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my feeling. That is my feeling on S. 408. Perhaps there is some way to work that out, but at this time I do not see it.
Then I would like to speak for a minute on S. 407 and S. 409, which are two bills to cut the number coming into this country: S. 409 is more drastic than S. 407. I think all of us who are close to the relief problem and the problem of unemployment for the last few years are so weary with the burden of it that we feel that anything that would jeopardize our situation must be carefully watched. I think there are elements of the situation that we overlook when we are working on cutting immigration in general.
I would like to speak briefly on my own feeling as to including the Western Hemisphere in the quotas. When we need so badly to establish friendly relations at the present time, and knowing how Canada and South America feel about cutting down on immigration, I would feel anything we do in relation to those countries ought to be worked out with the State Department, or else we may find we are losing more than we are gaining.
Then, from the point of view of cutting immigration completely, as S. 409 would do, I have another picture in mind of one of our communities, a daughter who wanted to come over to her father. This man wanted my help to get his daughter over here. He was an Italian. His wife was paralyzed and he could not bring her when he came.
He had a young daughter and she had to stay there and look after her monther. The mother died a few months ago, and he brought his daughter in. She is not going into the labor market. She will be a consumer. I think by making that so drastic we are going to hurt some of our communities. I do not say I am going to open the door, because I am not. We have got to be very careful about the people who come in, as to whether they might be selfsupporting or not.
In many instances we would be adding consumers and not those who would enter the labor market.
Senator REYNOLDS. You speak of these families being reunited.
Mrs. HERSEY. They are doing a good deal of it right now. Mussolini is paying their passage back. Some are going that way.
Senator REYNOLDS. The Germans are doing the same thing.
Mrs. HERSEY. Yes; the Germans are doing the same thing. There are others who ought to go that way. But I would hesitate to put on the statute books something so completely drastic as this bill. I would also be opposed to letting any large group come in in a wholesale way.
I think we will have to work that out in some way, and not let in what we had before the war, but let in the small number that is now coming in. My own feeling about that, having worked with the Immigration Department, and with all due respect to the State Department, having to send to the consuls the affidavits they require, and knowing how difficult it is for these people to get into this country, that we should not enact anything so drastic as these bills. If you get into this country through the consul under Mr. Warren, you certainly will not become a public charge. The documents that are sent over are thicker than this sindicating), showing that somebody is looking after that.
Senator REYNOLDS. Will you excuse me just a moment?
Senator REYNOLDS. I will ask the representative of the State Department if it is not true that an order has been issued recently to our consuls abroad not to be so stringent in issuing immigration visas to aliens coming to the United States for fear of their becoming public charges? I will ask you if such an order as that was not recently issued ?
Mr. WARREN. I have been in charge of that division since February 1, 1938. There has been no such order since that time.
Senator REYNOLDS. I read upon the floor of the Senate less than 2 months ago a copy of such an order or instruction which suggested to the consuls, according to my best recollection, that they should not be so strict in regard to issuing immigration visas to aliens "likely to become a public charge." I will be very happy to get a copy of that and send it to the State Department. I am under the impression that order was issued in 1937.
Mr. WARREN. Yes. The instruction to which you refer was one of two circular instructions, in December 1936 and January 1937.
Senator REYNOLDS. They did tell them not to be so strict?
Mr. WARREN. I can not quote the language, but the substance was in effect that consular officers in recent years, prior to 1936, in construing the liability to become a public charge clause, had construed it not as to the probability of becoming a public charge, but that any alien coming to the United States might possibly become a public charge.
Senator REYNOLDS. That is the order I referred to and it has resulted in a big increase in immigration. Such administrative discretion to restrict or to not restrict, ought to be put on a more definite basis of substantive law as my bill S. 407 proposes.
Mr. Warren. The instruction was to the effect that consular officers, in reviewing applications for immigration visas, should bear in mind that the law referred to the likelihood of the applicant becoming a public charge, and not to the possibility of it.
Senator REYNOLDS. That is the one to which I referred.
Senator Holman. Was the thought expressed that the consuls should not be so strict in their interpretation of the language?
Mr. WARREN. That consuls should construe it with reference to the likelihood of becoming a public charge in terms of reasonable probability rather than a mere possibility.
Senator HOLMAN. And that would have a tendency to make them more liberal? You knew that fact when Senator Reynolds referred to it; when he reminded you of it?
Mr. WARREN. I was referring to my own administration.
I am asking this question, Mr. Chairman. It is all new to me, but I am being impressed more and more with the idea that the Government bureau men are not trying to help us. They made their estimate here of 3% million when the actual figure was 3,800,000.
They had to be reminded of it. I think you people should help us, not interpose obstacles in our way.
Mrs. HERSEY. I would like to add a little about my own practical experience. I do not know anything about the order. I know the results. This last week I got word from a consul in a foreign country, where there was a white woman who wanted to come over to her husband, and he received an affidavit that the husband was earning $65 a week and had $4,000 in the bank. That consul said that was not enough to let that woman come in; $65 a week plus $4,000 in the bank looks pretty good to me to look after one person.
Senator REYNOLDS. For how long?
Mis. HERSEY. From wages coming into the family here. The people here were sending this affidavit of support.
Senator REYNOLDS. Every immigrant coming into this country provides competition for those already here. Is that not true?
Mrs. HERSEY. No; it is not quite true.
Mrs. HERSEY. It looks that way. It looks as if they were putting them into the labor market.
Senator REYNOLDS. Are they not being put into the labor market? Mrs. HERSEY. Not always.
Senator REYNOLDS. May I say in that connection, Mr. Chairman, that I have a photostatic copy in my office of advertisements of “work wanted” in the New York Times. I would like the members of the committee to see it. It contains advertisements for work by refugees from Germany and other countries. If that is not competition with our people, I do not know what is.
Senator HERRING. The witness was referring to the wife of this man. Senator REYNOLDS. Yes.
Mrs. HERSEY. I was referring to this man's wife, and that family had an income of $65 a week and $4,000 in the bank. It may seem that they are causing greater competition in the labor market, but here you have consumers who are not entering the labor market. You have to lay that card on the table along with those looking for a job. You have the consumer angle as well as that of those who are going to get jobs. They are not all going to get them.
Senator HOLMAN. The only jobs are on public works.
Senator HOLMAN. I think you would be surprised at the experience of the State departments and municipal departments as well as Federal departments, and I have had 20 years' experience with them.
Senator REYNOLDS. These people coming in here are taking work from and jobs from Americans or aliens already here.
Senator HOLMAN. That is correct.
Senator REYNOLDS. I should like to read this affidavit into the record for it is certainly in point. It is a photostatic copy of an affidavit by a man named Victor Meyer, sworn to before a commissioner of deeds on the 16th of March 1939 just a day or two ago. It reads as follows:
I, Victor C. Meyers, being duly sworn, depose and state as follows:
I reside at 583 East Second Street, Brooklyn, N. Y., and am a citizen of the United States, having been born here. I have been a department manager with Sears, Roebuck & Co., Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y., for the past 6 years.
During this period of employment my services were entirely satisfactory, and it has always been my intention to continue the aforementioned employment. On July 25, 1938, I was discharged permanently without any good and sufficient cause, except the desire of the manager of the branch store of my employer to fill my position with an alien refugee.
The aforementioned position from which I was discharged was immediately filled by an alien refugee, a Mr. Goldsmith. This man has since been replaced
by another person, due to the fact that I communicated with the main office of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and my former employer at Chicago, Ill.
Mr. H. Marcus, manager of the Brooklyn store (Bedford Avenue), claimed that my services were not satisfactory, and in consequence I was dismissed. This is not the real reason.
May I state that I have been a resident of this section of Brooklyn for more than 30 years, with an unblemished record, and that my friends most certainly will not patronize any Sears, Roebuck store in this Borough until they will give jobs to Americans first, instead of aliens, who should not be admitted to this country for any reason when we have more than 10,000,000 unemployed today.
Senator HERRING. Proceed, Mrs. Hersey.
Mrs. HERSEY. Aside from the fact that some of them are possible consumers and not on the labor market, of the few we let in, I would like to call attention to the situation involved in S. 410; that is, the relief situation. You know, I feel very much in awe when I read these bills you Senators introduce. When you speak of the alien and the various terms you use, I always feel like when I designate myself as "party of the first part” or “party of the second part.” Then I think what these aliens are that go on relief. Let me give you my own practical experience in relation to immigrants.
I do believe we should be very careful not to add to our public load, that is already very heavy. I believe our State Department is so doing. Sometimes I think they are extremely strict about their regulations. I think they are doing a fine job over there and trying their best to see that we do not get an additional load. I refer to those who come in legally. But I sometimes find that I get the picture that there are some things that are away off in the dark somewhere. Then I know that is not true.
You may bave a grandmother in one home, or maybe a grandfather in another, or a brother in another home. When a family is put on relief perhaps the breadwinner is a citizen, but here is the grandmother, who is entitled to his support. When that citizen loses his job, that puts the old grandmother on relief. After she has been on relief for 6 months, would you take her away from her family and break her heart by sending her back to Germany or to Italy, or wherever she came from?
You have to take all that into consideration, too, and it seems to me that if we do that we would be causing a very considerable amount of grief, and would be more unfair to our own communities and would be causing a great deal of hardship in our own American cities. I would be as strict as I could about letting them in, and getting into predicaments that have been referred to, but I would not pass this bill. I would be strongly against it.
Senator HOLMAN. May I ask you a question?
Senator HOLMAN. Have you any suggestions as to how we should go about any progressive development, rather than a radical immediate action? How could we go about a progressive development in the solution of this problem?
Mrs. HERSEY. Of immigration?
Senator HOLMAN. Yes. How could we go about a progressive development of the curtailment to a minimum of the number of immigrants?
Mrs. HERSEY. I think one thing I would seriously consider in building up legislation would be the near relatives of our own people
that are here, if they have jobs and can take care of them. That is the first card I would put on the table-to be sure of the old folks, the daughter that was left behind. I would be sure, which I think we are now doing, that the liability to become a public charge should be strictly interpreted, and it is my belief and experience that it is strictly interpreted. I would continue that. That cuts down a very great deal; that is, since the quota law.
We used to have aliens coming into our Philadelphia organization at the rate of about 1,100 in a year. Shortly after the depression came on President Hoover issued an order to strictly interpret that clause relating to liability of becoming a public charge, and it dropped down to 100 or 200. It cut the number by strictly interpreting the liability to become a public charge clause.
It is a very difficult situation. Frankly, I think you have a difficult job on your hands to work out a solution of the problem and not hurt the citizens who are already here, not separate families, or anything of that kind. I have had a great deal of experience along that line. That order caused a good deal of hardship among those people. It is very hard to see how these things will work out.
Senator REYNOLDS. You speak of the hardship cases.
Mrs. HERSEY. I did not say that, but I can talk about them, if you want to.
Senator REYNOLDS. That is what you would consider?
Senator REYNOLDS. Do you favor the additional admission of 20,000 refugee children from Germany?
Mrs. HERSEY. That is another story.
Senator REYNOLDS (interposing). Will you just answer "yes" or "no"? & Mrs. HERSEY. As I say, I was reminded of the judge who said to a man,
"Are you still beating your wife?" Senator Ř EYNOLDS. Do you favor the passage of Senator Wagner's measure to admit in addition to Germany's annual quota of 27,370, 20,000 refugee children from Germany? Are you in favor of letting them come in?
Mrs. HERSEY. I cannot answer “yes” or “no”; but if you will give me a paragraph, I can tell you.
Senator REYNOLDS. Then you cannot answer "yes" or "no"?
Mrs. HERSEY. I say, with certain safeguards. I think that is the whole question in itself. It is a very important question.
When it comes to the last bill, which is S. 411, which gives the Secretary of Labor such tremendous power to determine whether an alien is inimical to the public interest, I would hate to be the Secretary of Labor if this bill is passed.
Senator REYNOLDS. I am sorry we cannot name anybody else, because I do not think she would deport anybody.
Mrs. HERSEY. Somebody else might deport everybody. That is my opinion of that law. That is my objection to it.
Senator REYNOLDS. If they would deport every alien, I would prefer that. I think it is the only way we will ever solve the unemployment problem.
Mr. Chairman, in view of the fact that Mr. Trevor has to go back to New York, will you let him go on next?