions should be taken when more immigrants arrive.
J. HENRY MONTES
(SEE ALSO: Acculturation; Cross-Cultural Communication, Competence; Ethnicity and Health)
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Immigration (American History Through Literature)
Immigration became a major factor in American life in the antebellum period, and the influence of the many cultures represented by the growing tide of newcomers changed American culture itself. During the period from the American Revolution through the Napoleonic Wars in Europe (1776815), immigration from Europe to America had fallen to low levels. This began to change in the period around 1820. Restrictions upon emigration from Europe were lessened with the end of the Napoleonic Wars; American expansion after the War of 1812, fought with Great Britain, promised land and jobs to the immigrants.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CAUSES
The general forces driving immigration to the United States during the period 1820870 are seen in the interactions between social and economic conditions in Europe and those in the United States. Europe saw unprecedented population growth during the nineteenth century. This created pressure upon the existing land, and young people unable to inherit land were obliged to move away. At the same time, the Industrial Revolution, begun in the British Isles in the eighteenth century, was now being felt elsewhere in western Europe. The rise of the factories began to drive the old-fashioned artisans and craftspeople out of business. The movement of European population was therefore out of the countryside and small towns and toward the industrial cities and foreign places. America was by far the favored goal of the nineteenth-century European migrants.
America held out attractive possibilities to newcomers. There land was available much more cheaply than in Europe. Labor also brought greater rewards in America. Both the rapid expansion of the country to the west and the development of the new factory system created a demand for labor. All that was needed to stimulate migration was information about American conditions. A growing list of guidebooks and travelers' accounts told of the opportunities offered by migration, and letters from immigrants in America to friends and relatives in the old country spread the news about the New World.
The flow of migrants responded to these conditions. Deterred somewhat by a depressed economy in the United States after the panic of 1819, migration increased steadily from about six thousand in 1823 to about seventy-nine thousand in 1837. The panic of 1837 set off another decline, but immigration revived again in the early 1840s, reaching 154,000 in 1846. Then began one of the largest waves of migration in American history, lasting until 1854, in which year 428,000 immigrants arrived. After that wartime conditions in Europe and a slow economy in the United States slowed the flow of migrants. Immigration remained below 200,000 annually during the upheaval of the Civil War (1861865), then began to revive once more as postwar expansion opened new areas to settlement and the Industrial Revolution began to reach its peak. In 1870 about 387,000 immigrants arrived, and the census of that year showed that 5.5 million people (about 14.4 percent of the U.S. population) were foreign-born.
|Note: Numbers in parentheses represent percentage of total foreign-born residents with region of origin reported; ( rounds to zero.|
|SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census.|
|Total foreign-born population||2,244,602||4,138,697||5,567,229|
The largest components of the immigrant flow during this half century were from Ireland, Germany, and England (including Scotland and Wales), in that order. These were followed by smaller groups from the Scandinavian countries, from French Canada, and from other mostly western European countries. The gold rush in California beginning in 1849 brought America its first sizable influx of Chinese; they came as temporary workers, but many of them stayed to form the core of future Asian settlements. While the same general conditions involving land, labor, and population growth were at work among all of these groups, each had its own particular story.
IMMIGRANTS FROM IRELAND
Ireland in the early years of the nineteenth century had experienced a rapid growth of population, but the country had little in the way of industry to draw off the surplus population. Much of the land was held by tenants of larger landlords, and the typical plots of land were very small, so that a drought or famine might create immediate havoc. This became most evident in the years of the Great Famine following the failure of the potato crop in 1845. Over the next decade about 1.3 million Irish fled to the United States. Driven by near-starvation, they reached America by the cheapest way possible, often in empty lumber ships. The trip in sailing ships normally took five to six weeks but might take three months in adverse weather. Many of these immigrants left the ships penniless and had to find jobs immediately. The pre-famine Irish had already become the primary source of common labor in America, being frequently recruited to dig the canals, build the railroads, and tend the infrastructure of the growing cities. Irish women were the most readily available domestic servants; women with families often became the stereotypical "Irish washerwoman" or turned their houses into boardinghouses to eke out some additional income for the family. The largely working-class Irish were dependent on two main sources for cohesion: the church and the saloon. The predominantly Catholic population, stiffened by their long experience struggling against a hostile Protestant England, rallied around their priests and based much of their social organization in the church. In the saloons the Irish also learned the value of forming a united political bloc, led by immigrant politicians who urged them to become naturalized as quickly as possible and consistently delivered Irish votes for the Democratic Party. That political power would eventually earn them political office and patronage. The Irish became perhaps the most successful ethnic group in American politics. The Irish were the foreign-born element most frequently encountered by most Americans; they were spread out across the ever-extending transportation network and concentrated in the cities and towns.
IMMIGRANTS FROM GERMANY
By 1870 the German-born segment of the population (about 1.7 million) was about 90 percent of the total Irish-born (about 1.85 million). The Irish had produced more immigrants during the years from 1820 through the Great Famine, but after 1855 the Germans tended to come in greater numbers. The German immigrants had a more complex social structure than did the Irish, because their background in Europe was much more varied. Most immigrants of the early nineteenth century came from the western parts of Germany, which at the time was still a patchwork of small states and principalities. The country was not united until 1871. It was in the western regions that both the conditions of land scarcity and the effects of the Industrial Revolution were first being felt. Later in the nineteenth century eastern Germany would be affected by the same conditions. Young Germans began to feel the lack of opportunity when they could not inherit sufficient land or find any employment outside the factory towns. Others who tried their hand at industrial employment decided their skills would be more profitable in America. The pressures to leave became particularly strong when crop failures raised the price of food, harming producers and consumers alike. Political conditions in the German states were not always stable; the failed republican revolutions in both 1830 and 1848 propelled many out of the region. These included refugees who took part in the revolutions but also others who simply hoped for a more stable society in the United States.
Many factors contributed to the great diversity of the German immigrants. Their varying provincial backgrounds in Germany and Austria meant much to them. Religion, which was a unifying factor among the Irish, was a divisive factor among the Germans. They were divided roughly equally among Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists, with some Jews and a significant number of "freethinkers" as well. Friction among the various religious persuasions made it difficult to get Germans together on political or social issues. Fewer Germans were of the working class than was true of the Irish; many more were middle class and arrived with some degree of monetary resources. Some, such as business-people, lawyers, journalists, and other professionals, were better positioned to offer political leadership. The Germans took up farming much more often than did the Irish; some came to America with the proceeds from land sold in Germany, which would buy larger quantities of land in the expanding West. The ironic result of this diversity among the group was that the Germans, with a greater array of talent and resources, ended up wielding much less political power than did the Irish because of their inability to unite as a bloc. Germans gravitated toward the cities along the East Coast and toward the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. New York had the largest number of German-born, but other cities, such as Cincinnati and Baltimore, had a larger proportion of Germans in their populations. Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh also attracted German immigrants, and by 1850 Milwaukee, Chicago, and Cleveland became destinations. More Germans than Irish achieved their goal of acquiring land, forming German communities in the farmlands of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. After 1850 railroads began to obtain government land grants for their construction and used those properties to develop immigrant communities along their lines. The rural communities were relatively homogeneous compared to the varied and diverse communities of Germans in the cities.
OTHER EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS
Another element, less noticeable in the American social fabric, was the migration from England, Scotland, and Wales. Britain had been in the forefront of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century, and British technology was well advanced by 1820, when the American industrial expansion was in its infancy. Emigrants included the usual groups of artisans such as weavers, whose skills had been rendered less useful by the machinery of the textile mills. They also included factory workers in England who hoped for better conditions of employment in America. Among them was a small but important group who knew the more advanced technology of English industry well enough to replicate it in the United States. And they included as well the landless farmers seeking employment and the landed farmers seeking to trade their holdings for better lands in America. In a survey of 1851 English immigrants, about a quarter were farmers by occupation, another quarter were laborers, and the remaining half were spread among the crafts, indus-try, commerce, and the professions. British migrants reached a peak in the early 1850s, averaging around fifty thousand yearly, then declined through the Civil War. At the end of the war the numbers of migrants increased sharply, reaching a new peak of 104,000 in the year 1870. The census of that year showed over half a million English-born within the United States. In the early nineteenth century Britons settled more often in the urban areas of the Middle Atlantic states and New England, but the farmers and others followed the opening of new land in the Midwest and were found particularly in regions adjacent to the Great Lakes. The similarities of language and culture between Britain and America helped these immigrants merge more quickly into American society and assimilate more easily than other immigrants.
Most of the other immigrants before 1870 came from northwestern Europe, but their numbers seem small when compared to the Irish, Germans, and English. Migration from Scandinavia occurred at low levels after 1820 but began to rise in the 1850s and 1860s with the exception of the Civil War years. By 1870 the census found 114,000 Norwegians, 97,000 Swedes, and 30,000 Danes among the American population. Most of these had come from rural regions in their native lands and sought out farms in the upper Midwest. The same census counted 116,000 from France, 75,000 from Switzerland, and about 65,000 from the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
PEAK YEARS OF IMMIGRATION
During the large wave of immigration of 1846854, nearly three million new immigrants reached American shores. European problems such as the Irish famine and other crop failures, revolutions, and political unrest combined with an American economy rising to boom proportions to draw many across the Atlantic. Some of the boom was caused by the California gold rush of 1849, which pumped new wealth into the economy and drew both American-born and foreign-born gold seekers into the state. The gold rush also was the lure that drew many Chinese across the Pacific, the vanguard of the country's first sizable Asian migration. Many came to "Gold Mountain" (the Chinese name for California) with borrowed money and owed much of their earnings to Chinese lenders. Most came as sojourners, most of them male; many stayed on, if not as miners then as construction workers or farm laborers. By 1870 there were sixty-three thousand Chinese-born in the United States, the majority of them in California.
IMMIGRANTS AND AMERICAN POLITICS
As newcomers, the immigrants conditioned their political attachments largely on the basis of "friends" and "enemies." As the Jacksonian Democratic Party formed during the 1820s and 1830s, it cultivated the immigrants' support, warning them of the hostile forces within the opposition party, later known as the Whigs. That opposition included various reformers who attacked the immigrant culture with ideas like temperance and Sabbatarianism (enforcement of strict Sunday observance). These reforms of course clashed with the customs of drinking and Sunday celebration practiced by many immigrants from Europe. The reformers also included nativistshose openly opposing the presence of the foreign-born in the society. Drawing on English Protestant traditions dating back to the English Reformation, nativists particularly targeted Catholic immigrants, especially the Irish. The nativist movement grew as immigration grew from 1830 to the 1850s, sometimes taking on aspects of violence, like the bloody Philadelphia riots of 1844.
Fear of nativism, along with continuing patronage from the Democratic Party, kept most immigrants tied to that party until the early 1850s, when the nativist movement began to take organized political shape in the "American" or "Know-Nothing" Party. But about the same time the issue of the expansion of slavery into the West began to disturb existing political alignments. During the 1850s a considerable portion of the Germans, often led by new leaders who were refugees of the 1848 revolution, began to attach themselves to the "free-soil" movement, opposing the further extension of slavery into the West, which took concrete shape in the new Republican Party. By the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, perhaps half the Germans were Republicans, but the rest of the Germans
CIVIL WAR ERA
The Civil War years brought great changes in the lives of American immigrants, as with other Americans. Young immigrants responded to the call for arms, sometimes in special ethnic regiments with their own officers. Other new immigrants were recruited directly off the immigrant ships. Others, however, resisted involvement in the war and especially opposed the call for a draft. The draft law passed in 1863 brought about immigrant protests, the most serious of which were the New York draft riots, which particularly involved Irish workers. Working-class immigrants particularly feared the implications of the abolition of slavery and the competition from the labor of freed slaves that might follow in consequence of abolition. The war years also tore many immigrants away from their ethnic communities and thus sped the assimilation of many. Immigrants served in the Confederate forces as well as the Union forces. In the years after the war the tide of immigration renewed, and many immigrants, including some of the second generation, were moving toward the western frontier regions now being opened up by the railroads.
IMMIGRANT CULTURE AND LITERATURE
The immigrants brought their own cultures with them, including traditions of music, theater, and literature. Although the Irish immigrants to America were in the majority illiterate, nevertheless they had their journalists and novelists and poets. The prolific Philadelphia publisher Matthew Carey wrote his own defenses of the Irish and published the work of many others. The editor and poet Thomas D'Arcy McGee championed other Irish American writers and wrote the first history of Irish American immigration (1850). By the 1850s novels on themes of Irish nationalism and migration were common in the literary marketplace.
The Germans, with a much higher literacy rate, supported a much more developed culture, including music, theater, literature, and a prolific system of German-language newspapers (estimated at 144 in 1860). The advent of German intellectuals and activists following the revolutions of 1848 greatly enlivened the German cultural scene and introduced much ideological controversy. The famed German Turner societies sponsored not only gymnastics but also libraries and literary societies. Both German-language materials and literature translated from other languages were commonly found in German libraries. German newspapers and literary journals published serialized fiction, and in the 1850s there was a craze of Geheimnisse (secrecy) novels, usually revealing dark mysteries of the urban environment.
American treatments of the immigrant were much dominated in the 1830s and 1840s by negative stereotypes in the nativist literature. These tracts and sensational novels characterized the Irish as priest-ridden, brutish, ignorant, prone to violent brawls and heavy drinking, and politically servile. The Germans were also caricatured as given to wild celebration, addicted to beer, clannish, possibly inclined to radicalism, and resistant to assimilation. The stereotypical nativist portrayals were carried over in a usually milder form into the popular literature of the day. The early-nineteenth-century theater was already developing the "stage Irishman" and the "stage German." The German and Scandinavian stereotypes were generally less disparaging than those portraying the Irish. The Chinese stereotype was still that of the immoral "coolie," as the movement to forbid by law all Chinese immigration continued to gain strength in the years following the Civil War. Literary representations, while often recognizing the immigrants for their hard work and desire to succeed, nevertheless usually consigned them implicitly to a lower rank in American society.
By the last quarter of the nineteenth century immigrants had become an inescapable factor in American life. In every region except the more remote parts of the Southeast, Americans regularly encountered different ethnic cultures. Despite many frictions among American cultural groups, immigrants, especially the second generation, increasingly adopted new American ways of life. And American cultural ways themselves began to change under the influence of the many immigrant cultures.
See also Agrarianism; California Gold Rush; Catholics; Chinese; Civil War; Ethnology; Foreigners; Irish; Labor; Political Parties
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