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Mr. LEWIS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator REYNOLDS. I notice that your organization is engaged in sending weekly articles in 19 different languages, interpreting American life and institutions, to 900 foreign-language newspapers, reaching approximately 14,000,000 foreign-born. Are there 900 foreignlanguage newspapers in the United States?
Mr. Lewis. There are about 1,050 altogether. There are about 900 published in the 19 languages we cover.
Senator REYNOLDS. That is the total?
Senator REYNOLDS. There are 1,050 newspapers in the United States that are printed in foreign languages?
Mr. Lewis. Yes. There are that many foreign-language publications. That includes a certain number of monthlies.
Senator REYNOLDS. May I ask you if, in the literature distributed by your organization, you have made a comparison of the intelligence
a of the people of this country with the intelligence of the aliens?
Mr. LEWIS. I am glad you referred to that. I heard you read some of that into the record.
Senator REYNOLDS. Yes; I did.
Senator REYNOLDS. That was testimony given before the United States Senate Committee on Immigration in 1930. What I read this morning was a statement by Mr. Patten, who is here today and who then quoted from your publications. I was informed by him that was embodied in some literature you distributed as a release, “interpreting America to the immigrant” in which you reflected upon the people of the United States, in comparison with immigrants. It refers to taking a railroad and going through the South, through the West, through the North, and the outlying sections of the country and making comparisons between immigrants and our own people.
Mr. LEWIS. Let me say in regard to that, if you please, that I have no personal recollection of it. One of the activities of our organization is sending out on a subscription basis information going to various people on the question of immigration, naturalization, and the foreignborn in general. We get out about 50 or 60 a year. We have been doing that for 16 or 17 years. That is designed to give the people who are specializing in this field the facts that will keep them up to date. It is used by the Daughters of the American Revolution and various other organizations and individuals.
Mr. PATTEN. You quoted a speech made in Congress by a New York City Congressman.
Mr. LEWIS. In that information we frequently quote from other people. I would hate to be held responsible for that. I think the people should know what has been said. I think what you read was a quotation of that sort. It does not sound like the sort of thing we
Senator REYNOLDS. You do not deny that your organization ever distributed literature containing such statements?
Mr. LEWIS. No. I would like to see the context.
Senator REYNOLDS. You made comparison between the poor people of the United States and those who came from abroad?
Mr. LEWIS. I would rather not make comment until I actually see what it is.
Senator REYNOLDS. I believe you said that I stated you are a Communist.
Mr. LEWIS. I was told so.
Senator REYNOLDS. My recollection is that I made inquiry of someone this morning as to whether or not you are a Communist. If I did say you are a Communist, you would not consider that an insult, would you?
Mr. LEWIS. I should consider it a serious reflection.
Senator REYNOLDS. I did not intend to make any unkind or unfair reflection. The reason I asked that question, I knew you were in Moscow when the revolution broke out.
Mr. LEWIS. I was in Moscow when the revolution broke out.
Mr. LEWIS. I think when he gave up his room I shared mine with him. I was in Russia at that time as a special assistant to the American Ambassador.
Senator STEWART. If you do not mind a personal question, what is your philosophy of government? Do you subscribe to the American philosophy?
Mr. LEWIS. Absolutely.
Senator STEWART. I think that your work is highly laudable, in spreading abroad American ideas.
Mr. LEWIS. As a matter of fact my grandfather went to Oregon in 1850, my father fought in the Civil War, and my sister is a member of the D. A. R.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF CHESTER E. TAYLOR, ASSISTANT GENERAL
SECRETARY, YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, ORANGE,
. through in a few moments, if permitted to proceed.
You may state your name and whom you represent.
Mr. TAYLOR. My name is Chester A. Taylor. I am assistant general secretary of the Y. M. C. A., in Orange, N. J.
Senator HERRING. You may proceed.
Mr. Taylor. I have been working on American work and helping our foreign-born people to become good American citizens. I think I can qualify. I am eligible to membership in the Sons of the American Revolution although I do not belong. My wife is eligible to membership in the D. A. R. although she does not belong. I believe this work is essential to the building up and sustaining of American democracy and assimilating into our American philosophy the foreignborn among us.
I have studied these bills. I do not come before you as a representative of the Y. M. C. A., although I am employed by it; or of the American Legion, although I work with it and have represented it in other national organizations. I am just here as one who works with foreign-born people for the interest of American people. I am here to contribute what I can on these bills.
I will take up first S. 407, which provides for cutting down the quotas to 10 percent. That is the major point. I think such drastic reduction in quotas is not needed. All that is required to keep immigration within reasonable bounds is continual enforcement of the “likely to become a public charge” provision of the present law. This has resulted since 1930 in restricting visas issued within a range of 5 percent of quota, in the fiscal year 1933, up to 30 percent of quota, issued in the fiscal year 1938.
At present no quotas exist of Canada, Mexico, and Latin America. It seems to me that to establish quotas and set them at 10 percent, as proposed in this bill, will not help our relations with our neighbors in the Americas. We have been talking a good deal about our goodneighbor policy, and then it seems we want to set up a proposal like this. It seems to me pretty tough to say that, because one member of a family is inadmissible, that it is proper and sensible to shut out the entire family or those members of the family who may be personally desirable as immigrants. I think there is a good deal to be said for the proposition that families should come as a whole, but I do not think there is any sense in saying they must all come at one time, any more than to say to the Senator from the Pacific coast: “You must bring your whole family when you come to Congress. You cannot come up ahead and hunt an apartment or a place to live." I think that would be just as foolish. I think it is a fair requirement to make them show
. that they intend to come.
However, we must bear in mind that a good many people have come here with the idea that, if they could make a go of it and they liked the country, they would send for their families, and they certainly are the ones who should decide that. I think this proposal, however, is all right. I have no quarrel with it.
I do not like the intelligence test set up here. I think it is too vague. Who knows what the "normal intelligence rating of American white stock" is? Mental defectives are already excluded under our present laws. Who is going to define this vague phraseology? The consul is to be called upon to size up each applicant and determine whether he thinks the applicant's "reputation and personal characteristics” will make him "readily assimilable among the preponderant element" of the population of the United States. This is a subjective test dependent upon the impression the applicant happens to make upon the consul.
If Stuart Chase is right in his contention that continued prosperity in America depends upon the continued expansion of our population, our efforts should be directed toward encouraging desirable high-grade immigrants who can contribute to our national development and excluding undesirable low-grade immigrants who may add to our unemployment and relief problems. There is little reason to hope this bill will accomplish such an end.
I do not like the provision that the Secretary of State may deny visas to any alien whose presence is inimical to the public interest. The trouble with that is that the Secretary of State will not pass on that. He will delegate that to the consuls. I would be willing to let Secretary Hull do it, but I would not be willing to say to every consul that he must decide whether these various applicants are readily assimilable. That is a test that will depend upon the impression the applicants make on the consul. That may be affected by what he had for lunch or breakfast, or whether he had a quarrel with his wife or not.
Serator STEWART. What would you suggest?
Mr. Taylor. Give a subjective test, that the applicant must meet certain specified requirements. Put them down in black and white, and he either does meet them or he does not meet them. I think that is what you should do with that.
Senator STEWART. Somebody must have an opinion about it.
Mr. TAYLOR. Surely, but give him a standard to work from. Our present law says what classes of people are not to be given visas. If you want to further define those classes, all right. If you want to set up an intelligence test, it might be all right, but even then it would depend upon who was doing the testing. If you give an objective test that can be applied to everybody, but not depend upon the opinion of any human being, I think it would be better. You might say if a good executive has a large vocabulary the reverse is true, that people with large vocabularies make good executives. We all know a lot of people with large vocabularies who would not make good executives. I am inclined to think Stuart Chase may have been right that our efforts ought to be directed toward encourgaging high-grade immigrants who can contribute to our national development, and exclude the low grade. I do not see how this bill would accomplish that.
Senator STEWART. Is not that the purpose of this bill?
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not know whether it is or not, but I do not think the bill will accomplish that purpose. It does not seem to me that it will
Senator STEWART. What do you think about this situation, that an alien in America, working in industry or elsewhere, sending back to foreign lands over $600,000,000 every year? I do not know that is true, but let us assume it is true. Let us assume we have a condition of that kind. Does that affect the economic condition of America?
Mr. TAYLOR. There is no doubt about that. It is practically impossible for an alien to get a job in industry unless there is absolutely no American who will do the work. The average alien thinks he must show his first papers or they will immediately kick him out.
Senator STEWART. I want to know what the true condition throughout the country is. It seems that nobody knows.
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not think anybody knows. We are in the same situation, as far as unemployment is concerned, that we have been for 10 years, and we have not had the guts to take a census on it.
Senator STEWART. I think that applies to aliens over the whole country.
Mr. TAYLOR. I think so. The 1940 census might give you those facis.
Senator STEWART. You agree with me that we should find out when the census is taken?
Mr. TAYLOR. I certainly do.
Senator HERRING. Do you believe that we could accomplish that through the census?
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not see why you could not, if you make your questions right. You do not swear a citizen to tell the truth in his statements, but you can make sure that every citizen tells the truth about his alien status, and his job status, and his financial status. Yes; I think you can find it out.
In respect to S. 408, in effect this is an annual tax on aliens. There is nothing to be said for the theory behind it. However, the penalties provided seem excessive. I do not know about that alien registration board. I do not see the point in that.
I do like section 3, which provides that no immigration visas shall hereafter be issued to any alien seeking to enter the United States unless he has been fingerprinted. There is a real reason for that. It is a real identification of aliens. We already have a provision for aliens to get identification cards containing their photographs and their signatures. I think that this fingerprinting would serve as an additional identification.
I do not think much of this other proposal in section 5 which would require everybody to register, and I will tell you why. As I stated before, in effect that would be an annual tax on aliens. The penalties are very excessive. I do not believe that the bill, if enacted, is likely to result in discovering many aliens who are in the United States illegally, as they are not likely to register, knowing they are inviting arrest and deportation. The enactment of this bill is bound to increase Government expense, for it will require the creation of additional bureaus in the Immigration and Naturalization Service to file and follow up these records. It will open the way for a lot of blackmail, intimidation, and fraud to be practiced upon aliens. I do not believe it can be enforced unless we require every person in the country to prove his citizenship or carry an alien identification card. Many native-born Americans have no birth certificates and cannot get them because lack of public records in their birthplaces. Are we ready to adopt in the United States this European form of registration and regimentation and require everybody to be fingerprinted and to carry about with him a citizenship certificate, a passport, or an alien identification card? Are we ready to require everybody who moves from town to town, county to county, State to State, whether permanently or temporarily, to report at the police station in the European manner? If not, it is silly to pass a bill like S. 408.
I think a much better plan would be to make it possible for those immigrants who entered before June 28, 1928, when the issuance of immigration cards began, to obtain a permanent immigration identification card, which would be a real help in encouraging the naturalization of the immigrant. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service needs more help to perform its present functions. Naturalization is being delayed through lack of sufficient personnel. Maybe the plan proposed would be a good way to force them to become citizens, but I doubt it.
The next bill, S. 409, would absolutely shut off immigration for 10 years, or until such time as the Secretary of Labor should certify that there are only 3,000,000 unemployed. This bill would shut out