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ADMISSION AS NONQUOTA IMMIGRANTS OF CERTAIN

ALIEN WIVES AND CHILDREN OF UNITED STATES CITIZENS

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1928

UNITED STATES SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION,

Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., in room 201 Senate Office Building, Senator Henry W. Keyes presiding.

Present: Senators Keyes (chairman), Blease, and Gould, of the subcommittee.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator KEYES). The committee will come to order. This is a hearing by a subcommittee of the Committee on Immigration, to whom was referred, by the chairman of that committee, Senate bill 2271, introduced by Senator King, which will be inserted in the record at this point.

(The bill is here printed in full as follows:)

A BILL To permit the admission, as nonquota immigrants, of certain alien wives and children of United

States citizens

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That clause (1) of subdivision (c) of section 13 of the immigration act of 1924 is amended to read as follows: “(1) is admissible as a nonquota immigrant under the provisions of subdivision (a), (b), (d), or (e) of section 4 or.”

Senator KEYES. Congressman Dyer, of St. Louis, I understand you have introduced a similar bill in the House, and you may make any statement you care to.

STATEMENT OF HON. LEONIDAS C. DYER, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI

Mr. DYER. Gentlemen, this bill S. 2271 is for the purpose of correcting the immigration act of 1924. This is a very simple bill. It is simply to put in a small amendment. I will read the bill.

That clause (1) of subdivision (c) of section 13 of the immigration act of 1924 is amended to read as follows: " (1) is admissible as a nonquota immigrant under the provisions of subdivision (a), (b), (d), or (e) of section 4 or.

Senator KEYES. The only thing is the addition of subdivision (a) to section 13.

Mr. DYER. Yes; it was unintentionally, I think, left out of the immigration act of 1924, because prior to that time American-born Chinese were permitted to bring in their wives and children. The American-born Chinese are the only Chinese for whom I appear this morning, and for whom this legislation is asked.

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Senator KEYES. In other words, American citizens.

Mr. DYER. American citizens born in this country, subject to all the responsibilities and obligations of American citizens. Many of them, some from my own city, served throughout the World War, and were wounded, gassed, or otherwise disabled.

Since this law went into effect it has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, the decision being rendered by Mr. Justice McReynolds, in the case of Chang Chan, et al., versus John D. Nagle (268 U. S. 346), that alien wives of American citizens are not admissible to the United States under the 1924 immigration act.

Under previous laws and treaties they were admissible, and to show that it was unintentionally left out, I call your attention to the fact that Chinese merchants in the United States, though born in China and aliens, are permitted to bring their wives to the United States, but American-born Chinese can not do so.

I do not know if your committee referred this to the Department of Labor or not, but it was referred in the House. Mr. Robe Carl White, acting secretary, Department of Labor, made a report to the House committee, in which he says:

It seems to me a practically indefensible situation has arisen under the immigration act of 1924 with respect to the admissibility of women who are ineligible to citizenship. Under that act such a woman is not eligible to enter the United States although she may be the wife of a United States citizen, but under a long practice, which practice has been confirmed by a recent court decision, a woman ineligible to citizenship who happens to be the wife of a merchant or an international trader, who eligible to enter the United States for practically an indefinite period under section 3 (6) of the act referred to, enjoys the status of her husband and may enter and reside here.

In stating the department's attitude with respect to this situation, perhaps I can do no better than to quote the following from the last annual report of the Secretary:

“It has been said by some of those who assisted in writing that portion of the law that section 13 (c) of the act of 1924 has proved to be broader in its application than was intended. An alien, whether ineligible to citizenship or otherwise, who comes to the United States as a nonimmigrant under section 3 (6) of the act as a 'treaty merchant,' is permitted to be accompanied by wife and dependent, unmarried, minor children by reason of construction given to that section to the effect that the status of the wife and such minor children follows that of the husband and father. The Chinese exclusion act specifically permits the entrance of Chinese merchants, and the courts have held that such provision includes the wife and dependent, unmarried, minor children. Should an oriental alien, however, chance to be the wife of an American citizen, regardless of the occupational status of the husband, the wife can not be admitted, thus giving to a Chinese and other aliens the right to the association of his wife which is denied to the citizen. I am sure it was never intended by the Congress that an alien should be entitled to more rights under the immigration laws than an American ctitzen."

Senator KEYES. That is a letter, I understand, from Secretary
White.

Mr. DYER. Yes.
Senator KEYES. Wouldn't it be well to put that in the record?
Mr. DYER. I will be glad to.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, January 13, 1928.
Hon. ALBERT JOHNSON,
Chairman Committee on Immigration and Naturalization,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR MR. Johnson: I have your letter of the 11th instant, in which you
request a report from this department on H. R. 6974, introduced by Mr. Dyer
of Missouri.

It seems to me a practically indefensible situation has arisen under the immigration act of 1924 with respect to the admissibility of women who are ineligible to citizenship. Under that act such a woman is not eligible to enter the United States although she may be the wife of a United States citizen, but under a long practice, which practice has been confirmed by a recent court decision, a woman ineligible to citizenship who happens to be the wife of a merchant or an international trader, who is eligible to enter the United States for practically an indefinite period under section 3 (6) of the act referred to, enjoys the status of her husband and may enter and reside here.

In stating the department's attitude with respect to this situation, perhaps I can do no better than to quote the following from the last annual report of the Secretary:

“It has been said by some of those who assisted in writing that portion of the law that section 13 (c) of the act of 1924 has proved to be broader in its application than was intended. An alien, whether ineligible to citizenship or otherwise, who comes to the United States as a nonimmigrant under section 3 (6) of the act as a 'treaty merchant, is permitted to be accompanied by wife and dependent, unmarried, minor children by reason of construction given to that section to the effect that the status of the wife and such minor children follows that of the husband and father. The Chinese exclusion act specifically permits the entrance of Chinese merchants, and the courts have held that such provision includes the wife and dependent, unmarried, minor children. Should an oriental alien, however, chance to be the wife of an American citizen, regardless of the occupational status of the husband, the wife can not be admitted, thus giving to a Chinese and other aliens the right to the association of his wife which is denied to the citizen. I am sure it was never intended by the Congress that an alien should be entitled to more rights under the immigration laws than an American citizen." Sincerely yours,

ROBE CARL WHITE, Acting Secretary. Mr. DYER. Gentlemen, we have here three American citizens, Chinese, who represent an association of American-born Chinese. Mr. Walter Lum is the head of it, and we have Mr. Fung and Mr. Hong. Which one of you gentlemen would wish to be heard first? I will present Mr. Hong, Mr. Chairman, who is from Los Angeles, Calif. Mr. Hong was born in this country, is a lawyer by occupation, and for many years was connected with the Immigration Service at Los Angeles, Calif.

Senator KEYES. If you will, give the reporter your name and address.

STATEMENT OF Y. C. HONG, OF LOS ANGELES, CALIF.

Mr. Hong. My name is Y. C. Hong. My residence is Los Angeles, Calif.

Senator KEYES. You represent whom? Mr. Hong. I represent the Native Sons of the Golden StateChinese-American Citizens' Alliance. I am president of the Los Angeles chapter. I represent them as American citizens.

Senator KEYES. Very well, we will be glad to hear you.

Mr. HONG. Mr. Chairman, and members of this committee, I am here to represent the Chinese Native Sons. They are American citizens of the Chinese race, born in this country.

We are here to ask you to consider a certain hardship imposed upon us by a certain omission of the immigration act of 1924, namely, that there was an omission of section 4 (a) as one of the exceptions in section 13 (c) of the immigration act of 1924, whereby an American citizen is unable to have his wife come to this country and reside with him. This condition is really a hardship on American citizens of our race. That is why we are here to-day to ask you to help us bring about the relief.

We sent a committee here about three years ago for the same purpose, but this matter was not taken very seriously I suppose and no action was taken. So we are here again to-day.

Mr. Fung, of San Francisco, will later tell you of typical cases of hardship. What I want to do now is to give you an outline of what the situation is under the act of 1924. We all know that there is a preponderance of males over females in this country, as far as Chinese native born are concerned, and if we want to marry, we naturally prefer to marry women of our own race, and this bill before

you

will help us in many ways to relieve the hardship.

Before the passage of the act of 1924, alien Chinese wives of American citizens were admissible. That was decided in the Tsoi Sim case some twenty-odd years ago. It was decided in that case that an American citizen has the right to bring in his wife to reside with him in this country. It is a fundamental principle that the domicile of the husband is the domicile of the wife. The provision of this bill is nothing new, nothing radical, but is really something in harmony with our present immigration policy, namely, to humanize the law, to bring about a union of family ties and family members. That has been recommended by the Secretary of Labor many times. In fact he advocates the extension of the scope of section 4 (a) so as to not only allow American husbands to bring in their wives, as is in accordance with our immigration policy, but also to allow the wives to bring in husbands. That has been part of the movement to humanize the law.

This right of a man to have his wife with him in this country is accorded to aliens, not only Chinese aliens but Japanese aliens as well. If you look in the law of 1924, you will find that a Japanese minister, or Japanese professor, or Hindu minister, or Hindu professor, or Korean of the same class, or Chinese merchant, or Chinese professor, all have that right to bring in their wives. It is a fundamental right recognized, not only in civilized society, but even among the savages. That is recognized as a fundamental right. But this right is denied to us who are American citizens. I really do not believe it is the intent of Congress to bring about that hardship.

If we American citizens of the Chinese race desire to get married, for instance, we have only three courses open to us. The first one is to marry a woman outside of our own race in States where interracial marriage is not prohibited. There are 11 or 13 States in the Union prohibiting such marriages. We either have to do that, that is, to marry a woman outside of our own race in States where that is not prohibited by law, or to go abroad, we will say to Europe, Mexico, or South America and marry women outside of our own race, and bring them in as our wives either as nonquota immigrants under section 4 (a) or as preferential quota immigrants. The third course is to go to China and marry a woman of our own race, and after the marriage leave them, come back to this country, and be satisfied if we have the opportunity to go see them now and then, probably once every 10 years.

The first two propositions are really inadvisable. In fact, it is against public policies in many of our States.

The third course is to go to China and marry a woman of our own race; and as far as marrying them is concerned it is all right, but to leave them there is something in human, cruel, and harsh. not dealing with inanimate objects but creatures of flesh and blood. We all have common ambitions and common feelings. We ought to have our wives with us. The last course, to marry a woman of our own race and leave her there in China, is something that should not be done. If we can not marry, we will have to live a life of celibacy. That is not natural. To expect a great number of us to do that is too harsh for any words to express.

To be frank with you gentlemen, our bill here will apply to a nativeborn Japanese citizen as well, but its field of operation is so small that it is almost negligible. A majority of the native born citizens of the Japanese race are children. Those of the marriageable age constitute something less than 700. They are equally divided as to sexes. I think there is something like a little over 15,000 native-born Japanese boys and a little over 14,000 Japanese native-born girls. A Japanese native-born boy will naturally want to marry a Japanese native-bom girl.

Senator KEYES. These figures that you are giving us are for the United States and not for California?

Mr. Hong. For continental United States from the 1920 census.

Mr. DYER. If the Senator would permit me to suggest, Mr. Hong is making reference to the fact there are sufficient Japanese girls eligible and of a marriageable age for Japanese boys in the United States, born here, to offset any argument that it might be opening the gates for Japanese. You will remember that up until lately, until this last immigration act, Japanese women were admitted to the United States under a treaty arrangement between our country and Japan. They were known as picture brides. Many of them came in and the children of those women and men that have married have grown up, so that there is really no argument that it is going to bring in Japanese women to any extent, because they are already here, native-born women as well as native-born men of marriageable age. The picture-bride arrangement never did apply to the Chinese.

Mr. Hong. Mr. Dyer has amplified what I had in mind as to the Japanese situation. It does not open the gate as far as Japanese immigration is concerned.

Mr. DYER. Will you tell the committee about how many Americanborn Chinese men there are in the United States?

Mr. Hong. The 1920 census showed about 18,000 native-born Chinese in the United States, approximately 5,000 of them being females.

Mr. DYER. Unmarried?

Mr. Hong. Unmarried. Some are children and some are of marriageable_age. The ratio is a little over two males to each female.

Mr. DYER. I have a statement here, if the chairman will permit Mr. Hong, which was in our hearings of last year. It says the number of Chinese in the United States, according to the 1920 census, is 61,639, of whom 53,891 are males and 7,748 are females. Of the total Chinese population of 61,639, 43,107 are foreign born and 18,532 native born. Of the 18,532 native-born Chinese 13,318 are males and 5,214 are females. Of the total female Chinese population of 7,748, the 1920 census shows 3,047 married and 4,302 single. Of the

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