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Notwithstanding the low number of quota immigrants admitted for the above 5 years, the official reports show the following total aliens admitted: 1931
280, 679 1932
174, 871 1933
150, 728 1934.
163, 904 1935.
179, 721 1936.
157, 467 The difference arises from nonquota immigrants. It will be seen, therefore, that the nonquota far exceeds that of the quota immigrants, and it is in this particular that the act of 1924 needs revision.
The official report of the Secretary of Labor shows, for the fiscal year 1935, the 17,207 quota immigrants amounts to 11 percent of the available admissions under the quota contained in the act of 1924, which is 153,774.
The official report indicates that when quota immigrants are admitted in a higher number during a fiscal year, the nonquota immigrants are correspondingly higher than in the year when the quota is in the lower brackets. Report shows, further, that nonquota countries, that is, countries of the Western Hemisphere, contributed 51,081 of the admissions for 1935; these are entirely on a nonquota basis.
Senate bill 1366 (H. R. 4354) proposes to fix the quota, in the case of any nation whose quota has been determined and proclaimed under the Immigration Act of 1924, at 10 percent of such quota, or, in other words, to reduce the quota admissions 90 percent of the present total of 153,774.
This bill also provides that nonquota countries of the Western Hemisphere shall be assigned quotas equal to 10 percent of the number of nonquota immigration visas issued for said countries of the Western Hemisphere during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1930, to be confined to immigrants born in the areas of such countries.
This bill further provides 100 percent of the quota established for such nationality shall be made available in each year for the issuance of immigration visas to the fathers, mothers, husbands, or wives by marriage, occurring after January 1, 1933, of citizens of United States who are 21 years of age or over.
It further provides for the admission of quota immigrants who are unmarried children under 21 years of age, or wives or husbands or the mother or father of alien residents of the United States who are lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.
We submit, under the workings of the Immigration Act of 1924, that while quota immigrants have been reduced, owing to selection abroad and the issuance of visas and control, nevertheless, nonquota provisions of the act have been too liberal and have resulted in more aliens being admitted than our country has needed or is called upon to receive.
We submit that quotas for the last 4 or 5 years have necessarily been low, by reason of the depression in this country, and that, as times are now better, there will be a large increase of quota immigrants seeking admission. The report for 1935 of the Secretary of Labor bears out this contention, and it is confidently expected that quota immigrants will, under improved economic and industrial conditions in the United States, show an increase up to the total limit of quota immigrants permitted under the act. This will carry with it a corresponding increase in nonquota immigrants, and it is predicted that it will be but a short time until the stream of immigrants will be largely augmented.
The Secretary of Labor says, in official report for 1935, that quota aliens returning have exceeded quota aliens entering the United States. It is our opinion that this is due entirely to economic conditions and to the restraints which have been placed in some States upon the employment of alien labor on public works. This does not furnish, to our mind, any safe rule of guide for the influx and outgo of immigration under bettered economic conditions.
We think that the proposed reduction in quota is justified upon sound economic grounds. There are two controlling reasons which influence us in reaching this conclusion:
(1) That, in the employment and the giving out of jobs in this country, Americans should have the first preference.
(2) Aliens here during the depression were on relief, in large numbers; the exact number being unknown, but sufficient in number to cause an outlay of millions of dollars monthly for their maintenance and support. It seems to us that this places aliens on relief in the category of public charges, and ought to be sufficient justification for returning them to their own country.
There appears no good reason why the American taxpayer, who is burdened with mounting taxes, should be subjected to the additional burden of having to support aliens here from other countries, and especially of those countries who owe the United States vast war debts which they are failing to pay.
We submit, further, that there is no need at this time for additional workmen, either common or skilled, in the United States. We have a vast army of unemployed, many of whom would gladly accept any available employment, but who are, in many instances, prevented from doing so by reason of the fact that an alien has the job or position.
We believe that the doctrine of giving an American the preference in every relation of life, and that means the giving out of jobs and employment, is a good, sound doctrine. Furthermore, we submit that the American workingman is entitled to protection from the cheap labor which is often met among alien workmen. As a nation, we have found it to be a safe policy to put barriers of protection around our industries, but it has only been in recent years that we have established protection for the working people of America from the alien hordes who come from other lands.
We think that now is the time to put up the bars and to practically shut off immigration. It cannot be argued that this is going to work any great hardship on any nation. We point to the fact that it became necessary for Congress to enact exclusion laws to keep out of this country certain Asiatic nationals. If Congress could enact exclusion legislation in the face of such determined opposition as it met, it would seem reasonable that it could also strengthen its immigration laws to the point of amounting to practically cessation of immigration.
It may be contended that nations of the Western Hemisphere, now on a nonquota basis, should be given the "good-neighbor” treatment, and that their nationals should be allowed to be admitted to the United States. We hardly think such contention is tenable. The proposed bill carries with it authority for the Secretary of State to enter into reciprocal arrangements with these several countries of the Western Hemisphere, now on a nonquota basis, for as many of their nationals to be admitted to the United States in a given year as our American citizens may enter their respective countries. It seems to us that this is a fair and equitable basis. As it now stands, reports indicate that our country is receiving many more aliens from these countries than they are receiving from us. This bill will cure that evil and will place these countries of the Western Hemisphere on a strictly quota basis, based on 10 percent of the 1930 nonquota admissions from these said countries.
These are some of the facts and conditions which force us to appeal to Congress to further restrict immigration of aliens into the United States, as proposed in Senate bill 1366.
We trust, therefore, that our patriotic appeal for the benefit of our working people here in America may receive the favorable consideration of your honorable committee, in that it will report this said bill to the Senate, with recommendation for favorable action. Respectfully submitted.
NATIONAL COUNCIL, JUNIOR ORDER UNITED AMERICAN MECHANICS,
STATEMENT OF JOHN B. TREVOR, NEW YORK CITY, PRESIDENT
Senator REYNOLDS. Mr. Trevor, please state your name and occupation.
Mr. TREVOR. My name is John B. Trevor. I live in New York State. I am president of the American Coalition, which organization maintains offices in the Southern Building in Washington, D. C.
Senator REYNOLDS. You understand that we have before this committee for consideration at this time Senate bills 1363, 1364, 1365, and 1366?
Mr. TREVOR. Yes.
Senator REYNOLDS. As a coauthor of these bills, I would appreciate it very much if you would be good enough to take up 1363 first, and then the rest of the bills in the order in which they were mentioned by the chairman at the beginning of this meeting.
Mr. TREVOR. Yes, Senator; I will take these bills up in the order in which the Senator referred to them.
The first is S. 1363, providing for the deportation of aliens inimical to the public interest and aliens on relief. That is in reality a catch-all bill to cover aliens in the United States who are not specifically referred to in existing statutes, or who might be considered by interpretation as outside the scope of the general deportation bill." Cases have arisen, as the Senator is aware, in which aliens have come into this country who are generally recognized as undesirable, and who have been the cause of dissension, turmoil, and trouble. It has been alleged frequently that they are not deportable under existing statutes.
Now, I believe I am correct in saying that every country in the world, except the United States, holds that the executive power may expel undesirable aliens. That power has been exercised against citizens of the United States on more than one occasion.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Do you mean by other countries?
Mr. TREVOR. Yes. It is generally recognized under international law that an alien of a foreign country is in a country solely as a matter of courtesy and privilege extended to him, and not as a matter of right. Otherwise, the sovereignty of the state would be impaired.
Now, in the light of what I have said, it seems to me that the first section of this bill is eminently desirable. It confers the power upon the President of the United States to order the deportation of any alien of group of aliens who are inimical to the public interest Oi course, he does not have to exercise that power unless he sees fit. Naturally, he will not do it unless the reasons are paramount and obviously outside the scope of the general deportation statutes which are administered by the Secretary of Labor.
The second section provides that the Secretary of Labor may take into custody all aliens who have subsisted upon public or private relief for a period of 6 months after the enactment of this act and deport them forthwith to the country of their origin. That is a power which I believe has been exercised on more than one occasion by certain foreign countries. We have in this country an unknown number of aliens who are on relief. I have here an article written by Mr. Arthur Krock, the Washington correspondent of the New York Times, which I would like to put into the record.
Senator REYNOLDS. You wish to insert it at this point in the record? Mr. TREVOR. Yes. (The article referred to is here set forth in full, as follows:)
IN WASHINGTON- Why CONGRESS MAY TAKE UP THE ALIEN LAW
(By Arthur Krock) WASHINGTON, December 22.-If Congress should formulate and pass at this session modifications of the naturalization laws to condone illegal residence under certain conditions, temporarily, the motivation of such action will be disclosed when real unemployment statistics are subsequently collected and published by the Government. One reason why the administration has been loath to make public detailed figures is because of a prevailing belief that there are hundreds of thousands of aliens of illegal residential status on the rolls.
So many cannot be deported for many reasons. Countries of their origin are not obliged to receive them. There are not enough ships to carry them. Such wholesale deportation would be far more cruel than any in history, including the exile of the Acadians, which was the background theme of Evangeline. Many of the unemployed aliens who would appear in any worth-while unemployment census are fugitives from countries where they were persecuted because of their political ideas. Others left their homeland because a dictator made it a crime to be born of certain ethnical stock. Doubtless the noncitizens whom the taxpayers of the United States are supporting include many who gained unlawful entry into American ports. But they merge into the vast group of transplanted human being who, in a time of distress, are peculiarly afflicted.
GRIEFS OF PUBLICITY
This is all very well from the humanitarian point of view. But if the facts are made official and public while the naturalization laws remain as they are, the opportunity afforded demagogues and strict constructionists will not be overlooked. There will be furious attacks against the Department of Labor and the Relief Administration uttered by persons representing many viewpoints. Since aliens illegally in the United States are subject to deportation, there will be proof of failure to enforce the law. Since infringements of quotas will be manifest, another unpunished violation will be equally apparent. And since it is not unreasonable, after all, for American taxpayers to resent levies, actual or potential, to provide livings for citizens of other countries, there will be a large, sincere, and normally humanitarian group that will raise the roof.
If a vast infiltration of aliens on the rolls of the unemployed shall be disclosed after the passage of a law clearly revealed as having been based on administration knowledge of facts not made available to the public, probably there will be a storm anyhow. But the legal irregularities of this section of the unemployment and relief problem will have been corrected. That is why some people of the administration, fearing that the ranks of the unemployed do contain great groups of aliens, and that the collection of actual statistics cannot much longer be dodged, are studying the naturalization laws with a view to suggesting emergency revision.
This correspondent does not pretend to any knowledge of the number, or the approximate number, of unemployed aliens of illegal residential status in the United States. He shares the belief that there are hundred of thousands, and has heard guesses of a million. He is aware of the anxiety on this point in the Administration, and that this anxiety is one reason why some of the President's aides have opposed an accurate census of the unemployed. The question of “What is unemployment” remains a high barrier to the collection of reliable statistics. But that is the sociological, administrative, and economic side. The other is politics, and the very practical dilemma of what to do with so many citizens of other countries who either now or eventually may have to be maintained by the American Government.
RESULT OF THE EMERGENCY
Manifestly, under the conditions which have been prevailing among the unemployed in this country, it was impossible for Administrator Hopkins and his Federal and State assistants to make an effective inquiry into the citizenship status of everyone who applied for relief. A liaison with the Department of Labor to establish the facts in anything like every instance was equally impossible. Relief is an immediate business. Hunger and destitution are affairs of the hour. Law is law, and worthy citizens have rights denied to worthy aliens, among them that of the support in hardship from the Government under which they live. Reasonable people would expect, and probably condone, infractions in a reasonable degree. But if a census should disclose what is feared by some in touch with the reemployment and relief activities in the United States, reason might fly out of the window, and Mr. Hopkins and Secretary Perkins might find themselves the centers of a storm violent enough to sweep them both out of office.
The Supreme Court meets and decides great questions—such as the constitutionality of this and that. Congress and the President wrestle with the Budget which, as the Gridiron wits last night suggested, a President in 1963 may be "beginning to start to begin to approach to contemplate beginning to balance” in 1970. Earthquakes in Central America renew the Navy's anxieties about the Panama Canal and the “one fleet” policy. And other important matters loom in the Capital.
But always and ievitably the question of relief and unemployment, of which the above is but a phase, emerges as the country's greatest problem. In handling it more money has been spent, and less accurate knowledge revealed, than in any other quarter of the New Deal.
Senator SchWELLENBACH. You may proceed.
Mr. TREVOR. Mr. Krock points out that there has been an unwillingness on the part of relief agencies of our Government to disclose the number of aliens on relief, the reason given being that such disclosure would undoubtedly result in a drastic demand that the Government take prompt action. This section is intended to provide reasonable relief to the taxpayers of this country who have carried these people at great expense.
In reference to the other bill, which requires the registration of aliens, it is quite probable that the information which we think the people of the United States are entitled to will be disclosed. I do not go further at this moment than to say that the organization I represent
I cordially endorses this bill introduced by Senator Reynolds as means of relieving the taxpayers of a burden which they should not be called upon to carry for a long period of time.
I may say that 6 months seems to be a reasonable length of time to provide for proper adjustment. If an alien cannot readjust himsel ithin 6 months it would be good economy to deport him and let him be supported by the country of his origin.
Senator REYNOLDS. That is all you wish to present on S. 1363?
Mr. TREVOR. Yes; that is all I wish to offer in respect to S. 1363. Now, with your permission, I will take up S. 1364.
That is a bill to provide for the registration of aliens in the United States and for other purposes. The bill is self-explanatory. It provides for an alien-registration law and an alien-registration board which includes the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Labor as heads of bureaus who may appoint representatives to serve upon such board.
As I understand the Senator's purpose in drafting the bill in this fashion, it is that the Secretary of State naturally would be a member of such a board, or his representative, in order to supervise any relations with aliens who are subjects of foreign countries and might conceivably, through the action of the executive branch of the Government, give rise to diplomatic representations in respect to their interests. For that reason, I think it is proper that the Senator has included such a provision in his bill.
The Attorney General, we believe, should also be represented, as the Senator provides, because aliens are constantly coming in conflictnot all of them, of course, but the undesirable element and those are the ones we are seeking to reach-with the law, and action by the judicial branch of our Government naturally makes it desirable that they should be advised as to the activities of foreigners who are in the United States. It gives information by which they can proceed rapidly to the arrest and detention of such aliens.
If my recollection is correct, Senator, there was a very recent case of importance which emphasized the desirability of some such legislation as this. One of the G-men was shot in a Western State, by an alien, and I understand that alien had been in the United States on more than one occasion. He was arrested in connection with the killing of an officer of our Government, and the fact was disclosed that he had been deported once and had returned.
I may say that I heard the address of the commissioner of immigration of the port of New York over the radio. As a matter of fact, I participated as one of those who discussed that question over the air.