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Senator HOLMAN. What I have to say, Mr. Chairman, I want on the record.
Our attention was called this morning to the fact that it was 20 years ago, more or less, since the last immigration bill was passed in Congress, and that in the last 20 years a great change has come over this country and in world conditions. Therefore, I think it very proper, and I agree with the Senator from North Carolina that our immigration laws should be brought up to date, to meet modern conditions.
I am saying this, and I take this time out when we are rushed for time, particularly for the benefit of those representatives of the Department of Labor, because again this morning I was rather impressed with the fact that you are opposing us and that you are here representing the alien population rather than the interests of the American people. And I am trying to get you on the side of the American people.
Now, let me impress you with the idea that there is a change in this country, and it was foretold 80 years ago by Lord Macaulay in a letter that he wrote on May 23, 1857. He says:
As long as you have a boundless extent of fertile and unoccupied land, your laboring population will be far more at ease than the laboring population of the Old World, and, while that is the case, the_Jefferson politics may continue to exist without causing any fatal calamity. But the time will come when New England will be as thickly populated as Old England. Wages will be as low, and will fluctuate as much with you as with us. You will have your Manchesters and Birminghams, and in those Manchesters and Birminghams hundreds of thousands of artisans will assuredly be sometimes out of work. Then, you institutions will be fairly brought to the test. Distress everywhere makes the laborer mutinous and discontented, and inclines him to listen with eagerness to agitators who tell him that it is a monstrous iniquity that one man should have a million while another cannot get a full meal. In bad years there is plenty of grumbling here, and sometimes a little rioting. But it matters little. For here, the sufferers are not the rulers. The supreme power is in the hands of a class, numerous indeed, but select; of an educated class; of a class which is, and knows itself to be, deeply interested in the security of property and maintenance of order. Accordingly, the malcontents are firmly yet gently restrained. The bad time is got over without robbing the wealth to relieve the indigent. The springs of national prosperity soon begin to flow again; work is plentiful, wages rise, and all is tranquility and cheerfulness. I have seen England pass three or four times through such critical seasons as I have described. Through such seasons the United States will have to pass in the course of the next century, if not of this.
And so forth.
Now, then, another letter, from Lord Bryce in his the American Commonwealth, in 1910, goes over the same situation.
And I call attention to the fact that the last territory was admitted 30 years ago into this country, and there are no longer any territories and no longer any unoccupied land. The situation that Lord
. Macaulay described 80 years ago is with us today; and I want, as a member of this committee, to do something constructive to bring our immigration laws up to meet present conditions, and I want to call upon the immigration authorities of the Department of Labor to assist us to do that, and no oppose us.
Mr. HOUGHTELING. Mr. Chairman, may I make a statement?
The Senator has spoken of the attitude of the Immigration and Naturalization Service as being more interested in aliens than in citizens. That is not a fact, Senator. I have spoken in connection with cases of aliens who were closely related to American citizens. I am taking the standpoint of the citizen. The American citizen is my
employer. I have no fealty and no obligation to anybody except the American people. That is my position as an officer of this Government, and it is the position of everybody in my Department. We are interested in the enforcement of the laws which the Congress makes as regards the entry and assimilation of aliens into the citizenship of this country; and solely that.
We have indicated that we have criticisms of the proposed bills. I think that is correct. Other bills will come before this committee, and you will find us speaking on the other side. And I judge you want us to be frank. The chairman of the committee sent to us and asked for our opinions on these bills, and we gave it.
Senator HOLMAN. But I don't want to argue with you, because I want you to work with us on this committee. I am not saying that these bills are altogether what we should adopt as the course of the committee and what we should support on the floor of the Senate; but my idea is that these bills that have been introduced by Senator Reynolds are quite constructive legislation. And the fact does remain, however, that the Department has opposed every one of Senator Reynolds bills, and is in favor of Senator Wagner's bill.
Mr. HOUGHTELING. I don't thing there is any basis for the latter conclusion.
Senator HOLMAS. Well, I hope not.
Senator STEWART. As a matter of fact, though, why does your Department care what laws are passed? You are charged with only the enforcement why do you interest yourselves and who do you care what kind of an immigration law is passed?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. We want to have laws that will work.
Senator STEWART. Well, I know; but why are you concerned about whether the United States should or should not change the immigration law, if your function is merely the enforcement of whatever law is passed?
Mr. HoUGHTELING. I think that is the case. We are opposed to laws which we think will be expensive and ineffective.
Senator HERRING. Well, as I understand it, the position you take is that you are summoned here to give your experience and your judgment upon proposed legislation. You are not attempting to pass or defeat any legislation.
Mr. HOUGHTELING. No.
Senator HERRING. But when you are called upon to give your judgment from your experience, you are giving it as you see it.
Mr. HOUGHTELING. Exactly.
Senator HERRING. And that is what you intend to do. Now, as I understand, your alleged friendship for aliens, and in fact you have said here that it might be so regarded, is because of your interest in the effect upon a citizen of this country of some attitude which you may take toward an alien; that is, these exceptions and hardship cases and things of that kind. That is the way I interpret it.
Mr. HOUGHTELING. You are right, Senator.
Senator STEWART. It looked to me rather that you might be leaning just a little bit to leeward, though. [Laughter.]
. Senator REYNOLDS. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one question? Senator HERRING. Yes, sir.
Senator REYNOLDS. Mr. Houghteling, are you still a member of the Board of the Foreign Language Information Service, of which Mr. Read Lewis is director?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. Yes, sir.
Senator REYNOLDS. Well, I will ask you if Mr. Lewis' organization has not for years been supported by aliens in this country?
Mr. HoughTELING. I believe not.
Senator REYNOLDS. Now, you are a director of this organization, aren't you; you are still a director of it?
Mr. HoUGHTELING. I am; yes, sir.
Senator REYNOLDS. And that is for the purpose of taking care of the aliens in this country?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. The purpose of the Foreign Language Information Service is to supply information about American institutions to the foreign language newspapers, in order that those
Senator REYNOLDS. To the foreign language newspapers in this country?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. In this country, in order that those legally admitted as immigrants and in the process of becoming citizens, shall be better informed as to the meaning of the American institutions and shall be more fully assimilated into the American way of living. The organization was started during the World War, when, I believe, it was a function of the Council of National Defense.
Mr. Lewis is here now, and can answer better than I can.
Senator REYNOLDS. I will ask you again, if Mr. Lewis is a Communist?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. I believe not.
Senator REYNOLDS. Now, you surely ought to know; you are a director with him. I am going to ask you pointblank if Mr. Lewis is a Communist? And I am going to ask Mr. Lewis the same question when he gets on the stand, if he is here. Don't you know that he is a Communist?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. No.
Mr. HOUGHTELING. No; I have never heard it suggested by anybody else.
Senator REYNOLDS. Do you deny he is a Communist?
Senator REYNOLDS. You do deny it? All right. I will ask you if it isn't true that this organization, of which you admitted you are a director, has opposed every single piece of legislation that was ever proposed in the United States Congress to restrict immigration or attempts to deport alien criminals? I will ask you if your organization has not opposed every step we have tried to take to restrict immigration, your organization of which you are a director; isn't that true? That is true, isn't it?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. I don't
Senator REYNOLDS. All right; if that is true, I want to ask you if at the present time you have any legislation to suggest to this Congress?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. I, personally?
Senator REYNOLDS. I will ask you if your Department has not conferred with the Department of State in regard to proposed legislation for introduction at this session of Congress?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. We have discussed with the Department of State legislation which has been suggested by Members of Congress.
Senator REYNOLDS. I will ask you if that legislation has not been put in the form of a bill?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. Not that I know of.
Senator REYNOLDS. All right, sir. Now, in order that we may ascertain your attitude in regard to this immigration question, I want to ask you again, and I think I asked you that yesterday, would you favor cutting down the present quota of 154,000?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. You asked me that yesterday.
Senator REYNOLDS. You don't favor cutting down at all, despite the fact we have got 13,000,000 Americans out of work; that is correct, isn't it?
Mr. HOUGHTELING. You have said 13,000,000. I am not
Senator REYNOLDS. Well, I have seen about 10,000,000 myself, and I thought there might be about 3,000,000 more.
That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Senator STEWART. Will you try to procure that information from New Jersey, Mr. Walker?
Mr. WALKER. I will be glad to do so, if I can.
Mr. PATTEN. Senator, I believe Mr. Brinser is here from Philadelphia, he has been here all day and is anxious to return to his business in Philadelphia.
Senator REYNOLDS. Of course. Excuse me, Mr. Brinser; I have your name, and I intended to call you. STATEMENT OF CLARENCE W. BRINSER, JUNIOR ORDER OF
UNITED AMERICAN MECHANICS, REPRESENTING THE FRATERNAL PATRIOTIC AMERICANS, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Senator REYNOLDS. Your name is Clarence W. Brinser, representing the Fraternal Patriotic Americans and your council is affiliated with the organizations in New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, known as the General Executive Board of Patriotic Societies?
Mr. BRINSER. Correct; yes, sir.
Mr. Chairman, I believe it is a foregone conclusion that all patriotic organizations are favorable to all of these bills introduced by Senator Reynolds. We believe that S. 411 will meet a condition that we have been trying to meet for years. We do not favor imposing on aliens separation of families. We believe bill S. 407 will take care of that and give to the families and near relatives the preference over those of other aliens; and naturally that part of the bill would be taken care of or that part of the condition now would be taken care of without seriously injuring either the American people or those who want to come here.
Senator HERRING. You would be favorable to giving that authority to the Secretary of Labor, as is provided in the bill, would you?
Mr. BRINSER. I would favor giving it-yes, in S. 411, to deport radicals. With some reservation I would say yes. And I would say that the members of my organization, consisting of approximately 100,000 native-born Americans, would be favorable to entrusting that power to the Secretary of Labor, feeling that she could fulfill the object favored by them in accordance with the purpose of the bill.
Of course bill No. 409, “To protect American labor and to assure the employment of the American citizens,” needs no discussion at all, because for instance in the State of Pennsylvania we have a tremendous number of people who are out of employment.
The Secretary of the Pennsylvania State welfare only last Monday reported to the State Senate that during the month of January over a million dollars was paid to unnaturalized aliens that were in this country from 5 to 30 years and still we were taking care of them at the expense of the State government.
Senator STEWART. Where did that information come from?
Mr. BRINSER. Harry L. Russell, secretary of State welfare, made the report to the Pennsylvania State Senate. Senator HOLMAN. I would like to have a copy of that for my
file. Mr. BRINSER. I will be glad to get it for you. Senator STEWART. That is in the State of Pennsylvania alone? Mr. BRINSER. Pennsylvania alone. Senator STEWART. That million dollars was paid in that State only? Mr. BRINSER. That million dollars was paid only in Pennsylvania.
Senator HERRING. Will you get a copy of that and put it in the record?
Mr. BRINSER. I will be very glad to, Mr. Chairman.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Harrisburg, March 16, 1939.
Harrisburg, Pa. DEAR MR. HOLMES: The receipt of your letter of March 8, transmitting a copy of the resolution adopted by the Senate of Pennsylvania, March 7, is acknowledged.
I am submitting herewith, for the immediate information of the Senate, a tabulation of the number of aliens receiving old-age assistance in each county in the month of January 1939, and the amounts of assistance received. The term “alien”, as used in this tabulation, includes all foreign-born old-age assistance recipients who, at the time of their first grants, had not applied for American citizenship. It is possible that certain of these aliens may have applied for citizenship during the period, ranging from 2 to 20 months, since their first grants. There has not, however, been sufficient time for any who may fall in this category to have become citizens.
The following figures summarize, for the State as a whole, the information thus far tabulated: Month of January 1939: Total old-age assistance recipients
87, 837 Aliens who had not applied for American citizenship at time of first grants.
3, 738 Percent of total.
4. 3 Total old-age assistance grants.
$1, 863, 293 Amount of grants to alienis (as defined above)
$77, 504 Percent of total.