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it is difficult for me to follow you when you say there is a moral claim upon the American Government for the protection of that family.
Mrs. DAVIDSON. Just this, Senator: When we gave that man a visa for permanent residence in the United States, undoubtedly the consul knew he had a family.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. But he knew what the laws and tendencies of our Government were.
Mrs. DAVIDSON. The law is that the wife and children may come in under the quota, when the quota is open, and they have a special preference to join him. I take it that man assumes they may not be able to join him this year or next year, but in due course they will join him.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. My whole attitude on this subject, which has not been satisfactory to either side, is that we have in this country through the years, until a few years ago, welcomed immigration. We did it for what we believed were economic reasons or business interests in this country. For example, our railroads all through the West caused influence to be brought upon the Government to have a free and open immigration policy. Having adopted that policy and maintained it for years, it would seem to me to be absolutely unfair and unjust to all at once say we are going to stop and to cause hardships to the families of those who came in under conditions and at a time when it was the policy of our Government to favor immigration.
On the other hand, I cannot personally help but recognize that, after we had changed that policy and have announced such change, our first duty is toward the protection of American citizens, and when we face a situation where we have a great problem of unemployment in this country we cannot, out of a spirit of patience and kindness toward individuals, impose hardships upon American citizens for the benefit of aliens.
Mrs. DAVIDSON. Nowhere are we asking for an increase in immigration. There is no request for more immigration or any new seed immigration.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. I think perhaps I digressed because you did. The bill provides for a 4-year period.
Mrs. DAVIDSON. Yes.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. During that 4-year period we have the power to alleviate conditions of hardship and to do justice to people who would otherwise be unfairly dealt with.
Mrs. DAVIDSON. Yes.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. But you indicate you feel that should be a permanent policy. I do not want to sit here and by apparent acquiescence have this record indicate that I am in favor of a permanent continuation of that policy, because I think we have got to stop it somewhere. I am in disagreement with the people who say we should not do it at all, but I cannot go along with the idea that, having adopted a policy in 1921 and 1924, that should continue indefinitely and that rights should be given to immigrants or aliens which might and probably would result in impairment of the rights of American citizens.
Mrs. DAVIDSON. In the previous bill there was no time limit. Discretion was asked for on a permanent basis. We felt it was advisable and desirable to have it, and give them the right of appeal. That is all we ask for. All we ask for is just that discretionary power in what
I think would be a few cases, certainly not as many as have been, where we would like to be able to use discretion.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Does there not have to be a stopping place somewhere? The position of Senator Copeland and the KerrCoolidge has been that in the past that policy has been one of invitation to these people to come here, and the peoples of the world looked upon the United States as a haven. But we made a definite declaration of policy 16 and 13 years ago which was different from the policy in effect theretofore. Does there not have to come a time when these people must realize these laws mean something and we cannot disregard them?
Mrs. DAVIDSON. I agree with you, Senator Schwellenbach; but I think that after 150 years of an open-door policy it would take longer than 10 or 13 years for that idea of restriction to percolate through the world. I think, now that we have changed our policy-and it is a proper policy to pursue, because our own interests demand that we close our doors-I think eventually everybody will recognize that. But it does take a little longer than a few years to have that understood by the whole world. What I was trying to bring out was that in the case of the reunion of families it is a slow process. Many of them want to send for their families and they are trying to do that. We are not adding to the number of immigrants. We already have the standing program, and we have not used it. Mr. Shaughnessy stated this morning that the largest number in 1 year was 35,000. That was what I meant when I said we felt that discretionary power should be available so as to take care of the few hardship cases that may arise in the future. However, we would be very glad to get even this temporary discretionary power, because we think it is very important that it should be available for these families already here.
I think another point is that many of these aliens have American citizen relatives. I believe the last survey showed 98 percent of them have American relatives. I think that is very important. That means these men will not be permitted to remain here and become citizens. They will not be sending for their families, because they have families here. Most of these people have wives and children in this country who are American citizens. I think that is a very important point to bear in mind in connection with this bill.
I wonder if you would be interested in some figures in regard to other countries.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Yes.
Mrs. DAVIDSON. Senator Reynolds spoke about it. In the yearbook for 1935 and 1936, published by the International Labor Office, the figures show the number of immigrants entering Canada during their fiscal year, which ends March 1 of each year. They show that during the 1935 fiscal year the number of immigrants was 12,136 from all parts of the world; in 1934, the number of immigrants entering Canada was 13,903; in 1933, the number was 19,782; in 1932, the number was 25,752; in 1931, the number was 88,223.
The number of immigrants entering Argentine during the 4-year period of 1932-35, according to the port statistics, continental and intercontinental, was as follows: For the year 1935, there were 33,124; for the year 1934, the number was 25,935; for the year 1933, it was 29,903; for the year 1932, the number of immigrants was 37,334.
The number of immigrants entering Brazil during that same period, passengers traveling second and third class, according to port statistics, was as follows: For the year 1935, 29,033 intercontinental, and 552 continental; for the year 1934, the number was 44,598 intercontinental and 1,429 continental; for the year 1933 it was 45,549 intercontinental and 533 continental for the year 1932, the number was 30,653 intercontinental and 841 continental.
The figures for France, frontier control statistics, all continental aliens, were as follows: They do not show the figures for the year 1935; for the year 1934, the number was 71,538; for the year 1933, the number was 74,635; for the year 1932, the number was 69,492.
The figures showing immigration into Palestine, frontier control statistics, are as follows: For the year 1935, the number was 57,161 intercontinental and 6,986 continental; for the year 1935, it was 38,700 intercontinental and 5,443 continental; for the year 1933, the number was 28,945 intercontinental and 3,032 continental; for the year 1932, it amounted to 7,509 intercontinental and 3,780 continental.
The figures for Argentine, Brazil, France, and Palestine were taken from the Yearbook of Labor Statistics, for the years 1935 and 1936, published by the International Labor Office.
There is one more point I would like to stress, and that is the question of naturalization, why some of these people who have been here so long have not become naturalized. When it comes to the alien men we find that they do not have the money to pay for it, which formerly used to cost at least $20, and in recent years it costs $10.
Another reason was that these men could not produce the documents they were required to produce. They could not give the date of their arrival or the name of the steamship. The records could not be located by our Government, because in many instances, particularly along the Canadian border, the records were not kept up to date until recently. Because of those various reasons they could not produce a certificate of arrival and could not become citizens of the United States. A great many of these people worked on the railroads and traveled from place to place and could not attend English classes so they might qualify themselves for citizenship. In a good many other instances, where they were located in small communities, there were no English classes available that would enable them to prepare themselves for citizenship.
All those things are very valid reasons for their not becoming American citizens. I can think over my own personal experience of 15 years, and there is not an alien that I have met that would not prefer to be an American citizen. They would be glad to get their nautralization papers if they could do it. We have tried in many ways to assist them and have found so many obstacles in the way that it was almost impossible.
Another thing that has happened in recent years is there were many cases where the men could not get work, but their wives could get work, and after their wives went out of the kitchen and entered the industrial and community life to find jobs, some of them discovered they were not citizens of this country.
Since the law was passed by Congress which demanded that aliens in W. P. A. service should be removed from employment unless they had those papers, we have found a very interesting situation. A num
ber of men and women who thought they were American citizens discovered they were not. We have been terribly pressed with work, because of the large number of them who wanted to become citizens and could not get the documents they needed to prove they were citizens. That convinces us that most of these people want to be citizens, if they can get the help they need.
I had a case last week of a young woman who always thought she was an American citizen. She came here from Canada when she was 10 years old. Her mother was born in this country, but married in Canada, and lived in Canada, and the child was born there. They came back here later for permanent residence. This young woman was a graduate from college and qualified for teaching, only she had to present a certificate of citizenship, and she then discovered for the first time that she was not an American citizen.
I could multiply that by the thousands. I do not think the aliens should be so sharply criticized for not becoming American citizens. I think the most of them have made a real effort and have been unsuccessful for the reasons I have given.
Another difficulty was mentioned this morning which I think is worth considering, and that is that so many are deportable because of their last entry into the United States. A good many of them lived here for many years, and when they went out of the country, maybe only for a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks, when they came back again that is regarded as their last entry, and then if they would become a public charge they become deportable.
There was a case of a man who lived here for a number of years. He came here as a seamen before 1924, and went back in 1930 to bury his wife in her native country, and he is now deportable because he was apprehended as having come in illegally.
There was a Canadian woman who was deported because the Government had no record of her arrival, although her father was an American citizen, and her brothers and sisters were American citizens, but she could not prove a legal arrival. The Government can find no record that she crossed the border. Therefore, she is now deportable.
I should like in conclusion to say that I think we would gain a good deal if we were to pass this bill, because we would help thousands of American citizens' wives and children who are relatives of these persons who are now deportable. After all, we are interested in our American citizens. I think this bill would relieve the sufferings of a great many American citizens and, therefore, it should be passed.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Thank you very much, Mrs. Davidson.
STATEMENT OF CHESTER E. TAYLOR
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Is Mr. Taylor here?
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. You may proceed.
Mr. TAYLOR. My name is Chester E. Taylor. I am assistant general secretary of the Y. M. C. A., in charge of American industrialization work for 18 years, assisting aliens to become American citizens, not only in the legal sense, but in fact. I am secretary of the Executives' Club of some 355 supervisors in 64 industries, located in Bloomfield, N. J. I am secretary of the national club of about 85 members that is composed of representatives of most of the nationalities of the world, including about 25 percent of native-born Americans
who are attempting to build a fire under the melting pot and help assimilate our foreign-born people. I am a member of the American Labor Council in Englewood, N. J., composed of 45 patriotic and civic organizations, such as all the posts in our territory of the American Legion, the Spanish War Veterans, the Chamber of Commerce, the Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. I am also a member of the Crime Commission which has studied the cases of juvenile delinquency and crimes. I think I am not boasting when I say that nobody is more interested that I am in seeing the alien criminals deported from this country.
I remember that when I appeared before this committee last April, Senator Schwellenbach expressed the wish that the people who were interested in the various phases of the immigration and naturalization problems might agree upon a bill and not be everlastingly coming before this committee with opposing views. It seems to me the Dies bill is one we should all agree upon. It seems to me to contain all the things for which Senator Reynolds has been contending, and it also takes care of the hardship cases which have concerned so many of us who have been in close contact with the mental agony of the native-born American citizen wives, husbands, and children of the men and women who are subject to deportation because of the provisions of the present law, which do not give the Department of Labor any discretion in handling those cases. When I read it I felt like urging that a gold medal be given to its framer. I think the amendments proposed by Senator Copeland would make it a better piece of legislation. I would like to see it enacted. I think it is the greatest step forward I have seen in the 18 years I have been associated with these problems in endeavoring to correct the evils of our present naturalization laws.
I am heartily in sympathy with the amendment suggested by Senator Copeland on page 2, section 1, line 1, the provision that an alien who is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, for which he is committed to an institution, shall come within the provisions of the exemptions, if the act is of a petty nature. Many of our laws were handed down from the old British common law, when a man could be hung for stealing a sheep. The punishment is so out of proportion to the crime that it is difficult to believe that, in addition to punishing a man for stealing a loaf of bread, or some youngster who got into an orchard and stole some apples-no doubt there are but few Members of Congress who have not done so that he would be subject not only to punishment under the criminal law, but shipped back to the country from which he came where he would be more of an alien than he is in the United States.
On page 2, paragraph 2 of section 1 of the bill, I have serious doubts upon that question of deporting a man found possessing or carrying a firearm. It seems to me the only possible reason for it would be that it might enable the Department of Labor to more easily apprehend some of the gangsters when perhaps they could not get them any other way. Referring to the section of the Constitution which was quoted this morning by the chairman and Senator Copeland, it seems to me sufficient to leave the discretion in the Department of Labor to determine whether it should deport an alien who may have a gun in his house.
The rest of the bill is a splendid bill. There is only one question. I have in mind in regard to section B, paragraph 2, page 3, where the