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prisons and reformatories. Out of that number of 45,091, only 2,846, or 6.3 percent, were foreign-born, although the foreign-born constitute 12.3 percent of our population. So from the standpoint of crime there is certainly no such emergency or condition as to justify, it seems to me, the provisions of this bill.
Taking them up in detail, we first come to section 1. Paragraph 1 provides for the deportation of any alien who has been convicted of an offense which may be punishable by imprisonment for a term of 1 year, or for a crime involving moral turpitude. A crime involving moral turpitude may be a petty theft of only a few dollars. In going over some of the actual cases of aliens that would be covered by this provision, I remember one or two of an alien father who was convicted of a theft of coal from railroad yards, stolen for the sake of a destitute wife and children. There was a similar case where an alien had tampered with his gas meter, putting a slug quarter in it, or something of that kind, and manipulating it so the family might have some light and heat. Aliens of that sort would have to be deported, without any leeway whatever. No matter how trivial the offense, any crime which involves moral turpitude, or which is punishable by the term of imprisonment of 1 year, would subject the alien to deportation. If we had the time, which I have not had, to run through the statutes of our several States I think we would be amazed at the number of offenses where fine and imprisonment for as much as 1 year is provided. Even if the judge should remit the fine and sentence, that would not under the terms of this provision prevent deportation. Even if the alien were pardoned after conviction he would still have to be deported. It seems to me that goes to a degree of cruelty that the country would be unwilling to tolerate.
The second paragraph of the first section proposes to repeal the 5-year limitation which now applies to certain classes of aliens excluded from admission into the United States. The present law says that any such alien who may, despite the statute, be admitted, may be deported only within 5 years. Certain other groups, where the reason is more serious, may be deported at any time after entry. This seems to wipe out any statute of limitations, such as we generally have, in reference to any offense.
What would it apply to? It would apply to persons who should be excluded as likely to become a public charge after 5 years. It would apply to all contract labor. We are in a rather anomalous situation, excluding a good many people today because they are likely to become a public charge, or if they get employment then exclude them as contract labor. But if such persons should get in and after 5 years it was discovered by persons unfriendly or otherwise, they would have to be deported according to this provision. It would apply to children under 16. We should read section 3 of the immigration law in order to get a sense of the sweeping change such a repeal of that statute of limitations would work.
Paragraph 3 applies to violations of State narcotic laws. That is one of the provisions of the old Kerr-Coolidge bill which I think was generally approved. I think it has been suggested that it ought to follow the Federal statute, which excepts addicts, although that is not so serious.
Paragraph 4, it seems to me, is rather extraordinary. After all, if we deport the violator of the State or Federal narcotic law, we have one very far.
I think paragraph 5, as was said yesterday, goes further than it should go in making deportable members of the alien's family who encourage or assist in any way, by letter or otherwise, any member of that family abroad to come into the country illegally. After all, human ties are very close and relationship means a good deal, and that sort of thing does happen. It is not to be condoned, but, on the other hand, it is not so serious, it seems to me, that deportation should be visited upon them in those circumstances, at least not for the first offense.
Take paragraph 7, which would deport any alien who had been convicted of possessing or carrying any concealed or dangerous weapon. Think of what that might be. Many of our communities have laws against the carrying or possessing of firearms. Here you have an alien family, or a man who perhaps has a revolver in his place of business. I know of one such case. He had it there without a license to protect himself from theft. If he was found guilty of that he would automatically be deported. We know the practice of carrying firearms in parts of the United States is very great, and certainly many people come to this country from countries where they have different conditions and where such practices are quite common. No exception is made. Automatically every alien so convicted must be deported. It would bear very hard on certain labor difficulties. I understand that many of the large labor unions are very much opposed to such a provision.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Why?
Mr. LEWIS. One of the reasons has been that in our labor history where there have been disputes between employer and employees, resulting in strikes and labor difficulties, where they wanted to frame a person, one of the most common practices has been to plant a gun on his person or in the home of the so-called troublemaker. I think you will find that has been a very common experience.
Section 2 seems to grant something to the Department of Labor, but perhaps really grants no real discretion more than it has had, because it has been the common practice, I think, of the Department to fix the time of deportation in individual cases according to the circumstances of the case. This seeks to limit such reasonable discretion, in a large number of instances. It provides for a suspension if the alien has a dependent wife or child who is an American citizen. How about the alien who has a dependent wife or child who is not a citizen? It is a very limited group of cases which are covered here. Certainly, it would seem to me that the general provisions of the Kerr-Coolidge bill, permitting them to exercise some discretion so far as aliens of good character are concerned, is a much more constructive solution of that particular problem. As you undoubtedly know, Mr. Dies has introduced a similar measure in the House of Representatives in the present Congress. Perhaps that is an attempt to compromise, such as you hoped for yesterday.
I would like to say just a word about section 3, which provides in effect for arrest without warrant. My objection to that is not that it empowers the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization to designate who shall have such power-that is a perfectly reasonable provision-but it goes to the thing as a whole. As a matter of fact, that particular proposition was originally framed by the Department of Labor. It was one of the provisions of the Kerr-Coolidge bill. It deals with a situation which we know exists.
But it has been intentionally omitted from the bill I just referred to, which is the successor to the Kerr-Coolidge bill. The suggestion has been made that such a provision is unconstitutional, as against the fourth and fifth amendments. It would certainly invade the rights of a person against unreasonable search and seizure, and due process of law, to permit arrests without a warrant, which is what in effect this section provides. It is easy to abuse that power. We know that even without it that has been abused. I recall an incident some years ago where an overzealous officer of the Immigration and Naturalization Service held over 600 people overnight in Detroit, and it resulted in two people being deported. I do not think that sort of thing should be tolerated, and this provision, even if it were constitutional, would perhaps invite more of that sort of thing.
The last bill, S. 1366, deals primarily with immigration, reducing quotas 90 percent and creating quotas for the countries in the Western Hemisphere. Is such a measure necessary? Without taking any stand in regard to the number of aliens who should be admitted to the United States, it seems to me it can be urged that any such proposition as this is unnecessary and unwise at the present time. As a matter of fact, during the last 5 years an average of less than 10 percent of the quotas has been admitted to the United States. We have had a very drastic reduction in immigration during this recent period of economic difficulty. It seems to me there is no reason for tampering with the law under which that has been possible.
Certainly, to extend the quota system to the countries of the Western Hemisphere at this time, when the present administration has been making a special effort to promote the "good neighbor" policy, I think would create ill will and misunderstanding which would go far to counterbalance many of the good effects of the American policy in this hemisphere in recent years.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. On that point I would like to call your attention to the fact that yesterday Congress passed the neutrality bill for the purpose, if possible, of preventing our being drawn into any European or Asiatic war. That bill contains one of the most important features for the protection of our country and the nations of Europe. During the World War our ships entered the area that was known as the war zone, and the Germans torpedoed them and American lives were lost. As a result we were drawn into the war.
Under this bill that was passed yesterday it was provided that the President shall have the power to put into effect, if he deems it desirable from the point of view of the preservation of peace in this country, what is commonly called the cash-and-carry system. Any American citizen selling goods or products for shipment to a belligerent nation, or to a neutral nation for transshipment to a belligerent nation, must divest himself of all title to those goods.
Unquestionably, that policy will result in a lessening of our trade with the nations of Europe and Asia, if they should engage in war. That is going to result in building up a sentiment in this country, among those who sell their goods which are produced here for sale in some European or Asiatic country, against the neutrality policy. There is only one way by which we can effectively protect that policy, and that is by the development of new avenues of trade, of new markets for our goods. I think every deep student of the subject of neutrality recognizes that if we expect compliance with that neutral
ity policy we must develop trade markets in South America. To change our immigration policy toward South America or Central America, it seems to me, might result in the failure of any effort we might make in the development of new avenues of trade to protect our neutrality policy.
Mr. LEWIS. I think that is very true. Any such proposition as this is unnecessary, because immigration has under the present statute been cut to a negligible amount through the provision excluding a person who is likely to become a public charge. That is true of Europe and of South American countries.
Of course, any such arbitrary reduction of quotas as here provided would work further the greatest kind of hardship. We cannot have a body of 130,000,000 people, as we have, so many of them immigrants or children of immigrants, without having the closest family ties between this country and Europe, and without many of those people doing what they can under our law to reunite themselves. This 90percent reduction in the case of a country like Great Britain, where the quota is 65,000, would work a serious hardship. That reduction applies equally to all the smaller countries, and it would practically wipe out or reduce the minimum of 100, under which for years there have been many cases of familes being reunited. Any such arbitrary reduction, even if immigration reduction by statute were deemed advisable, should be guarded against.
As you have just said, it seems a very unfortunate time to tamper with our immigration laws. I think we know from experience that this is a very delicate matter. We know there are likely to be international repercussions, and when the situation has been in a sense stabilized, when we are living in a period when there is so much nationalistic feeling, to raise this whole question and set an example of the United States further increasing that nationalistic feeling on the part of other countries, I think would be most unfortunate. Immigration at the present time is at the lowest point it has been for over 100 years. The present law has worked reasonably well. The number of aliens we have in the country at the moment is the lowest we have had for many decades. So there seems to be no reason for the proposals which are here made.
I wish to discuss very briefly one or two of the individual proposals in section 3, seeking to introduce something entirely new in our immigration history, in that it proposes that no immigration visa shall be issued to any applicant who shall fail to pass an intelligence test equivalent to or higher than a normal rating of American white stock, or whose reputation or personal characteristics in the judgment of the consul would render the applicant not readily assimilable among the preponderant element of population of the United States.
That is placing a pretty difficult job on our consuls, and giving them a chance to be arbitrary, which goes far beyond the bonds of sound policy. A similar provision to that was contained in the Starnes-Reynolds bill in the last Congress. When that bill was up for hearing about a year ago, I took the matter up with a professor of Columbia University who had made a detailed study of intelligence tests. That was Prof. Ben. D. Wood, director of the bureau of collegiate educational research. This is what he had to say about it:
The reliability and validity of intelligence tests depend upon a number of factors, such as illiteracy, past educational opportunities, cultural background, etc.
The intelligence tests used in this country have not been "translated" into very many foreign languages, and even for these few foreign languages, the results are not very satisfactorily, if at all, validated. We find great difficulty in interpreting tests when applied to foreign-born applicants for admission to Columbia College and to other American colleges. We found the same or greater difficulty in interpreting the results of the United States Army intelligence test in 1917 and 1918, when applied to native-born foreign-language-speaking recruits, such as Mexicans, and also when applied to certain native-born white groups, such as those from the Appalachian Mountain regions, and other underprivileged sections. A man like Sergeant York, for example, would be much underrated by the Army intelligence test, merely because the test is in terms of language and cultural factors which are different from those in which the sergeant grew up.
In view of the difficulties and ambiguities which we would encounter in applying section 5 to the population now within our borders, it would appear to me to be difficult if not impossible to apply this law in all the countries where we have consuls, countries of such variable linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
It seems to me that comment was pertinent and interesting in the light of this proposal, which I would believe to be impractical of application and unwise.
Section 4 seeks to throw a new burden upon the President by directing that the Secretary of State shall bring to his attention applications for entry by any person or persons not otherwise excluded whose activities or reputation fall within the purview of the section, and permits the President to direct that a visa be denied. As was said yesterday, there may be some reason for hoping that there will be a right of appeal granted from the actions of our consuls in denying visas, but I question whether this particular responsibility should be placed upon the President, as this section provides.
It seems to me that section 6 takes a very backward step in the matter of our deportation laws. In 1929 Congress enacted a law which made any attempt to enter the United States after deportation a felony, and forbade admission to such person and ordered that he be deported. Several months later Congress discovered it had acted somewhat hastily and amended that by permitting aliens who had already been deported, but had been granted permission to reenter the country, to reenter. In 1932 Congress further amended that law, which experience had shown worked out far too strictly and inhumanly, by permitting one year after deportation an alien once deported to make application to the Secretary of Labor and, if granted permission, to reenter. The present proposal seeks to wipe out any possibility of an alien coming back. It would go back to the position adopted by Congress, and since amended.
It seems to me that is unsound, and that there should be some flexibility and leeway in our law, because there are many instances where an alien who perhaps came in illegally to join his family had to be deported, and it is unwise and inhumane to prevent such an alien from ever making application to come legally into the United States. Certainly that discretion should be allowed somewhere in the Government, and I think this proposal seeks to prevent that and is very unwise and unsound.
The seventh section is similar to one in one of the other bills, providing that no immigration visa shall be issued without fingerprinting. That would apply to visitors from Canada and England, and I think would be very certain to create ill feeling, and there is no reason whatever for it.
Mr. Chairman, I think that covers my general analysis of these bills. I hope your committee will decide to report them unfavorably,