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ber who are actually dangerous is very small; and to group them, you are considering a bill which is dangerous from the point of view of early American democracy. I think, otherwise, this might very well be confined or the whole idea of citizenship and noncitizenship overhauled now for the benefit of the country when we are facing a crisis.
Mr. HOBBs. Are you through?
Mr. HOBBs. Getting down now to the question, M. Guyer asked you, if you were in favor of turning these people loose, that is, making them perfectly free and you say “Just as I would an American citizen, when the American citizen is here, he cannot be deported. Now, that means, in essence, your answer to Mr. Guyer's very searching question is yes; does it not?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes, and no. First, there is the American citizen. Under such circumstances, an American criminal is not free. He serves his time and after that
Mr. HOBBs. Yes; and so does the alien.
Mr. HOBBs. We are not talking about that. We are talking about the fact he is convicted of a crime for which he is sentenced to prison. Shall we get rid of him? Shall we be importuned because of foreign governments with the possible bribery of local consular agencies by this alien who has violated our laws? You say yes?
Mr. ALLEN. He has committed his crime, gone to prison, paid his debt to society, just as I would if I burglarized a house. After that he should be given the same consideration I should be given. He is "We, the people."
Mr. HOBBS. What I am asking you is to come out and say that is the logical, inevitable consequence.
Mr. ALLEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HOBBs. You believe in answer to Mr. Guyer's question that he ought to be free, which is perfectly free.
Mr. ALLEN. Free within the meaning
Mr. HOBBS (interposing). That means free until he violates the law again?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HOBBs. You mean that an alien should have every right of an American citizen, including the right of not being deported ?
Mr. ALLEN. Quite.
Mr. HOBBs. Now, there is one other point I would like to interrogate you about. You said this was contrary to early American thought. Of course, then, is it not a fact that the prime object was to get enough people over here to do the work of this part of the world?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes.
Mr. ALLEN. I am not such an economic sponsor as you are. It was more than that. It was to build up a haven for men who believed in freedom. You remember we welcomed people and welcomed people and then we had the alien and sedition law and there was practically no immigration then. Then the United States lost its great and glorious name it had throughout the world and for a time people did not come over; and after the United States again announced it was the Land of Freedom, then we had immigration. I know some of them were brought over here to do our work and build our railroads and act as coolie labor, and many other things; but, by and large, all of them had that American ideal which we must not destroy. They came over here to escape things at home. They came here because our ideas had gone to France and then carried throughout Europe inadvertently by Nepoleon, and America thus became the land where “We, the people, ruled and people throughout all those countries tried to put those ideas into practice and then, when they felt the heavy hand of their governments on them, they came back to us.
What we have had generally is a wave of the past. Our own ideas have come back home to roost and they are the early ideas of democracy.
Mr. Hobbs. And you think that “We, the people," who ought to rule, should include anybody who wants to come in, because they want to come in, no matter how rotten.
Mr. ALLEN. I think the percentage of any basic rottenness is small, and we can take it in our stride. I do not think people are rotten. I should suggest, instead of looking at the Esposito boys as rotten, we might look at what made them rotten. Perhaps part of it is our responsibility, the way we have treated these people and the way we have refused to extend to them the economic and social benefits which the citizens have.
Mr. Hobbs. So you think that if we will just be sweet enough, and kind enough, and patient enough, we can reform the world?
Mr. ALLEN. Sweet and kind and patient as we are to our citizens, which does not go to any absurdity. Mr. HOBBs. That is debatable, but I will let it
pass. Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. WEAVER. I promised this morning to hear Mr. Read Lewis, of New York, who wanted to be heard in order that he might get away.
STATEMENT OF READ LEWIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COM.
MON COUNCIL FOR AMERICAN UNITY, NEW YORK, N. Y.
Mr. LEWIS. Read Lewis, executive director of the Common Council for American Unity.
Mr. GUYER. Common Council for American Unity!
Mr. LEWIS. It is a new name for an organization called the Foreign Language Information Service, which was the outgrowth of work started by the Federal Government to work for the education and assimilation of foreign born, to promote citizenship, to oppose unwarranted discrimination and work for the better elements of our population.
The bill before you this morning deals with realities of a difficult problem carefully and conservatively; and, secondly, it seems to me, and I hope very much your committee will decide to report it substantially as it stands both for the sake of the country as a whole and also for the sake of the great mass of our foreign-born alien population in the United States.
The problem, it seems to me, that the bill deals with is of the deportable alien in the United States, and very wisely it distinguishes between the several groups that come under that single designation, because the deportable alien is not one individual; he is many different kinds of persons. We have the alien who is disloyal, the alien who is undesirable, and we have the alien also who though he is subject to deportation is perhaps as loyal an American in spirit as the rest of us, who is a useful worker, and who has established ties in this country.
We are in a great emergency in this country and I think this bill, while it is permanent legislation, does deal with some of the aspects of that emergency in a way which makes it secondarily, at least, a defense measure, because we have the problem of these aliens who are disloyal and undesirable, and on the other hand we have also the problem of an overcoming sense of insecurity and unfounded fear at the moment which exists among all of our foreign-born people.
I think the bill before us deals wisely, does attempt to deal wisely, with those few problems.
On the one hand, in dealing with the disloyal aliens, it does give the Government the necessary power to deal effectively with him and if necessary, to detain him where that is justified, where it is in the public interest and to protect the country from him and from acts and consequences which may come if such aliens are at large.
On the other hand, you have got a pretty large group, and let me say that that group is not comparably a large one. If you will rememher, in the last war when we had a much larger alien population than we have today, the country interned only some 2,200 aliens altogether. Although the number may not be large, it is, however, dangerous, and I think the Government has to be armed with effective power to deal with it. It seems to me this bill does give the administration the essential weapon.
On the other hand you have the desirable alien, even though he may have made the mistake of coming illegally, prompted, probably, by motives of joining relatives or friends or trying to work for his own welfare; and a large number of those aliens and their families, many of whom are American citizens are, as I have suggested, upset with fears and anxieties and insecurity.
Now, this bill does extend the present questionary legislation with the Department of Justice and the Attorney General to sift out those aliens, to take those who are essentially loyal, and deserving, and who will be useful, to give them a chance to straighten out their status here and at the same time it gives the Government a chance to protect the country from the underisable alien. So it seems to me the bill is an extremely soundly conceived measure in dealing with that whole problem and I hope, as I have said, that it will be reported and passed substantially in its present form
Some doubts and fears that have been expressed about the bill, it seems to me, are quite unwarranted. The bill does not attempt to deal with all aliens, by any means, as one or two speakers before the committee have suggested. It deals only with the problem of the deporaable alien. It is not limiting the rights of the alien, in general. It is dealing only with the alien who has no right to be in the United States, and that is a very small number compared with the total number of aliens in this country. And I think we have to keep in mind that it is that small group of aliens with whom the bill attempts to deal.
Another thing that has bothered some of the witnesses before the committee is the fact that this so-called undesirable alien is dealt with somewhat differently and the citizens in the same circumstances; but we have to remember there again that the alien has no right to be here, and as Mr. Hobbs has just pointed out, we have to put up with the citizens because we cannot do any differently. Certainly we recognize that among our citizens are all types of people. We would gladly
. rid ourselves of certain less desirable persons who are citizens. We have no chance of doing so. They have a right to be here, but that is no reason why a man who has come to our country and seeks our hospitality and does not play the game, is not deportable.
There is no reason why we should have to put up with that situation, so it seems to me the bill, as I have suggested, does deal in a manner to protect the security of the desirable alien, to intergrate him more closely with our population and enable him to straighten out any flaws in his situation and at the same time it protects the country against the undesirable and disloyal aliens.
I think, further, it is well to recall the fears which many of us had a year ago in regard to the alien registration. To many of us, we felt that was something we hated to see go on the statute books, but because of the emergency the country found itself in, Congress did see fit to try to do something which it had never tried before, and I think many of us must admit today that that has worked out in a salutory fashion, that it was administered effectively, humanely, and democratically, and that as a result there is less anxiety among the aliens in the country than there was a year ago, and I think that this bill before us this morning is likely to be administered in the same fashion, and will, if it goes on our statute books, as I hope, prove in the course of coming months that it does advance the ends which probably all of our witnesses or most of them would like to see furthered.
Some criticism has been made against the suggestion of this Board for the supervision of deportable aliens. It has been suggested that that will be simply another board. Suggestion has been made that such power could be lodged in the Attorney General. It seems to me that it is wise, and that one of the sound aspects of the bill is putting those rather extraordinary powers under the element of control and review of a quasi-judicial body.
I know Congress, as you do, has been sensitive to the growth of administrative power. Last year it passed the Logan-Walter bill which attempted to deal with that situation, and it seems to me that the device included in this bill is in the spirit of dealing more soundly with this problem because one of the difficulties appearing in Mr. Hobbs' earlier bill was the fact that he attempted to obtain some of the results of this by what was, in effect, purely an administrative action, which some of us seemed not to give sufficient play to our judicial processes and hearings; and I think that has wisely been included in this bill.
You will remember as long ago as the Wickersham Commission under President Hoover, the suggestion was made that in dealing with some problems, the same person should not be the accuser, the prosecutor, and judge; and here those things are widely separated through
the creation of the quasi-judicial board; and I hope that may be retained.
Title 3 has also been the subject of considerable comment. There, again, we are giving a new and rather extraordinary power to the Government, but one, I believe, that is called for in this situation because we think of most of our aliens as persons coming to the United States for permanent residence, men and women who want to come here and throw their lot with this country, to make their homes here. This title 3, as you know, deals not with that group of aliens, but aliens who come here intending to act in behalf of foreign govern. ments or a foreign political party or group. That seems to me to place them at once in a very different category, in a category where we have a right, and should, for our own protection, exercise very careful surveillance of them, whether they are attempting to come into the United States or whether they are acting in behalf of such parties. So I think in the situation, the world situation, that we are facing, that this particular provision is entirely justified, even though it goes beyond anything we have had hitherto.
I think, however, that it may not seem advisable to eliminate all protection just because of that extraordinary nature of the thing, because this would make, for example, subject to deportation any aliens acting in behalf of a foreign political government, party, or group. Those are broad terms, subject to different interpretation. They are so broad that they would apply to Mr. Benes, or Mr. Paderewski, or other persons of less note, who are here for causes we might wholly believe in, connected with the furtherance of democracy; and yet, by the very definition of this particular title, they are here ipso facto, subject to deportation, and it is up to the Immigration and Naturalization Service if they are here, or any one of our consuls, scattered throughout the world, to decide whether their particular activities or intended activities would or would not be deleterious to the national safety of the United States.
Now there, it seems to me, is a decision of such moment that it would only be fair to make that decision subject to review, and I would like to suggest to the committee that it consider the desirability of perhaps making any decisions of that nature, subject to review and appeal either by the Board for the supervision of the deportable aliens or some other quasi judicial party. I think that is particularly important in connection with the actions of consuls in refusing visas because they are isolated and they are not always in position to know the facts involved; and perhaps to appraise as carefully as should be what is deleterious or what is not deleterious to the national safety of the country.
But otherwise there may be some questions. This title also mentions certain organizations by name. It is a question perhaps of policy whether one should define any principle of what would apply to all organizations or specifically mention some. The Attorney General, of course, in his letter, felt it would safeguard the alien as well as the Government if the specific organization were mentioned so that Congress declared its policy. I think there is something to be said on both sides with reference to title 4.
Mr. Hobbs. Before you leave title 3, would you mind an interruption?
Mr. LEWIS. Not at all.