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4,302 Chinese females classed as single, 3,340 were under 15 years of age. At the time of the census 962 were 15 years
and In other words, it shows that the number of native born that are not married is not very large.
Senator KEYES. You were reading from what, Mr. Dyer?
Mr. DYER. This was from a hearing, Senator, that was held before a committee of the House at the last Congress.
Senator KEYES. What was the outcome of the hearing? Was it on the same bill?
Mr. DYER. The same bill exactly.
Mr. DYER. No; the committee after considering many phases of the immigration act decided not to urge any legislation at the last Congress touching immigration.
Senator KEYES. You may proceed, Mr. Hong.
Mr. Hong. In urging the committee to consider our bill, I wish to say that it not only relieves us of a certain hardship, but there are really many advantages to this bill and I wish to enumerate to you the advantages.
In the first place it discourages interracial marriage, because they will go to China and marry women of their own race. Secondly, it would elevate morality. It is not good for a great body of men to remain single and it is not practicable for a great number of men to practice celibacy. The third advantage is that it is in harmony with our present immigration policy, namely, to humanize the law and bring about family life. That is a fundamental social structure on which the Nation is founded, and it is not something radical or
It is something that is a right that we enjoyed before the passage of the act in 1924.
Next it reduces the number of foreign-born American citizens. That is if we go to China and marry Chinese women and have our children born and live back there, naturally when they are young they will have to stay with their mothers, and those are the years most important of all. They get their training then. By having our wives over here and by having our children born in this country, it will quicken the process of assimilation. That is another advantage. The field of operation among the Japanese is very small,
almost negligible, and it does not open the door to an influx of oriental labor, because these women are housewives, coming over here to build homes for their husbands.
I do not know whether the gentlemen have time to listen to me or not. I want to read just a few quotations from some of our leading citizens.
Mr. DYER. Mr. Hong, will you permit me to say I know how busy the Senators are on various committees and I do not want to take more time than necessary.
Senator KEYES. Wouldn't it be just as well to put them in the record without reading it?
Mr. Hong. Yes, sir. There are a few passages I want to read, but it could be filed as part of the record.
Mr. DYER. They are in these pleas for relief.
Mr. Hong. Yes. What I want to emphasize particularly is what the president of the College of the City of New York said. He is a
Californian himself. He is in favor of Oriental exclusion, but in spite of his feeling, he thinks that our point is well taken, and that it is beyond argument. That is all contained in our plea for relief, and you can read that after a while.
Senator K EYES. Were you born in this country?
Mr. Hong. Yes, sir. I was born in San Francisco. My residence at this time is in Los Angeles.
Senator KEYES. How old are you?
Senator KEYES. Do the other members of the committee desire to ask any questions?
Senator Gould. Were you educated in the University of San Francisco?
Mr. HONG. No, sir; I was educated at the University of Southern California. I was with the Immigration Service from 1918 to 1928, that is up to the first of this year. I went to school at the University of Southern California when I was in the Immigration Service.
Senator KEYES. That is all.
Mr. DYER. What the witness referred to was a plea for relief which they prepared. This was prepared last year, a plea for relief, and this is the second plea for relief prepared this year, giving some additional arguments.
Senator KEYES. Will you leave those?
Mr. DYER. Yes. I will be glad to furnish all the Senators of the committee with these documents, and I will leave these if the Senators wish it.
A PLEA FOR RELIEF TOGETHER WITH A SUPPLEMENT CONTAINING SOME ARGU
MENTS IN SUPPORT THEREOF
(This pamphlet, prepared for submission to the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization of the House of Representatives (69th Cong., 1st sess.), is issued by the United Parlor, Native Sons of the Golden State, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, an organization composed of American citizens of the Chinese race, having for its object and purpose the fostering of patriotism and good citizenship. The head offices of the organization are at No. 1044 Stockton Street, San Francisco, Calif. Its subordinate lodges are scattered throughout the United States)
This is a plea for relief from a hardship imposed upon a certain class of citizens of the United States by the immigration act of 1924.
The Supreme Court of the United States has recently decided 1 that section 13 of the act excludes from admission to the United States the alien Chinese wives of American citizens. There are in the United States many American citizens of the Chinese race, who are married to alien Chinese women, resident in China. Under the decision of the Supreme Court, these American citizens are permanently separated from their wives, unless they abandon the country of their citizenship and take up their residence abroad in a country which will permit their wives to reside with them. The hardship of this situation is so apparent that it is felt that a mere statement of the case is all that is required to show the necessity for an amendment to the act which will permit the admission of these women.
Until the passage of the act, alien Chinese wives of American citizens of the Chinese race were eligible to admission to the United States. The courts had repeatedly held that they were admissible, and the Immigration Department admitted them upon proof of their status.
It is a well-known fact that the Chinese male population of this country far outnumbers the Chinese female population, and that the Chinese male resident here, desiring to marry, must in most cases go to China to seek a wife of his own race, the number of Chinese females resident here being too restricted to supply the demand. Such being the conditions obtaining, under the law as it now stands, most of our Chinese-American citizens must of necessity remain unmarried, or if electing to go to China, there to marry, must either give up their residence and virtually give up their citizenship here, or live separate and apart from their wives, who are debarred from admission to the United States under section 13 of the immigration act of 1924.
1 Chang Chan, Wong Hung Kay, Yee Sin Jung, et al., V. John D. Nagle, as Commissioner of Immigration for the port of San Francisco. No. 770, October term, 1924. The decision is printed in full in the Appendix to this pamphlet.
The only solution of the problem, the immigration act remaining unamended, would be the marriage of the Chinese-American citizen resident here to a woman not of his own race, and this is not only undesirable and inadvisable from the viewpoint of both white and Chinese, but contrary to the laws of many of the States of the Union, the intermarriage of white persons with persons of the Mongolian race being prohibited in the States of Arizona, California, Idaho, Missouri, Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia.
Marriage is an institution sanctioned, encouraged, and fostered by civilized society and by the State. Civilized society has always recognized the right of a man to marry, and when married, his right to the society and companionship of his wife. Civilized society recognizes the fact that "it is not good for man to be alone,” and that marriage and the association of a man with his wife constitute the greatest safeguard of public morals.
In all probability, when the immigration act of 1924 was being considered by Congress, the fact that section 13 of the act would prohibit the admission of the alien Chinese wives of American citizens was not called to its attention, and it is felt that, had it been, there would have been added to section 13 a proviso allowing their admission.
It is not presumed that the unnatural condition in respect herein pointed out in which the American citizen of the Chinese race finds himself as a result of section 13 will be allowed to stand. The Supreme Court could only interpret the law as it was written by Congress. It could not disregard the literal and plain language of the law in an effort, by strained construction, to avoid its hardships upon a worthy class of American citizens, which has done its duty to its country both in time of peace and in time of war.
Therefore it is from Congress that the relief must come, and it is to Congress that the American citizen of the Chinese race confidently looks for an amendment to section 13 which will give him that legal right to the companionship of his wife which is in consonance both with natural law and with the customs and usages of civilized society.
It is not deemed necessary to argue the matter further, for as was intimated at the outset of these observations, a mere statement of the case is all that is believed necessary in the presentation of this matter.
ALIEN CHINESE WIVES OF CHINESE MERCHANTS ADMISSIBLE
It might not be out of the way, however, to call attention to the fact that while the immigration act of 1924 prohibits the admission of the alien Chinese wife of an American citizen, the Supreme Court of the United States has recently held that the act permits the admission of the alien Chinese wife of an alien Chinese merchant, who is resident in the United States. In other words, the act gives greater rights to the alien Chinese resident here than it accords to our own citizens of the Chinese race. It is submitted that an American citizen in his own country should certainly be accorded rights at least equal to those given to an alien resident here.
THE AMENDMENT SUGGESTED
Subdivision (c) of section 13 of the immigration act of 1924 reads as follows:
(c) No alien ineligible to citizenship shall be admitted to the United States unless such an alien (1) is admissible as a nonquota immigrant under the provisions of subdivision (b), (d), or (e) of section 4, or (2) is the wife, or the unmarried child under 18 years of age, of an immigrant admissible under such subdivision (d), and is accompanying or following to join him, or (3) is not an immigrant as defined in section 3."
It is requested that there be added by amendment a fourth clause to subdivision (c), to read substantially as follows: “or (4) is the wife of a citizen of the United States." 2
2 Senate bill No. 2358 and H. R. No. 6544, now pending in Congress, accomplish the same object as the suggested amendment. The text of these bills is found on page 26 of this pamphlet.
Such an amendment would give to the American citizen of the Chinese race the same right to the admission to this country of his wife which he always enjoyed and to which he was entitled prior to the passage of the immigration act of 1924, which right was taken away from him by that act.
There are now pending in Congress two bills-one, S. 2358, and the other, H. R. 6544, identical in language, amendatory of the immigration act of 1924, designed to relieve the situation of hardship referred to in the foregoing “Plea for relief." Under this proposed amendatory legislation, the alien wives ineligible to citizenship of citizens of the United States would have restored to them the right of admission to the United States. This right of admission existed until July 1, 1924, and was recognized under the so-called Chinese exclusion laws.
The humane aspect of this proposed amendment to the immigration law can not, we assume, be questioned, for the unnatural hardship of the permanent separation of an American citizen from his wife is so apparent as not to require discussion. The home is the basis of the life of the Nation, and without a wife and mother a home can hardly exist. A law permanently separating a husband from his wife is an unnatural law, contrary to common humanity and the institutions of civilized society, and indefensible from the standpoint of morality, and it is submitted that such a law has no place upon the statute books of any civilized country.
In his recent message to Congress, President Coolidge referring to the immigration act of 1924, said:
“While not enough time has elapsed to afford a conclusive demonstration, such results as have been secured indicate that our immigration law is on the whole beneficial. It is undoubtedly a protection to the wage earners of this country. The situation, should, however, be carefully surveyed, in order to ascertain whether it is working a needless hardship upon our own inhabitants. If it deprives them of the comfort and society of those bound to them by close family ties, such modifications should be adopted as will afford relief, always in accordance with the principle that our Government owes its first duty to our own people and that no alien, inhabitant of another country, has any legal rights whatever under our Constitution and laws. It is only through treaty or through residence here that such rights accrue. But we should not, however, be forgetful of the obligations of a common humanity.”
Having the words of the President in mind let us ask the question, “Are we not ‘forgetful of the obligations of a common humanity' in depriving those citizens of our country whose wives are of a race ineligible to citizenship of the comfort and society of their wives—in forgetting the family tie and decreeing by law that the wives of such citizens shall be debarred from admission to the country to which their husbands owe and render allegiance and in which their husbands reside?”
And again we ask, “Do not 'the obligations of a common humanity' call for such a modification of the law as will afford relief?”
The relief called for, is found in the proposed amendatory legislation embodied in S. 2358 and H. R. 6544.
This brings us to the consideration, whether any valid reason exists why the relief afforded in the proposed amendment should not be granted in view of the admitted principle that our Government owes its first duty to our own people and that no alien, inhabitant of another country, has any legal rights whatever under our Constitution and laws."
The Government's first duty is to our own citizens, but it is to our own citizens that the relief accruing under these bills is to be afforded. Those of our citizens who have wives of the class referred to are as much citizens of our country as those whose wives are of the Caucasian race, and shall we deny to them the companionship of their wives and the comforts of a home, and to their children, who by law are American citizens, the fostering care of a mother's love.
It has been suggested that in allowing these alien wives, ineligible to citizenship, a home with their husbands in this country, we are permitting a multiplication in this country of Orientals not assimilable with Americans, as are other
Is this true? This brings us to the question of assimilability. Does the child of the Chinese race, born and reared in this country, assimilate American thoughts and customs and ideas? In other words, does he become and is he a real American, speaking our language, following our customs, living as we live, and, thinking as we think, and true to his duty as an American citizen?
The mere answering of these questions abstractly in the affirmative and the facts of the case not only admit of, but require such an answer—can hardly convey to those who have not come in contact with the American-born child of Chinese parentage as true and clear an impression of the situation as a few concrete typical illustrations would afford. Therefore, there are submitted in the pages which follow, a few cuts, showing typical groups of Chinese American families, that is, families whose alien Chinese parents emigrated to this country from China, and have here given birth to and here reared their families. These illustrations could be multiplied indefinitely, but a few typical illustrations it is believed will suffice. These children, born and reared here, speak the English language, were educated or are being educated in our public schools and colleges, wear the American dress, follow American customs, live in homes as typically American as do Caucasian children, and being surrounded by the same environment as Caucasian children, grow up with the same ideas and follow the same pursuits as Caucasians, and are in every respect true Americans, loyal to their country and an asset to the State.
AN HISTORICAL VIEW
In the days of anti-Chinese agitation on the Pacific coast, preceding and for a time following the enactment of Chinese-exclusion legislation, the Chinese residents here were in effect an outcast people, suffering humiliation, persecution, and social ostracism, and naturally their children born here were reared under such circumstances as to make assimilation by them of American customs and thoughts and ideas, and perhaps even speech, practically impossible and not to be expected. But as time has gone on, the people of the Pacific coast, satisfied with the existing exclusion legislation and its economic results, have unconsciously tempered and humanized their views with respect to their Chinese population, and the Chinese children born here, reared under more pleasant surroundings, and not subjected to that humiliation and persecution and ostracism which in the earlier days obtained, have had opened to them the opportunities for Americanization, which they have most readily accepted and imbibed. No longer denied the advantages of our public schools, colleges, and universities, with the opportunities for religious, recreational, and proper social life opened to them, treated humanely by the Caucasians with whom they come in contact, they have developed into true Americans. They look upon this country of their birth as their country, having no dual allegiance, and speak, dress, think, work, and act as Americans.
Having in view the American-born Chinese child of the present day, the old idea of nonassimilability must fall when the conditions which now exist are presented and considered.
But adherents to the old view, in support of their theory of nonassimilation, bring up the subject of intermarriage. Intermarriage between persons of the Caucasian and Chinese races is considered inadvisable and unwise by Caucasians and Chinese alike, but intermarriage has nothing to do with assimilation by persons of the Chinese race of American customs and ideas, or with the question whether a Chinese child born and reared here becomes in every respect a true American. We have in this country a large Jewish population, which has come to this country from Europe and which includes many of our most eminent Americans and some of our best citizens. Intermarriage between the Jew and the Gentile is very rare, and yet no one would contend that because the Jews rarely marry outside their own race they lack one element of assimilability.
Religion and intermarriage have nothing to do with the issue of assimilability.
AS TO HOW MANY PERSONS WOULD BE AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT
It is impossible to state exactly how many persons would be affected by the proposed amendment, but the United States census of 1920 affords some basis of calculation. The “ineligible to citizenship” races in the United States consist largely of Chinese and Japanese, and of these races only such as are citizens of the United States are affected by the proposed amendment.
The number of Chinese in the United States, according to the 1920 census, is 61,639, of which 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 females. Of the total