« ÎnapoiContinuați »
The President further said: Those who do not want to be partakers of the American spirit ought not to settle in America.
Now, the report of the Secretary of Labor, to which reference has been made, indicates that in the last few years, and particularly since the depression set in, there have been more emigrations than there have been immigrations—those going out-referring, of course, to the quota provisions. That has been true in the last few years, but that is a very poor commentary on those who come here with the idea of becoming permanent citizens, and at the first signs of distress they are ready to go back, to leave this country, and it is a doubtful criterion, gentlemen, in determining this question of who is fit and who is unfit to become citizens. It seems to me that those who run from a financial depression, certainly indicate by that action that they did not come here with any intention of doing anything except getting a job. They certainly do not evidence the intention of permanent citizenship. If I had my way about it, and they ran out that way in times like that, I would let them stay out.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Do you happen to have the figures showing the excess of emigration over immigration?
Mr. WILMETH. Yes, sir.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. I think it might be well to put those into the record of the hearing.
Mr. WILMETH. It is in the report of the Secretary of Labor. In 1935 there were 18,207 quota immigrants admitted, or 11 percent of the available admissions under the quota of 153,774. In that year 38,834 left the United States.
Senator ScHWELLENBACH. But there were 154,000 came in altogether, were there not, quota and nonquota?
Mr. WilMETH. There were in 1935, 179,721 admitted during that year, both quota and nonquota. That was rather a heavy exodus, and I think it is attributable to the fact of unemployment and other things following in the wake of the slacking up of business.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Do you happen to have the figures of immigration prior to the depression?
Mr. WILMETH. No. I have 1931. The total that year was 280,679 ad both quota and nonquota. I have the averåge from 1925 to 1928, inclusive. The average is 310,308 per annum of both quota and nonquota immigrants, and from 1929 to 1932 the average was 136,523.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. I think, if I may, I will put into the record at this point the statement of immigration into the United States and estimated decrease in alien population due to immigration, naturalization, and deaths, from 1917 through 1936. This shows that the immigration during our so-called prosperity years, with the exception of 1932, was much higher than it was in 1934, 1935, and 1936.
Mr. WILMETH. Quite right.
Immigration to the United States and estimated decrease in alien population due
to emigration, naturalization, and deaths from 1917 through 1936
Mr. WILMETH. As Captain Trevor said this morning, there was some slacking up of admissions, due to regulations issued by the Department of State, principally on the ground that those were not granted viasas who were apt to or might become a public charge. We note from recent reports, however, of the Secretary of Labor that that is beginning gradually to ascend. The number is increasing. We want to back Senator Reynolds' bill for restriction and to make regulation a positive matter of law rather than regulation. Regulations may be flexible, often are, due to influences of one kind or another, not necessary to mention. His bill will fix and determine the quotas definitely.
Now, if I may be permitted, I would like to discuss briefly immigration of the quota and nonquota type. The quota, as has been men
. tioned, is 153,774, based upon the measure by which that was determined, the census of 1890. The nonquota, of course, is without number, indeterminable, but we note in running through and examining the reports of the Secretary of Labor that the nonquota average from 3 to 9 times the quota admissions. So that the nonquota proposition is one of the most important to determine. When we come to speak of deportation, it includes, of course, both quota and nonquota.
We do not know what would be the nonquota admissions now if the quota admissions were up to the maximum, but unquestionably they would be very much higher.
During the last year it appears from reports of the Secretary of Labor that the nonquota admissions were three times the quota admissions. They have been as high as nine times the quota admissions. If the quota admissions were to be the determining factor as to the number of nonquota admissions, then it necessarily follows that as you restrict or cut down the number of quota admissions, there will be a corresponding decrease in the nonquota.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. I wish you would explain the reason for your contention that the nonquota number is controlled by the quota number. What is the relationship between the two that causes you to conclude that?
Mr. Wilmeth. The act of 1924 divides immigrants into quota and nonquota classes, and only the quota are counted against the quota requirements of these various countries. The reason I make that statement is this: Nonquota immigrants include unmarried children under 18 years of age, a wife of a citizen of the United States residing therein at the time of filing the petition required in section 9 of the act of 1924. That is one. That is residence.
Second, an immigrant previously lawfully admitted to the United States, who is returning from temporary absence abroad. An immigrant who is a bona fide student, 15 years of age, for study.
. That scarcely runs more than 1,200 or 1,500 a year.
An immigrant who was born in the Dominion of Canada—which, of course, is not within the act-an immigrant who was born in the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, the Republic of Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, or an independent country of Central or South America; an immigrant minister of any religious denomination, or professor of a college, and his wife Professor Trevor covered a case of that kind this morning—his unmarried children under 18 years of age, if accompanying or following to join him.
These exceptions to the quota, or these provisions in addition to the quota, not entirely, but for the most part affect families or relatives of those who are now here and those who have come in as seed-stock immigrants. That is not true with reference to students, nor does it hold good with reference to those in the Western Hemisphere.
This shows us, gentlemen, that the present immigration law is filled with humane provisions, many of which are as exceptions to the quota provisions of the law. The Commissioner General of Immigration in his official report for 1925, in commenting on the new Immigration Act of 1924, called it "a law with a heart.” He did that because it made provision in these exceptions here for nonquota people to come in, to those who were dependent upon or relatives of or in some way related to the original immigrant.
Senator REYNOLDS. Or students who wanted to come in?
Mr. WILMETH. Yes, I presume so, though the student has never been a large item, not within the past 7 or 8 years.
Senator REYNOLDS. But he was not embodied in the nonquota category?
Mr. WILMETH. He is in the nonquota and, by the way, the KerrCoolidge bill, if it had been enacted, would have conferred upon students here citizenship, practically without regard to the requirements of the immigration law. However, that is not a big item.
Notwithstanding the low number of quota immigrants admitted for 5 years, 1931, 9132, 1933, 1934, and 1935, official reports show the following total aliens admitted: 280,679 in 1931, 174,871 in 1932, 150,728 in 1933, 163,904 in 1934, and 179,721 in 1935, and 157,467 in 1936. The nonquota far exceeds the quota immigrants, and it is in this particular that the act of 1924 needs drastic revision, and that is what the Reynolds bill proposes to do and will do if enacted into law. It will quota these nonquota authorizations to enter now, and it will base the quota on 10 percent of the number of nonquota immigrants who entered this country in 1930. We think that is highly desirable. We think that this nonquota is the stop gap, the slip gap through which a great many have entered; in fact, too many. So far as our examination goes, it indicates that when quota immigrants are admitted in a high number during the fiscal year, the nonquota immi
, grants are correspondingly higher than in the year when the quota is in the lower brackets.
Reports show that nonquota countries, that is, countries of the Western Hemisphere, contributed 51,000 nonquota immigrants in 1935. If the Reynolds restriction bill is enacted into law, a quota will be placed on these countries of the Western Hemisphere. And why should there not be? There is every reason why there should be. Read the reports of the Secretary of Labor. They show that during this depression Mexicans went across the border going back home by the thousands. They were here for the purpose of earning wages, not for permanent residence. They were here in competition with our own American working people.
We are advocating this restriction bill, S. 1366, on the ground that it is in the interest of the American working man. He is subjected now to a competition for jobs and positions in employment that we consider unreasonable and unfair. He is subjected to that competition here which is not accorded to our alien nationals abroad. All we are asking for the people of the Western Hemisphere, or for any other country, is that they will treat our nationals just as we treat theirs under this new law. For instance, take the western hemisphere countries, where their quota is on 10 percent of those who entered in 1930. There is a discretion, as was brought out here this morning, given to the State Department to enter into a reciprocal agreement by which they can swap citizens, to put it bluntly. There is nothing unfair about that—let as many of theirs come in as ours go out to their respective countries. It is hard for my association to understand why we should let Mexican people come in here in large numbers when the restrictions of their immigration law almost exclude our own citizens, as was so ably brought out by Senator Reynolds this morning
A good deal is heard now days about the "good neighbor" proposition-and I am for that too—but we do not want to play the good neighbor and the good Samaritan to our own detriment and disadvantage, and that is what we are doing. When we had a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee a little more than a year ago, it was brought out at that time that it was estimated that there were more than 1,000,000 unnaturalized aliens in America on relief. That is a tremendous burden on the taxpayers of this nation. Take a million men-and it has been higher than that, according to the
late Colonel McCormick-at a dollar a day, a million dollars a day, $365,000,000 a year, money coming out of the pockets of the taxpayers of this Nation. Now, if the State Department had the authority under regulation to exclude those and to refuse visas to those who were liable to become a public charge, why should we not have a law here to get rid, within a reasonable time, of those who are , a public charge? And that is what the Reynolds bill gives you after 6 months.
We are pleading here to day, gentlemen, for the American taxpayer. We are pleading here today for the unemployed American citizen who is walking the streets, even with times better as they are. We feel that the American ought to have the employment, and as canny Cal Coolidge said, I did not agree with him and his politics, or a lot of other things, but I agree with him when he said that America was entitled to the first consideration, and its citizens should have the first call, and we are pleading for that, and this bill gives the President the privilege under the Reynolds bill of cutting this 153,774 accredited quota immigrants down to 10 percent, which ought not, in our estimation, to work a hardship. The Secretary of Labor says here that for this last year the quota immigration was 12.5 percent of the quota. For last year it was 11 percent of the quota. Well, if they can get along with that number of admissions during hard times, they ought to be able to agree to that sort of legislation without complaint.
Some people say we are liable to get into trouble with our good neighbors if Congress enacts a law that will bear down to hard on their nationals. It has not been many years since Congress put on the exclusion act for the Japanese nationals. I remember many years ago when the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. Those things were not pleasant, but public policy demanded that it be done, and it was done and it was made to stick. We feel that the cutting down of these quotas as proposed in this Reynolds bill will be for the best interests of the American people, the workingman, the taxpayers of the Nation, and we sincerely hope that you may see your way clear to recommend this bill for the favorable consideration of Congress. It seems to be due to our people. We are hunting now for new sources of revenue.
Senator REYNOLDS. Mr. Wilmeth, in considering the question of applying the quota system to the Western Hemisphere, may I respectfully call to your attention the fact that the combined populations of Mexico, the countries of both Central and South America, the West Indies, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, approximate the population of 127,000,000 which we have in the United States--approximate, I say; and further, with the increased modern facilities of intercourse, transportation between the peoples of the North and South American Continents. that is to say, Mexico, the United States and Canada, by way of airplane facilities, which are spreading most phenomenally, and by way of better steamship lines, and by way of the development of the PanAmerican Highway, which we hope to see some day extended to the Canal Zone, and probably down the west coast of South America, as well as down the east coast of South America, that the number of immigrants desiring to come to this country annually will be materially increased, and before that hour arrives now is the time for us to give due consideration to the question of making application of the quota