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There are innumerable instances where aliens living in the neighboring countries of Mexico or Canada desire to enter the United States for treatment which can only be obtained in times of emergency in the United States and not at an immigration station. It would be inhumane to deny them the opportunity of such treatment. Again, there are aliens of good character and means who seek temporary admission for pleasure or business who are, however, inadmissible because of illiteracy, physical defects, or other causes. If the present provision of law is amended as proposed, such persons would not be permitted temporary entry into the United States. It is not thought that any such proposal should be approved.
PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6
This section repeals section 7 of the act of May 25, 1932, and permanently bars from admission to the United States any alien arrested and deported unless, prior to the enactment of the bill, the alien obtained permission of the Secretary of Labor to reenter the United States and who has reentered or who applies for readmission within 60 days after the bill becomes effective.
COMMENT ON SECTION 6
The section, in substance, restates clauses (a) and (b) of section 1 of the act approved March 4, 1929, prior to the amendment of the act of May 25, 1932. Those clauses were found in the administration of the law to be entirely too harsh and Congress by the amendment gave to the Secretary of Labor authority to grant permission to reapply after a year following deportation. As an example of the harshness of the proposal, an alien may have been brought to the United States illegally as a child by his parents. After residing in the United States a number of years he is ordered deported. However, during his stay in this country he may have been married to a citizen and he may have a family. Notwithstanding his ties in the United States, under the proposed amendment to the 1929 act he will not be permitted to return to them. The same reasons which prompted Congress in amending the act of March 4, 1929, serve as a basis for disapproval of this section.
PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7
It is provided by this section that no immigration visa shall be issued to any alien seeking to enter the United States, other than persons bearing diplomatic passports, unless said alien has been fingerprinted. It further describes how the records of the fingerprints are to be used: One to be kept by the consul, one to be attached to the alien's visa, and one to be sent to the Division of Identification of the Department of Justice.
COMMENT ON SECTION 7
Apparently the purpose of
tion prevent the entry int the United States of aliens having criminal records. Under existing law an alien, prior to the issuance of an immigration visa, must establish to the satisfaction of the consul that he is not inadmissable to the United States. Conviction of crime prior to entry is a bar to admission. Before an alien may be issued a visa it is required that he present documents from the police certifying that he is without penal record.
It is not believed that fingerprinting of aliens will materially help in the discovery of criminals.
PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 8, 9, AND 10 These sections are technical in character. One gives to the Secretary of Labor the power to promulgate regulations for the administration of the act; another section contains penal clauses for the punishment of violators of the act; and the third states that the provisions of the act are in addition to existing laws.
No comment appears to be necessary in connection with these sections.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Now, Senator Reynolds, you may proceed.
Senator REYNOLDS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to call as the first witness Mr. Lovell, of the Brotherhood of Enginemen and Firemen.
I wish to say in that connection that in compliance with your suggestion and the suggestion of the members of your committee we have limited our witnesses to five. We are going to endeavor to make the hearing as brief as possible, and in making that endeavor we feel that we are accommodating ourselves as well as others who are interested in this matter because it will make the record more brief and, consequently, more attention will be given to it. We will try to make it as brief as we possibly can.
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR J. LOVELL, VICE PRESIDENT AND
NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN AND ENGINEMEN
Mr. LOVELL. My name is Arthur J. Lovell. I am vice president and national legislative representative of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen. My address is Labor Building, No. 10 Independence Avenue, Washington, D. C. I speak in behalf of the organization I have the honor to represent and, indirectly, for the other 21 standard railroad labor organizations. My colleagues are not able to be here this morning on account of some of them being in other hearings and others absent from the city.
We have appeared year after year in support of immigration-restriction legislation. We have appeared at hearings before committees of both the House of Representatives and Senate in opposition to the retention of undesirable aliens or aliens who have violated or breached every law of the United States in entering the United States illegally, many of whom were criminals. It is a good deal like a repetition to me to appear here this morning and say once more what we have said in numerous hearings along this line.
I do not know that I want to address myself particularly to any particular phase of the bills now before this committee, except that we are in general accord with the bill that is before the committee, S. 1363, and these other bills that are fathered by Senator Reynolds; and in opposition to the bill as sponsored by Congressman Dies and by Senator Schwellenbach, as there are certain phases of that we are not in accord with.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. I do not quite understand your statement. I have not sponsored or introduced any bill.
Mr. LOVELL. Then I am in error.
Senator REYNOLDS. May I ask whether or not you refer to the Dies bill?
Mr. LOVELL. I understood there was a companion bill introduced in the Senate by Senator Schwellenbach.
Senator ScHWELLENBACH. I have not introduced any such bill.
The trend of what I wish to say is that the organization I represent and labor generally is opposed to undesirable aliens coming into this country, either as stowaways on ships or as seamen, or coming in by other means in violation of the immigration laws. Our immigration department in years past has perhaps been inadequately financed and equipped to take care of the vast number of immigrants who reach the United States.
In some of the legislation that has been proposed, for instance, the Dies bill, in part, these aliens are already here for 5 or 10 years, or perhaps 1 year, and they have been permitted to stay. There are certain provisions in regard to their having committed certain offenses, although there is a long list they might have committed and still remain.
If an alien is married to an American woman, or an alien woman is married to an American citizen, then they are permitted to remain.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. I have no objection to discussing immigration problems in general, but it does not seem to me, in respect to these four bills, that we should discuss a bill that is not before this committee.
Mr. LOVELL. All right. That is perfectly all right with me.
All I wanted to make was that general statement as to our position through the years that we have continuously and consistently, as far as that is possible, opposed legislation designed to permit their remaining in this country. I mean aliens who have got in by backstair methods or otherwise and remained here. There are many ways by which they get into the country. Their relatives or kinfolks help them, and that is creating a very bad condition that exists in no other country to the extent that it does exist here.
Senator REYNOLDS. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask Mr. Lovell a question.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Yes.
Senator REYNOLDS. I understand your organizations are thoroughly in accord with Senate bills 1363, 1364, 1365, and 1366.
Mr. LOVELL. So far as we understand them, Senator, yes.
Mr. LOVELL. Yes. I wish to state that we are also opposed to any other legislation that will let down the bars on immigration restriction that will permit undesirable aliens to enter this country and to remain here. We have heard much about these 2,800 hardship cases.
That is all I want to say.
STATEMENT OF LT. COL. FRED B. RYONS, CHAIRMAN OF THE
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE MILITARY ORDER OF THE WORLD WAR
Mr. Ryons. My name is Fred B. Ryons, chairman of the legislative committee of the Military Order of the World War, an organization composed of officers who served with the allied forces during the World War.
For the purpose of expediting the hearings we have transmitted to Senator Schwellenbach, the chairman of this committee, a copy of resolution passed by our order at its last national convention on October 14, 1936, at West Point. I ask that these be incorporated as part of the record, and that our order be recorded as endorsing 100 percent the bills before this committee. (The documents referred to are here set forth in full, as follows:)
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 24, 1937. Hon. LEWIS B. SCHWELLENBACH,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR SCHWELLENBACH: There will undoubtedly be numerous persons representing many organizations desiring to give lengthy testimony before your subcommittee of the Senate Immigration Committee concerning the various bills introduced by Senator Reynolds on the alien question.
In order that we may aid in relieving this pressure, we are taking the liberty of submitting our views briefly, by letter, asking that they be included as part of the record.
The Military Order of the World War at its last annual convention in West Point, N. Y., October 1-4, 1936, discussed these measures, first, in subcommittee, and then in general committee and finally in the convention, at length and came to the following conclusions:
RESOLUTION 17. ANARCHY
Be it resolved, that the Military Order of the World War in National Convention assembled at West Point, N. Y., October 1-4, 1936, reiterate its previous resolutions urging the enactment of legislation making it a crime for any person, or group of persons, to advocate or promote the overthrow of the Government of the United States of America by force, or by any unlawful means.
RESOLUTION 18. DEPORTATIONS
Be it resolved, That the Military Order of the World War in annual convention assembled at West Point, N. Y., October 1-4, 1936, reiterate its opposition to any measure which makes the provisions for deportation of aliens illegally in this country either by entry or conviction, optional by a government bureau or department or commission, instead of mandatory law.
RESOLUTION 19. ALIENS
Be it resolved, That the Military Order of the World War, in Sixteenth Annual Convention assembled at West Point, N. Y., October 1-4, 1936, stand firmly for the following objectives:
1. Deportation, expulsion or exclusion as the case may require, of aliens found guilty of preaching, urging or otherwise abetting the overthrow of the United States Government by force or by any other unlawful means;
2. Early naturalization of those intending to make the United States a domicile for any appreciable time;
3. Immediate deportation of all aliens illegally in this country, and any aliens who have been found guilty of seditious or riotous propaganda or who have been convicted of any crime;
4. A policy that will include all Americans in employment to the exclusion of of others.
RESOLUTION 20. IDENTIFICATION OF RESIDENT ALIENS
Whereas all residents of the United States, native born or naturalized, are obliged before voting, and whereas all officers and enlisted men of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, register their finger prints upon entering the service, willingly: Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Military Order of the World War in annual convention assembled at West Point, N. Y., October 1936, recommends legislation to make obligatory the registration of all aliens including finger printing and other identifications, who are now residing in the United States; and be it further
Resolved, That we recommend laws requiring the registration, photographing, and fingerprinting of all aliens hereafter entering the United States for permanent or temporary residence and that identification cards be issued to such aliens with such penalty of deportation, etc., for any violence of the regulations.
In view of the widespread unrest, due largely to alien influences, we urge that Congress enact legislation referred to above at an early date. Very sincerely yours,
Edwin S. BETTELHEIM, JR.,
Adjutant General. (The following statement was ordered incorporated in the record at this point:)
NATIONAL Council, JUNIOR ORDER
Philadelphia, April 26, 1937. The Junior Order American Mechanics, organized in 1853, now nearing its eighty-fourth birthday, espoused the restriction of immigration as a principle, object or tenet at the time of its beginning, and has steadfastly promoted that idea over a stretch of more than fourscore years.
We hold that the future welfare of America and her institutions depends upon good citizenship. As has been aptly and appropriately said by a president of the United States, in his report to Congress, on the subject of Restriction of Immigration:
"Our American institutions were created by people who had a background of self-government. New arrivals should be limited to our capacity to absorb them into ranks of good citizenship. America must be kept American.
For this purpose, it is necessary to continue a policy of restricted immigration. Whatever method of inspection or selection is adopted would insure the admission of those with the largest capacity and best intention becoming citizens. I am convinced that our present economic and social conditions warrant a limitation of those to be admitted. We should find additional safety in a law requiring the immediate registration of all aliens. Those who do not want to be partakers of the American spirit ought not to settle in America."
The subject of immigration and its restriction is a very controversia one. When it is under consideration, and especially with reference to new legislation, it affords arguments and differences of opinion. Racial differences breed troublə and cause the taking of sides. There are other sources of opposition, among which may be mentioned:
People who think the law does not permit the admission of enough ordinary laborers to perform the rough, hard work.
Those who, for gain or profit, want everybody admitted, except the insane, criminal and diseased;
Those who think that the hiatus or migrations of people should not be impeded;
Those who, for religious, racial or family reasons, want more of their own to become residents of the United States;
Whose who would pick out skilled workers and admit them without regard to families, or, to put it in another way, to select, distribute and supervise.
The Immigration Act of 1924, with certain amendments and modifications, is now in force and effect. This law is the fixed and settled policy of the American people, in the matter of the control and regulation of immigration. This law, briefly, preserves the basic immigration law of 1917; it embraces the principle of numerical limitation contained in the act of May 19, 1921; it changes the quota basis from the census of 1910 to that of 1890; reduces the yearly quota from 3 percent to 2 percent, provides for selection of immigrants of whatever source; reduces classes of exempted aliens; provides that admissibility must be proven by alien rather than by United States; excludes immigrants ineligible to naturalization under our laws.
The act of 1924 divides all immigrants into two classes—quota and nonquota. Both classes must secure visas. However, only those in the quota class are counted to fill the quotas allotted to the various countries.
Nonquota immigrants include: Unmarried children under 18 years of age, or wife of citizen of the United States, residing therein at the time of filing of petition required in section 9;
An immigrant, previously lawfully admitted to the United States, who is returning from temporary visit abroad;
An immigrant who is a bona-fide student, 15 years of age, for study at an accredited school, college, academy, seminary, or university;
An immigrant who was born in the_Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, Republic of Mexico, Republic of Cuba, Republic of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, or an independent country of Central or South America, his wife, his unmarried children under 18 years of age, if accompanying or following to join him;
An immigrant minister of any religious denomination or professor of college, and his wife, his unmarried children under 18 years of age, if accompanying or following to join him.
It requires only a cursory examination of this act of 1924, to show that it is filled with humane provisions. As a matter of fact, th Commissioner General of Immigration, in his official report for the fiscal year 1925 refers to the Immigration Act of 1924 as a “law with a heart."
Under the quota provisions of this act immigrants were admitted as follows: Fiscal year
12, 483 1932. 12, 983 1935.
17, 207 1933