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take up time concerning it, as the matter was formally presented to this committee during the last session of Congress, and it was ably presented.
Before going further I would like to answer a question that was propounded to Mr. Dyer by some gentleman of the committee. He was asked as to why there is a preponderance of Chinese males over females in this country.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; we are interested in that, and I hope you will explain it.
Mr. Hong. I think there are four reasons for that; namely, first, early Chinese immigration into the United States brought only men to this country to build railroads and to work mines. During those days no families were brought here--no women. Again, very few children were born in those days. Secondly, when they started bringing in wives and families they failed to bring in daughters. A daughter, in the Chinese way of doing things, is not considered to be an important member of the family in building up the family fortune, and as a matter of fact they marry while quite young, some as young as 16 years of age. They were not brought to the United States. That is the second reason for the scarcity of women.
Third, after the Chinese families are in the United States and they raise children here they have just as many boys as they do girls, but the conditions in this country were not at one time of the best. In the West things were in an unsettled condition. The people were living in mining camps and consequently the girls were taken back to China to marry. The male population here at that time, moreover, were of a nomadic nature and few of them could support a family. The fourth reason is that after these girls were taken to China very few of them returned to the United States. The native-born daughter after having been taken to China seldom returned to the United States. She married in China and remained there. The sons were brought back, however. The reasons I have just given you make a preponderance of males over females.
Mr. Box. The first two reasons do not seem to explain why American-born girls, Chinese girls, are less numerous than American-born Chinese boys. We have no Chinese citizens here except the native born.
Mr. Hong. That is right.
Mr. Box. Every one of these citizens was born within the United States. The fact that the first men who came here—the first immigrants—were all men, does not account for that, I think, in any measure. It would account for there being fewer men than women, but we are talking about citizens. They are not citizens. However, it is just a curiosity that has been exicted within me. The second third, and fourth explanations given by you are plausible. You may have sent your girls back to China.
Mr. JENKINS. The figures that have been given here in regard to the Chinese males and females are, as I remember, 13,000 and 5,000. Do those apply to native-born citizens or all the Chinese in the country?
Mr. Box. It is presented to us as dealing with citizens. That may be a partial answer.
Mr. DYER. The figures given are those born within the United States.
Mr. JENKINS. You are right, then.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the total population of Chinese within the United States according to the last census? I refer to the continental United States. As I remember, the figure is 65,000.
Mr. HONG. I believe it is 61,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Of which these 14,000 and 5,000, men and women, respectively, were born here?
Mr. HONG. Nearly three men to one girl is what it amounts to in the continental United States.
The CHAIRMAN. It has been stated here that you have been employed in the United States Immigration Service. That being so, tell me what this grandfather business means—the Chinese going back to China and their children being born there and coming back in the following generation to the United States. How does that work out? Tell us all about that, if you will.
Mr. Hong. You mean how do the sons of native-born Chinese come into the United States. That is covered by the Revised Statutes, section 1993.
The CHAIRMAN. They used to carry that out to the grandchildren.
Mr. Hong. There is a court decision to the effect that there are two kinds of grandchildren of native-born American citizens. Those born to the American-born citizens prior to their residence in this country, under the court decision, are not to be considered American citizens; but those born subsequent to their residence within the United States are considered to be American citizens.
The CHAIRMAN. That has been changed ?
The CHAIRMAN. The grandson born in China of a son over there is not to be considered an American?
Mr. Hong. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. When they considered them to be citizens they stretched the point-bringing in the third generation as citizens?
Mr. Hong. I would not say that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hong. I think this very amendment will obviate this difficulty, because we would have more native born. We would have wives here, and we would have more American-born citizens.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not want to embarrass you, but I am not clear on the Chinese exclusion law. During all the years before 1924 any native-born Chinese boy could go to China and get himself a wife and bring her to the United States.
Mr. Hong. Yes.
Mr. HONG. Quite a number of them did; yes, sir. The law was not clear until 1905, or thereabouts. At that time the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the alien Chinese wife of an American citizen is entitled to enter the United States. From 1906 to 1924, which is the date of the present act, something like 2,800 were admitted. In this connection I might say that not many Chinese had money enough to bring a wife in. They could not bring in groups at a time. For 20 years not more than 200 wives were admitted each year. Therefore there was no influx of Chinese women.
The CHAIRMAN. Did not the Chinese feel the necessity for wives then just as much as they do now? Did they not want to bring wives here?
Mr. Hong. They do; but owing to financial circumstances a lot of them, although they wanted them, could not get them.
Mr. DYER. I may state from what I have been able to learn that it is not altogether desirable to bring in wives. It is desired by the Chinese born in this country of American citizens be amended so as not to bring any reflection upon them.
. The CHAIRMAN. When we say Chinese here, we mean all orientals. We can not differentiate.
Did the original Chinese exclusion law discourage the bringing of women to the United States?
Mr. Hong. No, sir; I have not read anything about that.
Mr. HUSBAND. The original Chinese exclusion law bars laborers from the United States, and there were a few women laborers that came. The treaty provided for the wives of those who were admissible other than laborers—professional men.
The CHAIRMAN. All these types up to the year 1924, all classes of Chinese who were here, except the purely laboring classes, were entitled to bring wives?
Mr. HUSBAND. Laboring types born in the United States also were permitted to do so, if they were in the United States lawfully. However, the alien laborers could not do that. I mean the alien laborers could not be Americans.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chinese coming to the United States in the old days could bring wives?
Mr. HUSBAND. Yes; according to the decision of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Hong. American citizens of the Chinese race started in 1906 to bring their wives in.
The CHAIRMAN. That was the year of the San Francisco fire when the records were destroyed.
Mr. Hong. That is the case.
Mr. Hong. There is another point that I want to make clear. It is the matter of Chinese merchants having a right to bring in wives. Under the present law not only Chinese merchants may bring in wives but Chinese ministers, professors, and Japanese professors and ministers may bring in wives. Mark you, that does not apply solely to Chinese merchants, so that we must not dwell too much upon the Chinese merchants alone. They are only one of the several classes permitted to do so by the 1924 immigration act.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your definition of a Chinese merchant ?
Mr. Hong. It is the definition contained in the exclusion law. A Chinese merchant is one engaged in buying and selling merchandise at a fixed place of business for a period of one year or more.
The CHAIRMAN. In China ?
The CHAIRMAN. So that if he gets here as a nonmerchant and immediately begins to buy and sell goods at a fixed place of business for a year or more he becomes a merchant ?
Mr. Hong. No; it is not so broad as that. For instance, a laundry man is in business, but he is not a merchant in accordance with the
present law. Under the immigration act of 1924, a Chinese tourist can not become a merchant.
The CHAIRMAN. If he sells a few tea cups on the side, would that make him a merchant?
Mr. Hong. He must buy and sell merchandise at a fixed place of business for a period of 12 months or more.
The CHAIRMAN. What are we going to do with the Chinese on the Pacific coast who come here, join the big firms or companies and make their living by laundry work, barbering, or as hotel clerks?
Mr. Hong. They should be taken care of in accordance with the law. I am in favor of enforcing the law.
The CHAIRMAN. We are developing some of that kind, nevertheless.
Mr. DYER. I think Mr. Hong can state authoritatively and I think the census shows that the Chinese population of the United States has been decreasing rather than increasing. Mr. Hong, will you please state what the situation is in Los Angeles at this time!
Mr. Hong. I think the population of Chinese is decreasing. We have with us some data about that. For instance, in 1890 there were 107,475 Chinese in the United States.
Mr. DYER. And there are about half that number now.
Mr. Hong. At the present time, or according to the 1920 census, there were 61,631 Chinese, making a little more than one-half.
The CHAIRMAN. Tell us about Los Angeles. How many Chinese are there now and how many were there in years past?
Mr. Hong. I think 20 years ago there were something like 12,000 Chinese in Los Angeles and to-day there are between 4,000 and 5,000 there.
The CHAIRMAN. Where have they gone?
Mr. Hong. The older Chinese—the old Chinese laborers died or left the United States to return to China. The new laborers can not come in.
As you all know and realize the hardship of separation of a family, I think Congress did not intend that should be a part of the act of 1924 when it was passed.
It is really an unintentional omission. Paragraph (a) of section 4 was unintentionally omitted from section 13, paragraph (c).
The point that is bothering most of us in this is, will this proposed amendment by H. R. 6974 open up the Japanese immigration question again. In other words, if this proposed amendment is adopted, will it restore or do away with the features of the so-called Japanese exclusion bill? If it does not, I do not think it will bother the committee much. I know for sure that it will not do away with
any features or nullify any of the provisions of section 13, paragraph (c), of the immigration act of 1924.
Let us analyze the thing. Section 13-c of the act of 1924 excludes from the United States all aliens ineligible for naturalization purposes, with certain exceptions, among those being ministers, professors, students, travelers for curiosity, and merchants.
By inserting paragraph (a) of section 4 of the immigration act of 1924, dealing with nonquota immigrants--that deals with the unmarried child under 18 years of age, or the wife, of a citizen of the United States who resides therein at the time of the filing of a petition under section 9---those are provided for in section 4, paragraph (a). In short, we would incorporate section 4, paragraph (a) as one of the exceptions to be included in section 13, paragraph (c).
If a white man should go to China and marry a Chinese girl, he could not bring her here.
So far as the natural children of American citizens are concerned, paragraph (a) of section 4 of the immigration act of 1924, in defining the term nonquota immigrant, says that the term means an immigrant who is the unmarried child under 18 years of age of a citizen of the United States who resides therein.
In regard to the children, the only type that might possibly get in under this would be the adopted children of an American citizen. They would be aliens.
The CHAIRMAN. Does not the immigration act of 1924 provide against these adoptions?
Mr. Hong. If they were made before January 1, 1924, such adoptions would be recognized.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think you have a lot of them in China in that status_before July 1, 1924?
Mr. Hong. I do not think so. There might not be many.
The CHAIRMAN. How would this affect the situation with respect to native-born Chinese in the Hawaiian Islands? They would have the same right.
Mr. Hong. Yes: under the law and the Constitution of the United States they are American citizens, too.
Mr. DYER. They are included in the figures I have given.
The CHAIRMAN. How many native-born Chinese are there in the Hawaiian Islands?
Mr. Hong. We have the figures. There are about two boys to one girl over there. I believe.
Mr. Box. Do the Chinese marry members of any other race to any considerable extent?
Mr. Hong. No. In my State of California such marriages are prohibited by statute.
Mr. DYER. That is the necessity for this legislation—that the Chinese may be able to get their own kind and prevent, even in States that do not prohibit it, interracial marriages.
Mr. Box. I think that, in addition to the legal prohibition, it is found to be undesirable as well. Mr. Hong. Interracial marriage? Mr. Box. Yes.
Mr. HONG. I agree with you, but it is unnatural to expect a man to lead a life of celibacy.
If a Chinese-American citizen wants to get married there are only three courses open to him. First, he must go to a State where interracial marriages are not prohibited. Such are prohibited in 11 States of the Union. He can go into one of the States that allow such marriages and marry outside of our own race, or he can go abroad, say, to Europe or South America, and marry a woman of a race that is eligible to citizenship. The third method is to go to China and marry a Chinese girl and leave her there. The first two are undesirable and inadvisable, and the third, obviously, involves a considerable hardship.