Imagini ale paginilor

Mr. Box. I will say that such marriages are not very desirable here.

Mr. SCHNEIDER. Could he not marry a native-born Chinese here? Mr. HONG. They are one to three here. Therefore, the chances are not bright.

Mr. SCHNEIDER. You speak of the female American born going back to China. Now, let me ask whether their opportunity of marrying in China is better than here because of the financial situation in the two countries.

Mr. HONG. Native-born females going to China to marry-not at the present time; but, say, 25 or 30 years ago, under the conditions in the West when they were unsettled all right. Chinese males over here were only from the working class-a floating male population. Mr. SCHNEIDER. That condition does not exist to that extent now. The American-born male is sufficiently able because of finances to take care of an American-born female if he married her?

Mr. HONG. Yes; but we do not find any Chinese old maids. All the girls get married.

The CHAIRMAN. Then I can not understand why more Chinese women did not come here before 1924.

Mr. HONG. They came in a normal way, not like the Japanese picture brides. They came in a natural way. When a man is able to support a family he goes back and marries the woman and brings her here or after he has married her he has her follow him. I mean that has been the practice in the past.

Mr. Box. You think it was poverty that caused this situation. They did not have the money to go get the girls.

Mr. HONG. That is one of the many reasons. Chinese native born were not making very much money in those days you know. At the present time a Chinese native-born is given much more opportunity.

The CHAIRMAN. I desire to read at this point the letter received from the Secretary of Labor concerning H. R. 6974, which is the bill now before us. The chairman wrote the Secretary of Labor on January 11, 1928, and received the following reply of January 13, 1928:


DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Washington, January 13, 1928.

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

[ocr errors]

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.

The CHAIRMAN. To refresh the memory of the committee, we all remember that, when this bill was prepared, wherever we made an exemption, an exempted nonquota class, we undertook to provide that the wives and children should come in with the exempted class or follow them. That includes ministers, teachers, and, I think, perhaps, students. I am sure the debates and hearings will show that to be a fact. At any rate a minister coming to the United States from any Oriental country has a right to bring his wife and children with him or to have them follow him.

Mr. Box. I understand the thing that probably disturbs you and disturbed us, concerning the merchant, is the meaning of the term has been expanded by court construction beyond what we contemplated.

The CHAIRMAN. I think if the committee goes into executive session to consider this proposition that it would be well to consider at the same time the insertion in the definition clause of the 1924 act a definition of "international merchant."

Proceed Mr. Hong.

Mr. HONG. As I have said, the question is whether this proposed amendment would nullify the so-called Japanese exclusion act. The CHAIRMAN. We do not call it the Japanese exclusion act. It is exclusion of all people ineligible to citizenship, generally.

Mr. Box. Mr. Hong, you are a lawyer and I suspect as such you considered the question as to whether an Indian born north or south of the Rio Grande is ineligible to citizenship under the Constitution, and therefore admissible under the act of 1924. Have you considered that question?

Mr. HONG. I understand that an Indian born in the United States is not considered to be a citizen if he is not taxed.

The CHAIRMAN. It was formerly that way, but did not a committee of Congress within the last four years, say, confer citizenship upon Indians generally?

Mr. SCHNEIDER. Yes; that is true, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Box. I was thinking of those excluded by the provision that people ineligible to citizenship are inadmissible as immigrants. I was wondering if the amendment you have in mind does not go farther if a construction of that phase of the Constitution should be applied to the admission of Indians from neighboring countries? Mr. HONG. It does not.

Mr. Box. That is really a side issue to go along with your cases?

Mr. HONG. I have talked to many representative people throughout the country about this matter and I find that the real question is whether this proposed amendment would nullify the Japanese exclusion feature in the immigration act of 1924. In 1907, we had the Japanese gentlemen's agreement. Under that agreement there were three main classes of Japanese admissible. First, the nonlaborer; second, resident laborers returning to resume a former domicile; third, there were those other than the ones covered in the first and second classes I have just named. Nonlaborers are really divided into three classes. The Japanese minister is a nonlaborer. The professor in Japan is a nonlaborer. The Japanese student is a nonlaborer and they are still admissible under the act of 1924. Although they are restricted in a limited sense they are admissible just the same. A Japanese professor or minister must have followed their professions in their own country for two years previous to their admission to the United States and they must come here to follow that profession solely. That is safeguarded by section 4. paragraph (d), of the act of 1924, which, in defining the term nonquota immigration, said that it meant

an immigrant who continuously for at least two years immediately preceding the time of his application for admission to the United States has been, and who seeks to enter the United States solely for the purpose of carrying on the vocation of minister or any religious denomination, or professor of a college, academy, seminary, or university; and his wife, and his unmarried children under 18 years of age, if accompanying or following to join him.

Again, the students are under the present law still admissible, but they must be over the age of 15. That is covered in section 4, paragraph (e) of the immigration act of 1924, which, in defining the meaning of the term nonquota immigrant says that it means:

An immigrant who is a bona fide student at least 15 years of age and who seeks to enter the United States solely for the purpose of study at an accredited school, college, academy, seminary, or university, particularly designated by him and approved by the Secretary of Labor, which shall have agreed to report to the Secretary of Labor the termination of attendance of each immigrant student, and if any such institution of learning fails to make such reports promptly the approval shall be withdrawn.

That excludes the elementary schools. Therefore, there is a restriction in that respect that will be a safeguard.

Then there is another class of nonlaborers-the merchants and the tourists. That matter is safeguarded by section 15 of the present act. If the Government or the Department of Labor is not satisfied with the status of these merchants and tourists, it may exact a bond in the sum of $500 or more under the section I have just named. Therefore, that avenue of possible injury is safeguarded.

This bill which we desire to put through will not disturb this condition.

The second class are the resident laborers returning to resume a former domicile. They are admissible under the present law. They can get a return permit. The only provision is that they must have been lawfully admitted here and be coming back to resume a former domicile. One who leaves the country to return to resume a former domicile may remain absent for a year. That is covered by section 13, paragraph (b), of the act of 1924, which specifies that—

Under such conditions as may be by regulation prescribed, immigrants who have been legally admitted to the United States and who depart therefrom temporarily may be admitted to the United States without being required to obtain an immigration visa.

Our bill does not disturb this class of Japanese.

Now, we come to the third class. It is really divided into six classes. Under the gentlemen's agreement a Japanese laborer might come in here to join one of his parents. Second, a Japanese might come here to join his wife residing in this country. Third, he may come in to join children resident in the United States. Fourth, a Japanese wife may come here to join her husband. Fifth, then we have the picture brides; and, sixth, the " settled agriculturists "—these are Japanese farmers, coming here to assume what they call an already possessed interest in a farming enterprise in the United States.

Now, the Japanese laborer coming to his parent, wife, or his children, or she coming to her husband, can not enter the United States under the present law. Section 13, paragraph (c), should be read in connection with section 5 of the same act, which reads that

When used in this act the term "quota immigrant" means any immigrant who is not a nonquota immigrant. An alien who is not particularly specified in this act as a nonquota immigrant or a nonimmigrant shall not be admitted as a nonquota immigrant or a nonimmigrant by reason of relationship to any individual who is so specified or by reason of being excepted from the operation of any other law regulating or forbidding immigration.

Referring to that admission by virtue of relationship to an immigrant, that is done away with. That is a double safeguard.

So far as Japanese farmers are concerned, they are not within the exceptions outlined in section 13, paragraph (c).

Our bill here does not disturb any of these six classes. In other words, section 13, paragraph (c), will stand as is with one exception that is, the wife belonging to a race ineligible to citizenship of an American citizen could be admitted by virtue of that addition of paragraph (a) of section 4, to section 13, paragraph (c). That would not disturb any of the other features.

Mr. Box. How many natives-Japanese-American citizens--are there in the United States?

Mr. HONG. The census of 1924 shows a little more than 15,000 native-born Japanese citizens.

Mr. Box. About the same number as there are of Chinese? Mr. HONG. I meant there are 15,000 males and some more than 14.000 females.

The CHAIRMAN. Within the continental United States?

Mr. HONG. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Not counting the Hawaiian Islands?

Mr. DYER. In the continental United States there are 15,494 males and 14.178 females. That is about equal as to Japanese males and females.

The CHAIRMAN. How about the Japanese in Hawaii?

Mr. DYER. There are 24,913 males and 23,673 females.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, how about the Chinese in the Hawaiian Islands, to which I referred a minute ago?

Mr. DYER. There are 6,625 males and 5,717 females.



The CHAIRMAN. In other words, the only great discrepancy between males and females native-born is with the Chinese in the United States.

Mr. HONG. I think I have outlined our position in this important matter. Now, what would be the effect if this bill should become law? It is really a bill that I think is an advantage to all of us. It discourages interracial marriages. It relieves hardships imposed upon a certain type of American citizens and it is in harmony with our present immigration policy of humanizing the law. It seems to us that humane consideration that actuated Congress in making admissible the citizen's wives who are of a race eligible to citizenship should apply with equal force to the citizen's wives who are of a race ineligible to citizenship. A man is a man whatever his race, and his natural desire for and need of his wife are the same, irrespective of his race or the race of his wife. Its field of operation among the Japanese is almost negligible. This bill would take care of interracial marriages and it would not open the gates to oriental immigration if passed.

I wish to emphasize another point concerning the immigration of Chinese in general. The United States Government has an immigration treaty with China known as the treaty of 1880 (Mallory's Treaties, vol. I, p. 237) with reference to admission of Chinese into this country, and also statutes made for the purpose of carrying out the treaty stipulations. The immigration act of 1924 did not abrogate that treaty or these Chinese exclusion laws. You will find that section 25 of the 1924 act expressly states that "the provisions of this act are in addition to and not in substitution for the provisions of the immigration laws, and shall be enforced as a part of such laws, *" and in section 28 of the same act you will find under subdivision (g) that "the term immigration laws' includes such act, this act, and all laws, conventions, and treaties of the United States relating to the immigration, exclusion, or expulsion of aliens," and in subdivision (c) you will find mentioned the reservation of "an act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese,” approved May 6, 1882, etc. Apparently when the immigration act of 1924 was adopted, Congress felt that our immigration treaty with China and our Chinese exclusion laws were effective enough and wanted them retained.

* *

To show that the Chinese immigration problem was well under control long before the passage of the immigration act of 1924, I need but only refer you to the number of Chinese in this country in 1890 and 30 years later. The census of 1890 shows that there were 25,833 Chinese persons in San Francisco, Calif., 72,472 in the State of California, and 107,475 in the whole United States; and the census of 1920 indicates the number of Chinese dwindled down to 7.744 in San Francisco, 28.812 in California, and 61.639 in the United States. This clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the Chinese exclusion laws and that our solution with reference to the immigration of Chinese into this country is working out smoothly.

I really can not see why the Chinese in this country at this time should constitute a live political question at all. It has not been for many years. In support of my statement, I quote a portion of President Roosevelt's message of December 5, 1905 (Abridgmen: vol. I, pp. 46, 47):

87850-28- -2

[merged small][ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuă »