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"Whereas, at the present time, due to our economic conditions, there are millions of persons unemployed and on relief, consisting of native-born and naturalized citizens, and aliens, and
“Whereas, there is no means of establishing the number of aliens within the United States, legally or illegally, or any means of identification of such persons, and
"Whereas, in view of conditions and disturbances throughout the world, this data should be available to the Federal Government; Therefore be it
“Resolved by the State Council, Junior Order United American Mechanics, State of New Jersey, in regular annual convention assembled in Atlantic City, N. J., October 12 and 13, 1938, That we recommend and urge the Congress of the United States to enact legislation as follows:
"1. Requiring the registration and fingerprinting of all residents and transients in the United States.
"2. That all immigration be curtailed until all American citizens are back in employment, and restricted in the future to allow assimilation.
"3. That the deportation laws be strengthened to include all criminal and subversive aliens, and establish a period of 5 years from time of entry for aliens to become citizens, otherwise being subject to deportation.
“4. Maintain the requirements for naturalization on a basis that the citizenship privilege in the United States is not to be regarded as something "cheap,
"5. That citizenship be made a requisite for Government and relief.
"Whereas, it is estimated there are between 10 and 15 million unemployed persons in our midst, approximately 19,000,000 on relief according to the statement of Mr. Hopkins in the Congressional Record of April 9, 1938.
"Whereas, every immigrant entering the United States is a potential worker, and will either displace an employed American or join the list of unemployed adding to the excessive relief cost of the taxpayers of this country; and
“Whereas, existing immigration laws designates persons as inadmissible who are likely to become a 'public charge,' whose passage has been paid by another an assisted alien, illiterate persons, or persons under the age of 16 unaccompanied, and
“Whereas, due to economic and political distrubance throughout other foreign nations, there are thousands of religious and political refugees' anxious to enter the United States; therefore be it
“Resolved, by the State Council, Junior Order United American Mechanics, State of New Jersey, in regular annual convention assembled at Atlantic City, N. J., October 12 and 13, 1938, That we unalterably oppose legislation that would nullify the existing inadequate immigration barriers, similar to H. R. 6245 and H. R. 10013, known as “Asylum bills' in the Seventy-fifth Congress. Also such legislation as H. J. Res. 637 which would be a means of abolition of the quota system, put on the statute books to prevent just such a flood of 'Refugee aliens' as now evidenced. Also such legislation as H. R. 6391 which would grant discretionary powers to any individual, establishing an administration of persons in lieu of our Government or written laws." Very truly yours,
(Signed) Roscoe WALKER,
State Council Secretary. Senator HERRING. Just proceed in your own way, Mr. Walker.
Mr. WALKER. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, unfortunately I cannot qualify as an expert on immigration. However, I have come to express the sentiment of the 50,000 members of my fraternity in the State of New Jersey, and to make several observations.
Senator REYNOLDS. Mr. Walker, in order that the committee may know, your council is not identified with the national council of which Mr. Wilmeth is the national secretary, is it?
Mr. WALKER. No; we are not identified with the national council; we have a separate body of over 50,000 dues-paying members in New Jersey, all native-born.
Senator REYNOLDS. A separate body? Mr. WALKER. Yes; affiliated with similar units in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York, not connected with Mr. Wilmeth's organization of similar name.
Senator REYNOLDS. Yes.
Mr. WALKER. Mr. Chairman, I think I may repeat some of the observations made by Mr. Wilmeth, because of the similarity of the work of our organizations.
The attitude of our organization in respect to immigration, I believe is well known, inasmuch as our actions in the past are a matter of record. In fact, unrestricted immigration and selective immigration was one of the causes that led to the birth of our organization, over 85 years ago, and I believe the record will show that we have been consistent.
Back in the time when the literacy test was before Congress, we favored its enactment into law; and when the Immigration Act adopted in 1924 was before Congress, we acted in the same manner; and in 1929 it was my privilege to appear before the Senate Committee on Immigration in opposition to the Nye resolution which, if adopted, would have deferred putting into effect the provisions of the National Origins Act of 1924, for another year. The Nye resolution was defeated, and the National Origins Act was put into effect in 1929.
I call your attention, gentlemen, to my statement before the Senate Immigration Committee at the hearings on February 4, 6, 9, 11, and 13, 1929, of the Seventieth Congress, at which time I said:
It has been stated here that the national origins provision is unworkable. I doubt that we can all agree upon that mere statement, because in my opinion an idea is an idea and nothing else unless it has the opportunity to prove itself by being put into practical operation.
The National Origins Act was put into operation, and I believe has proven successful; and I feel that it would have continued to do so had conditions in this country remained the same as they were in 1929. However, you are well aware that conditions in a period of 10 years have changed considerably. Due to economic conditions, this country is no longer able to absorb and place in a gainful occupation the number of immigrants received under the National Origins or the quota system, because of the great number of our people who are now unemployed or on Government relief. While it is quite true that in 1929 a great number of our population were unemployed, none of these people were housed, clothed, and fed at Government expense, and therefore it is evident, with millions of dollars spent today to assist our present population, we have reached the saturation point and are unable to take care of continued immigration without imposing upon our present population greater hardships.
The conditions in other parts of the world are to be deplored, and no real American can agree with the persecution visited upon other human beings and no real American can ever conceive that those persecutions could happen in this country; and yet I feel that we can agree that self-preservation is the first law of Nature and that it is our duty as Americans to see to it that our present population is well housed, well fed, and well clothed, before meeting that same condition with all of the people of the entire universe. In times such as these, when the whole world trembles as to what may be in store for us tomorrow, it is the duty of the American people to take such action as will provide for the welfare of its people and what may be considered best for the preservation and perpetuation of our democratic form of government.
Therefore, we favor the enactment into law of Senator Reynolds' bill, S. 408 ,which will provide for the National Defense by the registration of aliens in order that our departments of Government would be in position to know those who have sworn to uphold the Government of our land, and to be able to spot those who failed for one reason or another to take advantage of the many provisions of our laws.
We favor Senator Reynolds' bill, S. 409, which would protect American labor and stimulate the employment of American citizens on American jobs, and prohibit all immigration until Americans were occupied in employment and our great country again on the way to prosperity.
Gentlemen, it would seem to me that, as representatives of the American people, it is our task as citizens and your task as representatives of the American people, it is our joint task to do everything possible to help the present population and, after our people are employed and happy, and thus assuring the perpetuity of our republic that extends to you and I more privileges and liberties than any other country in the world, then and only then shall we extend our beneficence to the peoples of other countries.
Senator HERRING. What is your position on the other bill, No. 407?
Mr. WALKER. Mr. Chairman, I realize that you are very busy, and I am perfectly willing to skip over
Senator REYNOLDS. Do you mind specifying those by numbers? Mr. WALKER. Yes; I will; 409, 410, and 411, our fraternity favors all of those bills.
Senator HERRING. And not 407? Mr. WALKER. We are in this position, Mr. Chairman; we favor 409. We feel that at this time that all immigration should be eliminated. However, we would agree to 407 if it is not possible to have 409 enacted into law. The difference between 407 and 409, as I understand it; 409 would eliminate all immigration, and 407 would limit the present immigration to 10 percent of the present quota.
Now, I would just like to make, Mr. Chairman, several observations: I was very much impressed with the attitude of Senator Holman, and I feel I am in possibly somewhat of a similar position in that I am not familiar with a great many details of immigration, but I, like the Senator, do desire enlightenment and information. And Í am agreeable personally to the suggestion that experts of the Labor Department, and Mr. Trevor, who so kindly consented yesterday, draw up bills that might incorporate all of the provisions of these bills and might meet with the agreement of a greater number of people. I hope the experts will agree to that suggestion, and attempt to draft such legislation that will meet, at least in a major part, the objections of all concerned. I do believe this is, Mr. Chairman, really an American problem and I think it should be met from the viewpoint of the American people. I don't believe that we should be so much interested as to what other countries of the world may feel about the way we make laws with respect to immigration.
I recall only a few years ago a very prominent manufacturer of pottery in Trenton, N. J., where really they make the best pottery in the United States of America, made a verbal agreement with a friend of his in England who was in the same business. They both had sons, and they agreed that when the sons became of age, the Englishman would send his son to this country and have the boy take a position in
the factory here in order that he might learn the methods of American manufacture; and that when the American boy was to become of age, why the same arrangement would be made in England. This boy came to America, was given a place of employment in this factory, and was taken in as a member, actually as a member of the manufacturer's own family, and stayed here for a period of 3 years and certainly gained a great deal of knowledge about the American method of manufacture; and then he went back.
At about that time, the American boy became of age, and the American manufacturer sent that young boy to England but, because of regulations of England's Department of Labor that boy was not even permitted to stay in that factory and was not permitted to have a job in that factory. He immediately telegraphed his father and told him about it, and his father told him to visit other points of the Old World in order to pick up whatever knowledge he could of the manufacture in Europe.
I think, Mr. Chairman, that England has always been regarded as a friendly nation; but she did not consider that, and I don't believe that they take others a great deal into consideration when they make their immigration laws.
There is another observation I want to make: Like all those who have testified yesterday, Mr. Chairman, I am very much interested as to the effect of any law, whether immigration or any other law, after it has been put on the books and put into operation; but I am interested, and I think more so, although I don't believe I could ever be considered as not being humane; but I am interested in the people who are already in this country. I am interested in the young men and the young women who find it difficult to obtain employment,
I know of one case very close to my own family where parents born in this country and partly of foreign parents raised a boy and sent him to grammar school, even though at some hardship to themselves. They intended to send him further, and they thought he might get a better education; but the boy did not take to study and, as usually happens, they decided he should go right to work. Well, he worked at odd jobs for just a short time before he found himself without employment. He became discouraged, and the boy actually became lazy; he got into bad company and, if the story would end there, I think it would be tragedy. But in this particular case it did not end there, Fortunately, through the efforts of the father, the boy was able to gain employment, and immediately a 100-percent change was noticed in the young man; he became interested, and he is a different boy today. And I am satisfied to believe that, because of the fact he had an opportunity to gain such employment, that he will prove to be a very good citizen. Mr. Chairman, I believe there are a lot of young men and a lot of young women today who would like to go to work if the opportunity was presented to them, but who in the conditions as they are cannot find employment because of the environment in which they live and which unfortunately will not turn out the good citizens we hope them to be and also the citizens that we expect to take our places in the years to come.
Senator STEWART. You have lived in an industrial community in New Jersey; have you any information of the exact number of unemployed aliens there are in New Jersey?
Mr. WALKER. No; we have not.
Senator HOLMAN. May I ask this: I have been advised that the population of New Jersey, the majority of the population is foreignborn; is that right?
Mr. WALKER. I don't believe that, sir.
Mr. WALKER. I haven't any facts to substantiate my statement, but I don't believe they are. Our population is more in the manufacturing centers. May I say in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we propose that, for the
I benefit of America and the people who are in it, whether born in this country or not, born here or naturalized, that some situation be worked out in order that we can reduce immigration and in order that the Department may have a greater check upon aliens who are in this country, either legally or illegally, in order that conditions
improve and that there won't be so many people coming here to take the places of those who are the ones who should have the employment.
I appreciate the opportunity you have given to me to be heard.
Senator STEWART. Can you advise us how that information might be procured; that is, the information to determine how many aliens are employed in industry in New Jersey?
Mr. WALKER. I believe that the information can be gotten, and if it can I would be very glad to send it to you.
Senator STEWART. Would it take awfully long to get it?
Senator STEWART. I think, Mr. Chairman, as a practical matter, if 'the information could be obtained throughout the entire country without any great expense or delay, it would be quite an important thing to know it. It seems that nobody seems to know just to what extent aliens may be employed in industry and have jobs that American-born and naturalized citizens should have. I think it would be quite important if we could obtain that information.
Senator HERRING. Could you obtain that information, Mr. Commissioner?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. I can try pretty hard.
NOTE:-Isador Lubin, United States Commissioner of Labor Statistics, reports that such statistics are not at present available.
Senator STEWART. What I had in mind, what would be your channel through which you would operate to learn that?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. I don't know; I would have to consult the people who would know about that.
Senator STEWART. Then it would not be worth while here.
Mr. WALKER. Senator, we have a department of labor in the State of New Jersey.
Senator STEWART. What is that?
Mr. WALKER. We have a department of labor in the State of New Jsesey, and I believe if there is any such thing there, they would be pleased to send it.
Senator STEWART. I wonder if you could.
Senator REYNOLDS. Now, Mr. Chairman, with the permission of the Senator from Tennessee, might I say a word right there?
Senator HERRING. Yes.