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STUDY OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION LAWS
TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 1945
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. The Committee on Immigration and Naturalization met in the committee room, Old House Office Building, at 10:30 a. m., Hon. Samuel Dickstein, chairman, presiding.
Other members present were : Hon. John Lesinski, Hon. A. Leonard Allen, Hon. Ed Gossett, Hon. 0. C. Fisher, Hon. E. H. Hedrick, Hon. Edward H. Rees, Hon. Hubert S. Ellis, Hon Bernard W. (Pat) Kearney, Hon. Lowell Stockman, and Hon. James I. Dolliver.
Also present were Commissioner Ugo Carusi of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Herbert Wechsler, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice, as witnesses, and others.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. The meeting will please come to order.
Commissioner, we have asked you, as well as the Attorney General, to come here to discuss with the committee House Resolution 52. We would like you to give us a little summary of enlightenment on the matters pertaining to that resolution, which no doubt you have read.
Now we are not trying to tie you down to any particular policy or ask you to lay down a particular rule. However you, as the Commissioner of Immigration—with your background and experience-will be able to give us a little summary of what you believe should be done, what could be done, or what should not be done. You may proceed along those lines, and I assume some members may want to ask you some questions as you are proceeding with your statement. STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER UGO CARUSI, IMMIGRATION
AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Commissioner CARUSI. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, first of all, I am sorry to say that the Attorney General cannot come. He is sick in bed; otherwise he would have been here.
As I understand the chairman, I think I can be a bit more helpful if, at the start, I would point out some of the propositions you may wish to consider and which you may probably consider in greater detail later; and perhaps give you a few particulars under your questioning, and some of the pros and cons of each suggestion, and limit myself really to a bare outline of the subject because, I presume, there will be a day when you will have subcommittees that will go into these things thoroughly and we can take them up individually at that time.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. There is no question of that.
Commissioner Carusi. Let me add this, too, that hereafter when the committee will need statistics, factual information, reports, or things of that kind, we shall be happy to help you as far as we cap.
Now, speaking on postwar immigration, I have noticed from correspondence and things which have appeared in the press, how thinking is going on the subject; and so I shall address myself pretty much to those topics which seem to us to be of present concern.
There have been suggestions about quotas,, a suggestion that they be eliminated, a suggestion that immigration be stopped, a suggestion that the quota be increased, and so forth; or that certain parts of the quota be increased or reduced; that the quotas relating to certain countries or nationality groups be specially dealt with.
I think you ought to give consideration to this: that the quota law for the present should be left pretty much as it is, at least until we have seen what turn present international conferences take; perhaps even until the day that we shall see how geographic lines may change; present identities and sizes of countries, or peoples may be changed under peace treaties, or other compacts; for the time being we should operata under our present quota laws.
The quota, as you know, permits outside the western hemisphere the migration to this country of about 150,000 people a year. That is not such a figure as to cause us any concern one way or the other, either that it is too small or too large. It really does not make a whole lot of difference, as some people see it.
There is a suggestion also, and I just pass it to you for your consideration, that in any revision that may be considered of the quota law, some thought be given to this sort of a plan, that the quota law be fixed either as it is now or larger or smaller, as the judgment of Congress shall determine in the light of later investigtaions; but after it is fixed, the suggestion is made that the Congress provide an administrative method by which that figure may be changed on a finding, let us say, by several members of the Cabinet or by the President that the economic condition is such as to require it to be increased or decreased, depending on perhaps labor needs in this country or something of that kind.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. In other words, you would have a flexible provision in the law that would authorize the President to do those things?
Commissioner CARUSI. Yes; to authorize them to act on certain findings. It is a good deal like the flexible tariff and other similar laws.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. Yes.
Commissioner CARUSI. That is a suggestion that perhaps you would want to think about.
As to all those quota questions, I think right now slowness would be the desirable measure of procedure, because of the fact that things are changing internationally and otherwise, and we may want to feel our way a little more carefully before we make a decisive move.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. Commissioner Carusi, without trying to commit you to any specific plan, no doubt Germany will be split up into three parts or four parts and if we are to leave the quota allotment of Germany, which is the second favored nation of the world, with 27,000 a year, don't you think that this committee ought to do something in regard to the people who have been identified as part of Hitler's gang? They should not be permitted to enter this country under a quota and there ought to be some way of segregating the good sheep from the bad sheep from the German areas.
Commissioner CARUSI. Well, logic would suggest, of course, that for the internal security of the people of the United States we should
be very careful, whether it be by regulation of quotas or whether it be by screening of persons who come under the quota; we should watch out for that kind of person.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. In other words, probably no harm would be done by leaving the quota system alone until this committee is ready to go into it; because, as I understand the law, a man cannot enter this country just because he wants to come here, but he has to go through the legal processes of securing visas and there are no consuls in the areas we are talking about.
Commissioner CARUSI. That, as a practical matter, is true.
Commissioner CARUSI. That is true. However, there are some, for example, in Italy, and maybe there are one or two in France. I am not so sure of the latter. But even so, transportation prevents their coming, so for practical purposes we may say there can be no present immigration from those countries.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. Do you want to pursue further along those lines, or do you want to go to the next question? Commissioner CARUSI. I do not think I have any more to say
about the quota particularly.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. The next question is: Have you enemy aliens under supervision? Are they under your jurisdiction?
Commissioner CARUSI. In this sense only; and Mr. Wechsler is here to take part in this discussion: In a sense they are found under me. They are under our jurisdiction in the sense that we are their custodian.
Where alien enemies have been given hearings under the procedure established by the Attorney General and by the President, and they have been paroled or interned, they are under the supervision of the Immigration Service; that is, where they are physically in our custody in internment camps and where they are under official watchers under parole. On the question you raised in regard to internment, we look after them; as to the rules made for their general conduct, that is under the War Division, of which Mr. Herbert Wechsler is the head, and the Alien Enemy Unit under Edward J. Ennis, the head, who is here. They are in our physical custody now.
Chairman DickSTEIN. How many have you now?
Commissioner CARUSI. I believe 7,200 now, and that includes families of men who have been interned. In other words, where you intern a man and he has a wife and family, they just go with him as has been the case with the Japanese; the family goes with the man and that helps to make up the figure. Mr. Ennis can give you the figures of men and women who have been ordered interned on their own merits.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. Now I assume that the Immigration Service is going to keep those aliens in confinement until the war is over.
Commissioner CARUSI. The Immigration Service will keep them in custody as long as we are at war.
Chairman DICKSTEIN. How many internment camps does the Service have and where are they located?
Commissioner CARUSI. The German groups, that is, the main German body, are in Fort Lincoln, N. Dak. There are German seamen at Fort Stanton, N. Mex., and a few Italian seamen, and a few, a very few Japanese.
Santa Fe is essentially a Japanese camp for men. Kooskia, Idaho, about which there is some talk of abandonment, has a number of