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respectively. During the same years, there were deported in addition, persons who had “remained longer than permitted”, numbering 986, 786, and 850, respectively. It is believed that the bill would be greatly strengthened if the discretionary authority were not limited by an arbitrary number and an arbitrary time limit. This end could be accomplished by striking out (b) of section 2.

The stipulation, section 2 (b). “That no alien shall be permitted to remain in the United States under subdivision (a) of this section after the elapse of 4 years from the enactment of this act”, is written in ambiguous language. Students of law raise the question as to whether this provision means that the act is not effective after the elpase of 4 years”; or as to whether permission to remain is not effective “after the elapse of 4 years. The intent is probably the former construction. It would obviate future test cases if the bill were clarified upon this point.



The fact that section 2 (a) applies to the classes specified, only when “found subject to deportation” creates a hardship for desirable temporary entrants who would not wish to let permits expire in order to become technically deportable, and so qualify for possible discretion under the terms of the bill. Under the present law such persons must leave the country merely to secure a visa and immediately return to this country. Such futile journeying is not eliminated by the bill. Temporary entrants have already met the selective tests of admissability, and are usually very desirable, often important citizen timber.

Section 2 (c) authorizes the establishment of permanent records of entry only for persons whose deportation warrants may be canceled under section 2 (a). It does not permit a change of status in the records, for temporary entrants whose immigration status has actually changed in fact; nor permit them to remain in the United States upon their changed status. Such changes often occur through the naturalization of husband or wife, through marriage, or through such occupational transitions as that of student to minister or professor. Permitting such temporary entrants to remain on a permanent basis and charged to their country's quota is obviously to the advantage of the United States.


Section 7 extends the legalization of entry privilege to nondeportable aliens of good character only if their date of entry into the United States is prior to July 1, 1924. The present law limits the date of entry of those eligible, to June 3, 1921.

Those permitted so to establish a permanent record of arrival must under the terms of the present law be: "of good moral character”; “not subject to deportation”; have resided in the United States continuously since entry”; and must undergo a searching new examination before United States immigration inspectors. If they pass such tests, there is no reason further to rely upon some fixed date of entry, to make them more or less desirable.

There are certain groups of persons who entered subsequent to July 1, 1924, in good faith, notably commuters from Canada, who settled down in the United States before the 1928 Decision of the United States Supreme Court, which has since made it necessary for such commuters, if they wish to remain, to have qualified back at the time of entry, with permanent visas. It is believed that the numbers in this group alone would considerably exceed the total number, 8,000, who might be "found subject to deportation”, and subject to the discretionary features of this bill. It would greatly strengthen this amendment, and distinctly benefit the United States, if this legalization of entry privilege were not limited to arrivals prior to July 1, 1924.

B. AMELIORATIVE FEATURES OF THE DIES BILL In spite of its disappointing limitations and its drastic new provisions, three important principles are however, embodied in this bill:



The advantages to the United States, as well as to the foreign-born, of such changes in the immigration law are almost self-evident. The way would be opened for the naturalization of considerable numbers of men and women living in the United States who entered this country between June 3, 1921, and July 1, 1924, who

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have been unable to secure citizenship, because the records of their arrival could not be located at the ports.



Section 2 (c) would correct, for the very limited numbers permitted to remain under section 2 (a), the present futile and costly process of going out of the United States and coming back again, in order to change upon the official records, an immigration status which during residence in this country has actually changed in fact. This process is costly to the alien and his family, and very costly to the United States, in its waste of the time of inspectors of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, United States Department of Labor; and the American Consular Service of the United States Department of State.



This principle, which appears in section 2, is of primary importance. In certain limited aspects, it extends discretionary authority to deport; in others, authority not to deport. Under the present law, not even the President of the United States has any authority to “pardon" a mandatorily deportable alien, even though he be responsible and of good character; though the members of his family may be citizens of the United States; and though the deportation of the breadwinner may leave his family dependent upon charity in this country.


With certain changes, the Dies bill can be made a just and useful measure, which could go far, with great advantage to the United States, to relieve thé cruel and unnecessary hardships which now exist. Among those changes, to summarize, are the following:


I. The extension of the power to deport (sec. 1), should be accompanied by discretion not to deport (sec. 2 (a)) in all classes, when deportation would violate human considerations and family relationships.

II. Inasmuch as the bill provides that persons permitted to remain shall be charged to respective quotas, there is every reason to strike out the section which limits the application of the act to 4 years and to 8,000 persons (sec. 2 (b)).

III. Section 2 should be revised to include temporary entrants.

IV. Since the legalization of entry privilege is already limited to admissible and desirable aliens, its application should not be limited to arrivals prior to July 1, 1924. Persons thus permitted to remain, should be permitted to proceed to naturalization, upon the basis of their record of entry thus established.

The Immigrants' Protective League is in daily, active contact with the men, women, and children who will be affected by this legislation, and will see its human results at first hand. Each month, it handles 800 or 900 individual cases, representing 50 different races and peoples settled here in the Middle West.

The league requests that these amendments be embodied in the bill, and that its passage then be as rapidly as possible secured.



Senator SCHWELLENBACH. You may proceed, Mr. Griffith.

Mr. GRIFFITH. My name is William B. Griffith. I am chairman of the executive committee of the Immigration Restriction League, Inc., of New York. That organization has been in existence for 30 years. I was the founder of it. We try to be fair in our analysis of bills that are presented, and we have bimonthly meetings where they are discussed.

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. How large an organization is that?

Mr. GRIFFITH. We have about 15,000 members throughout the country.

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Proceed.

Mr. GRIFFITH. We are opposed to H. R. 6391 because the bill will not do the things that its proponents have led the people throughout the country to believe.

During April 1934 the Department of Labor submitted a 34-page memorandum to the Senate and House Immigration Committees, citing a long list of habitual alien criminals, who had committed numerous crimes and who have been in the United States some as long as 42 years, that were declared to be the primary objects of KerrCoolidge bill legislation. To quote from page 2 of that voluminous printed brief:

The laws are far from effective in ridding the country of some of the worst types of alien habitual criminals.

And from page 3: Under the present law an alien may have as many as 25 convictions (on Jan. 15, 1936, the Department of Labor increased the number of separate convictions to 30) and yet not be subject to deportation. In some cases aliens with long police records, frequently including offenses of the most serious character, such as homicide, grand larceny, counterfeiting, enforced prostitution, and debauching the morals of minors, have been able to escape deportation due to inadequacy of existing law.

There is nothing in this bill aimed at all the "habitual alien criminals” the Department of Labor has previously called attention to and declared a public menace by its spokesmen and its many arguments and briefs for the Kerr-Coolidge bill discretionary power.

This amazing "compromise bill” is supposed to add four additional deportable classes-yet all, except those included in subsection 3 of section 1, may be permitted to remain.

A careful reading of the bill, H. R. 6391, discloses that no alien criminal now in the United States can or will be deported under its provisions if enacted.

Even the proponents of the bill now seem to realize that the bill is not a deportation bill, because its mandatory deportation provisions apply to only those hereafter convicted.

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. It is now 11 o'clock, and the Senate is in session. This is calendar day and I have some bills on the calendar to which I must give attention. I hope I can return in a few moments. I will return as soon as possible.

(Whereupon, at 11 a. m., the committee was in recess until 1:20 p. m., at which time the hearing proceeded as follows:)

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Proceed, Mr. Griffith.

Mr. GRIFFITH. In conclusion, all I want to say is that our membership is opposed to this particular bill because of the word “hereafter”, eliminating all of the habitual criminals that are in this country at the present time.

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. If the word "hereafter” were eliminated, and if on page 3 the figure 3 in brackets were eliminated, so as to not give the Secretary discretion so far as these cases are concerned, would that change your attitude?

Mr. GRIFFITH. To a marked degree; yes.

I want to express my appreciation of your courtesy in permitting me to appear before the committee and discuss this matter.

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. I am sorry I caused so much delay.

Mr. GRIFFITH. That is quite all right.

Mr. SAVORETTI. Mr. Shaughnessy asked me to make a statement for the record.

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Yes. Mr. SAVORETTI. Mr. Patten this morning referred to the Branchicella case, and indicated that if the House had been in possession of all the facts it possibly would not have passed. Mr. Patten made a somewhat similar statement before the House Committee on Immigration. Mrs. Caroline O'Day introduced the bill in the Branchicella case, and she made answer to Mr. Patten in the hearing before the House Committee on Immigration on June 2, 1937. Mr. Shaughnessy thought, in justice to Mrs. O'Day, the statement made by her at that time should be made a part of this record, and I ask that it be incorporated therein.

Senator SCHWELLENBACH. It may be incorporated in this record. (The statement referred to is here set forth in full, as follows:)



Mrs. O'Day. The members of the committee will remember that Mr. Patten, in speaking in behalf of the Starnes bills, spent a good deal of time talking about the case of a man named Branchicella, a resident of Mamaroneck, N. Y., who has lived in this country for 17 years, who married an American woman, and who was on the verge of deportation because at the age of 14, in his native town in Italy, he had pilfered a small sum of money. The money was returned immediately by his mother; but, nevertheless, he and another small boy were arrested and sentenced for theft. The sentence, however, was suspended, and he never spent a day in prison.

The statement was made by Mr. Patten that subsequently to his first entry into this country he had gone to Italy again, and again committed theft, and had in some way managed to get back into the country again.

Now, Mamaroneck joins my village of Rye, and Mamaroneck, the village, was very much aroused by what they considered the injustice of this deportation. Public meetings were held, petitions were circulated, and they were signed by the parish priest, by the president of the bank, by the mayor of the village, by all of the citizens of standing, asking that this order be canceled.

The wife of Branchicella came to me and asked me to interest myself in the case, which I did. The newspapers made a great deal of it. I had letters from all over the State about it, and introduced a bill in behalf of Branchicella, which bill was passed by the Senate after due consideration and signed by the President, so the deportation was canceled.

Mr. Patten said, when questioned as to the accuracy of his statement, that Branchicella had gone back to Italy and there committed a second theft, and said that he received his information while in Mr. Starnes' office, through a telephone conversation to Mr. Starnes from the State Department.

You see, I had never heard at all of this visit to Italy, and I got in contact with the Labor Department, and they said that beyond the legal entry of this boy, who was then 19, into this country, they had no record at all-no record of his leaving the country or of any application for a reentry permit.

I then called the State Department and received the same information from them. When I told them of Mr. Patten's statement—and this was over the telephone—the answer came that that was an assumption read into the State Department's statement by the two gentlemen, that they had no record at all of Branchicella except the record from the Italian Government issuing the pardon, and here is a copy of the translation of the pardon:

“Guglielmo Salvatore Branca, son of the late Benedetto and of Michelina Ponzo, born at Malvito on December 30, 1902, has been condemned: (1) On February 28, 1917, by the Pretura of S. Sosti, to 1 month's prison for theft—this sentence was held in abeyance for 5 years; (2) on June 12, 1923, by the Tribunal of Castrovillari, to 3 months' prison for theft—this penalty was condoned in accordance with the Royal Decree of December 22, 1922.”

So it is very evident that this second pardon was for the theft that was committed when the boy was 14 years old.

Now, I do not question the good faith in Mr. Patten and my friend Mr. Starnes when Mr. Patten made the assertion that there was a second offense for which this man had been sentenced, but I do think that their zeal in getting rid of aliens in this country clouds their judgment a little bit.

Then, another thing: Mr. Patten in his statement made this statement:

“Such favoritism as shown in this case to this alien, who got his bill through Congress in 3 months, and it is now law, would not have been possible if each and every hardship case would have been before Congress for action without regard to political pull and also friends at court or other handicaps or advantages, or accidental breaks, that are expressed in letters that I have enclosing clippings about this case which have been published in papers all over New York.”

Now, I think the implication is clear in that statement that I have some pull which I have used, some unethical method of getting my bills through Congress, and I just wanted to put in the record that I have no pull. If I have friends at court, I have been most scrupulous in not consulting them in any of my actions as a Member of Congress, and I want my statement to go into the record, first, for the protection of Branchicella, so that he will not receive any further persecution, and because if the idea has been given to my colleagues that I get what hills I have through by unethical methods, you can understand that my value as a member of this committee would be nil.

The CHAIRMAN. I do not think that it was intended to question your integrity or your veracity. Just as you said, some people get very excited sometimes, and make statements that I do not believe are intended to convey the meaning that they sometimes appear to convey.

Mrs. O'Day. I think that I have made it clear, have I not, that this man was not convicted of a second theft?

Just luckily that bill passed the House without objection, and the Senate has been disposed to give these hardship cases some consideration and to relieve them.

(Whereupon, at 1:25 p. m., on Saturday, Aug. 7, 1937, the hearing was concluded and the subcommittee adjourned.)


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