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In World War I approximately 6,300 civilian alien enemies were arrested, and 2,300 of them were interned and the remainder were paroled.
The CHAIRMAN. That is World War I now.
Mr. ENNIS. Yes. In addition to the 2,300 civilians that were interned, 2,000 members of the German naval and military forces were interned here.
Mr. GOSSETT. How many is that now?
Mr. ENNIS. Two thousand German military personnel plus 2,300 civilians.
Now, by July 1919—that was 8 or 9 months after the cessation of hostilities in November 1918--by July 1919 the number of internees had been reduced to 500, either by the voluntary repatriation of 2,700 of them on two transports, or by parole.
Because, you understand, we were constantly reviewing the cases and determining who would be interned and who should be paroled.
And all but approximately 50 parolees had been released.
So what we were facing in July 1919, which was almost a year after the fighting stopped, was the release of our internee population of 500, which was the residue of the 2,300 originally interned and 50 who were still on parole.
And since the peace was expected to be signed it was the belief of Attorney General Gregory and Attorney General Palmer, his successor, in 1919, that these persons still interned perhaps could not be returned to Germany under the Alien Enemy Act (50 U. S. C. 21) because it provides by its terms that it shall be enforced only when there is a declared state of war or actual hostilities going on.
And it was anticipated that the treaty might be signed in 1919 and then, as Attorney General Gregory and Attorney General Palmer both explained in letters to this committee and to the Senate Immigration Committee, if the peace were signed, the application of the Alien Enemy Act would cease, and it would be necessary to have additional legislation to deport those persons still interned, and also persons who had been convicted of crimes involving war activities, such as espionage.
Mr. ALLEN. May I interrupt right there?
Mr. ALLEN. Were some of these persons interned prisoners that had been brought over here?
Mr. Ennis. No, sir. I am not discussing prisoners of war.
Mr. ALLEN. I am just wondering if there is any possibility of getting these fellows in and not being able to get rid of them.
Mr. ENNIS. No.
There were 2,000 German naval personnel interned here but they were on ships that we seized at the beginning of the war.
We did not have the practice of bringing prisoners here.
Mr. ALLEN. And the Attoney General held that we could not get rid of them after the war?
Mr. ENNIS. No. Let me explain.
You had then with your 2,300 civilians and your 2,000 military, navy, and merchant marine personnel, 4,300.
Now, we got rid of 2,700 of them by repatriating them to Germany in the course of hostilities, or at least in the course of an official state of war after hostilities ceased in November 1918 and before July 1919.
But the residue which we had left were 500 civilian internees.
It was feared these 500 were lawful residents of the United States. They could not be deported under the ordinary immigration laws. But we wanted to get rid of them because we considered them dangerous alien enemies who should not be allowed to live in this country, and, anticipating that a peace treaty would terminate our power to deport them
The CHAIRMAN. Pardon me. While the peace conference was going on you could deport them before the peace was actually signed?
Mr. ENNIS. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. And you felt that they should be deported because they were dangerous alien enemies.
Mr. ENNIS. That is right.
Now, the Alien Enemy Act pessed in 1798 provides that during a state of war the President may either intern or remove persons, alien enemies, from the United States, and while the war continues you can proceed under the Alien Enemy Act, but a peace would take it out of our power to repatriate or deport.
In addition there was a group of persons we desired to deport because they had committed offenses.
For these reasons it was thought legislation ought to be obtained, and it resulted in the act of May 10, 1920, which provides that if the Secretary of Labor finds after hearing that one of the following classes of person is an undesirable resident he shall be deported, under the ordinary deportation procedure, by issue of a warrant of arrest, a hearing, a determination, and a warrant of deportation.
The classes that were enumerated in the statute were: (1) Persons then interned.
(2) Persons convicted of vlolation of the Espionage and certain other acts.
(3) Persons convicted under other wartime statutes.
Now, you will find all of that statute except the first section, persons interned, which was temporary legislation, in the United States Code as section 157 of title 8.
That is presently effective law.
The reason that the first section, persons then interned, was not carried into the code was because, obviously, it was temporary legislation. Now, we come to the point of what we did under that statute.
The committee hearings show that representatives of the Department of Justice advised this committee that it was believed that upproximtaely 80 percent of the 500 internees would be found by the Secretary of Labor, after hearing, to be undesirable residents who should be deported.
We know from the cases reported in the Supreme Court, which upheld deportation under this act, and from the cases in the lower courts, that a number of persons were deported under this act of 1920 in the years 1920, 1921, 1922, and 1923.
We do not know the exact number of persons deported for the reason that the Immigration Service in giving its statistics on persons deported did not break them down into persons deported under the 1920 act and the persons deported under the 1917 act or persons deported under other statutes; but from statements made before the committee we feel that a very substantial number of the internees, were deported under the act of 1920, unless they chose to go voluntarily.
Now, the only way we could get you the exact figure if you wanted it
The CHAIRMAN. No, 10. I think you have given enough.
Mr. Ennis (continuing). Would be to take individual files and see what act was stated.
That would be a considerable job.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. And I think they would be absorbed under the general deportation.
The Labor Department which is now the Justice Department were handling the Alien Enemy Act, deporting aliens with the other classes of their deportable cases?
Mr. ENNIS. Yes.
Now, the reason for that is that this last group which were deported after the termination of the war were deported under the ordinary immigration practice, as distinct from the 2,700 who were repatriated in transports, in army transports, after the termination of hostilities but before the peace.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right.
Mr. Ennis. Now, based on that experience, do you wish me to state what we propose to do in this war?
The CHAIRMAN. That is right.
Mr. Ennis. Four thousand four hundred and sixty-nine Germans, two thousand six hundred Japanese, and five hundred and thirty-five Italians.
Now, let us look at what we have left.
The CHAIRMAN. One thousand eight hundred and seventy-six Germans?
Mr. Ennis. Yes. And 2,437 Japanese; 90 Italians.
We propose under the Alien Enemy Act to have issued by the President a proclamation authorizing the Attorney General to repatriate any alien enemies among the internees by the procedure we use to intern them, and without the more formal procedure of the deportation statutes which, as you know, require a formal hearing, the right to counsel, and a review.
We believe that under the Alien Enemy Act we have the powers on the basis of the hearing which the alien enemy has already received before he was interned – I believe you gentlemen are familiar with our practice-we issue a warrant, the alien enemy is picked up by the FBI, he is brought into a United States attorney's office, and a hearing
board not composed of members of the Department of Justice, but responsible members of the community, gives him a hearing.
They listen to what the FBI has, they listen to the man's storyalthough we do not give the man all the information we have-it does not pretend to be a trial but it is to give the man what chance he can to explain himself.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, do you give him a chance to explain himself? Mr. ENNIS. Yes. We do.
The evidence in large part is explained to him and he is given a chance to answer.
Now, that recommendation of this hearing board goes to the Attorney General, and he determines whether the man shall be interned, paroled, or released.
Those cases are constantly reviewed as the war situation changes. Individuals interned are paroled.
And we do feel that we will have a group of internees who should not be paroled even after the cessation of hostilities with Germany.
The CHAIRMAN. After the cessation of the state of war? Mr. Ennis. Probably there is not going to be any formal cessation of the state of war by a peace treaty for a very long time, and we are not going to wait.
We hope in this war not to have internees in our control a year or so after the hostilities cease. We hope immediately after the hostilities with Germany to proceed to repatriate internees at once on the exchange vessel and not to wait for a year or two.
We feel that on the basis of the hearings a man has already gotten and on the basis of his conduct in the internment camps that there are some of these internees who have shown themselves to be completely Nazis, so far as the Germans are concerned, and people who should not be turned loose to live in the American community.
They have proved that they are not an assimilable group.
Now, that is not true of all of the internees, because we do not pretend that mistakes may not have been made.
We intern people on suspicion.
If there is any strong suspicion of alien enemy activity we will intern a man, and all doubtful cases are really ruled in favor of the Government and against the individual.
So, we cannot say every man who is interned shoula be repatriated, but a number of men interned should be repatriated and, indeed, in some cas.'s despite hardships that it may visit on American-born children.
We are going to try to be very careful in our selection of those we think should be repatriated, and we think we have the power to do it under the Alien Enemy Act without going through formal immigration hearings and without obtaining new legislation to do it.
And, we have already drawn up tentative lists of alien enemies who should be repatriated, and tentative lists of alien enemies who should be paroled at some later time.
It is our position that the Alien Enemy Act provides for the removal of alien enemies in this country, and it is our porposal to do so.
Mr. DOLLIVER. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. DollivER. I would like to interrogate the witness about the meaning of the word "parole.”
What do you mean by parole of an alien enemy?
Mr. ENNIS. By parole of an alien enemy we mean that the Attorney General signs an order which states that this alien enemy now in custody shall be placed on parole, under which he must obtain an American citizen sponsor, or the Immigration Service will obtain one for him, who will sign an undertaking that he will require the individual to report to him at whatever period we demand, such as once a week. He will supervise all of his activities and will report any violation of parole or any suspicious conduct by the alien enemy.
The sponsor has to be someone living right in his community who is in position to exercise supervision over him.
In addition to the sponsor the alien enemy on parole must report at regular intervals which are not as frequent as the intervals in which he reports to the sponsor, to the immigration parole officer.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service has set up a system of parole supervision for all alien enemies on parole.
I might for the record indicate how many are on parole if I have those figures.
There are now on parole 2,241 Germans, 2,460 Japanese, and 197 Italians.
Now, each one of those persons has to report both to a sponsor and to a parole officer of the Immigration Service.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you through?
Is it contemplated by the Immigration Service that if these parolees behave themselves and prove that the suspicions against them are unfounded, is it contemplated that they will ultimately become absorbed into our society and become citizens?
Mr. Ennis. They will be released from parole and will be eligible so far as parole is concerned to become citizens.
Mr. DOLLIVER. If they meet the requirements.
Mr. MILLER. These people that have been paroled, are they under the control of the War Department?
Mr. ENNIS. No. The proclamation of the President under the Alien Enemy Act provides that the control of the alien enemies in the United States and Puerto Rico shall be handled by the civilian authorities, the Department of Justice.
The control of alien enemies in the Territories of Hawaii and Alaska are handled by the War Department.
Mr. MILLER. These people are restricted as to residence, are they not, by the War Department? Mr. ENNIS. No. Mr. MILLER. For instance, on the Pacific coast? Mr. ENNIS. No
Mr. MILLER. There were certain people that were allowed to return there, as I remember it, under the authority of the War Department. Certain Japanese now are filtering back into that territory, and the papers carry stories that these people are coming back there having been released from concentration camps, paroled generally in other sections of the country, and now that the military authorities are allowing them to return to the Pacific coast.
Mr. ËNNIS. Let me explain that to you.