Lodge was a vocal proponent of immigration restrictions, for a number of reasons. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, large numbers of immigrants, primarily from Eastern and Southern Europe, were flooding into industrial centers, where the poverty of their home countries was being perpetuated and crime rates were rising. Many of the newcomers were not only poor, but unskilled, illiterate, and non-fluent in English. Lodge feared that unskilled foreign labor was undermining the standard of living for American workers, and that a mass influx of uneducated immigrants would result in social conflict and national decline.
His position was also influenced by his beliefs about race. In a May 1891 article on Italian immigration, Lodge expressed his concern that immigration by "the races who have peopled the United States" was declining, while "the immigration of people removed from us in race and blood" was on the rise. He considered northern Italians superior to southern Italians, not only because they tended to be better educated, but because they were more "Teutonic" than their southern counterparts, whose immigration he sought to restrict.
Party affiliation: Republican Party