« ÎnapoiContinuați »
Mr. Nixon. Well, that was not my interpretation of the bill. My interpretation of the bill was that it applied to all noncitizens in the country who commit these various actions.
Mr. CRAVENS. I drew the conclusion from your statement that you had that conception of the bill, but that is entirely different from mine. I believe what the bill is really aimed at, as I conceive the bill, and as I understand the purpose of Mr. Hobbs in drawing it, was very carefully not to aim at aliens generally, but only at aliens who are illegally in this country. Am I right about that, Mr. Hobbs?—and who are not entitled to be in this country.
Mr. Hobbs. I think that ought to be qualified by saying that the sole purpose of the bill is to deal with the critical problem of the nondeportable alien. He has been ordered to be deported, and after exhausting all his rights, he has been subject to a warrant of deportation. It is only the aliens here illegally, or legally in this country as to have a final determination, from which an order of deportation is issued against him and still outstanding.
Mr. Nixon. I am not sure how fine a line we are drawing here. The language of the bill throughout is “any alien”—if you read it—"who falls in a certain class."
Mr. Hobbs. That is not so, and I know you don't want to get a wrong interpretation.
Mr. Nixon. No; I don't want to get a wrong interpretation.
Mr. Hobbs. This is any alien against whom a valid warrant of deportation is outstanding. It doesn't stop with “any alien.”
Mr. Nixox. And we are discussing the grounds for that valid warrant of deportation, which can be applied to any alien in the country.
Mr. HOBBs. You can discuss any ground you want to, but you do not want to convey a false impression of the bill.
Mr. NIXON `Isn't that the interpretation ?
Mr. Nixon. On page 11, section 202, specifies aliens of certain described classes. Section (d) includes sabotage. That is, any aliens committing sabotage. Any alien comes under the provisions of this bill. Is that correct?
Mr. C'RAVENS. He becomes deportable as a result of the sabotage. That we are not in disagreement about.
Mr. Nixon. I think the meaning of that is perfectly clear.
Mr. CRAVENS. The point I was trying to make is in your characteri, zation, I think the persons against whom this bill applies, you made it too broad. It applies to a very much more limited class of aliens than you believed.
Mr. HOBBs. It applies to any alien against whom a valid warrant of deportation is outstanding. It does not apply to one against whom such a warrant is not outstanding.
Mr. Nixon. But does it not set forth procedure for a valid warrant ?
Mr. Hobbs. No, sir; not at all. It only takes up aliens after it is found they are unfit to remain here.
Mr. Nixon. But in this it takes up aliens who are convicted of certain things. It provides for certain procedure for this class of people, and this classification can be given and applied under existing procedure to any alien.
3182:30-11-ser. 2. pt, 2
Mr. Hobbs. But that is necessarily a limited class of aliens.
Mr. HOBBs. In other words, your statement gave me the impression that you had the impression it applied to all aliens in this country:
Mr. Nixon. No; I understand it sets forth you must do certain things to come under this.
Mr. Hobbs. The requirement is the same as in existing law, that they have so gotten themselves into this country under some condition that warrants a valid order of deportation. Then under those conditions this law is applicable.
Mr. WEAVER. The very first section is clear on that point. It provides that any alien against whom a valid warrant of deportation is outstanding shall, pending deportation, be subject to supervision, and so forth. It says: any alien subject to the provisions of this title who has been ordered to be deported, but whose deportation has not been made effective.
Mr. Nixon. I understand that, but my only point is this: Let us say that of all the aliens in our organized labor movement, there is a strike in our defense industry. Is that to be interpreted as sabotage? Then by the act of striking everyone of these aliens puts himself in a position where this warrant, this valid warrant for deportation is applicable.
Mr. WEAVER. No; I don't think so.
Mr. WEAVER. He would have to commit an act of sabotage. Then they would have to issue the usual process and give him a chance to be heard and try his case, and he would have all the opportunities of due process of law before a valid warrant for deportation could be issued.
Mr. Nixon. I understand that.
Mr. Nixon. No; I have nothing further. If there are no further questions,
Mr. WEAVER. If there are no further questions, we appreciate your coming before us, and the committee will adjourn and there will be a further hearing, at which I hope we can conclude this. The hearing will probably be the first of next week.
(Whereupon, at 12:15 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned.)
SUPERVISION AND DETENTION OF CERTAIN ALIENS
FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1941
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:30 a. m., the Honorable Sam Hobbs presiding
Mr. Hobbs. The subcommittee will come to order. I understand the first witness this morning is Mr. Joseph Cadden, Executive Secretary of the American Youth Congress.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH CADDEN, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
AMERICAN YOUTH CONGRESS
Mr. CADDEN. My name is Joseph Cadden; I am the executive secretary of the American Youth Congress, a federation of youth organizations. I would like, first, to explain the circumstances of my testimony.
Mr. HOBBs. Your address, please.
Mr. CADDEN. It is 907 Fifteenth Street NW., Washington. That is the Washington office of the American Youth Congress, where I am working.
The bill before the committee is not simply the subject of a formal resolution on the part of the American Youth Congress. I wanted to explain that. Over and above that action, the bill, at least in its original form, and the purposes of the bill, have been discussed in several youth groups throughout the country; student groups, groups of young trade unionists and young farmers, in settlement houses, Y. W; and Y. M. C. A.'s, and has been a topic for discussion on the question of the alien in the United States.
I explain this to indicate the interest which there is in this legislation and other legislation concerning aliens.
The young people who have discussed these matters have done so quite seriously, and in particular this bill. There are two points that they asked me to bring before the committee very briefly.
Öne, their opinion that the bill is unnecessary; and, two, the opinion that the bill is un-American.
It is the understanding that we have and the people who discussed the bill have, that in the United States there is a sufficiency of laws to protect the public welfare; that the criminals who may be in the United States, whether they be citizens or not, can be well taken care of under our present laws by the courts and through their prosecution by the police system, both local, State, and Federal, and that further
legislation in connection with the handling of protection of our citizens from criminals is unnecessary, particularly at this time when there are so many more important things to come before the Congress of the United States.
Particularly, so far as the young people are concerned, the root of crime, one of the roots of crime, we consider to be unemployment, and when there are 4,000,000 young people in the country who are unemployed and who are out of school, there is a danger to ourselves, to our peace, to our domestic tranquility, and until this problem is taken up by Congress and solved by Congress, we feel that other legislation of this kind, which is designed to protect us from criminal acts is wholly futile.
We feel that this bill is unnecessary, since it appears from the statement of the Attorney General, which is made in connection with this bill, that there are some 6,000-odd people abroad in the United States against whom warrants of deportation have been issued, and which warrants cannot be executed because of conditions beyond the control of the Government.
When I read the testimony of the Attorney General, I wondered whether the Attorney General seriously thought that these aliens for whom warrants of deportation had been issued were a source of danger in any way, or whether he thought they were perpetrating any crimes.
If they are, then there are plenty of laws under which they can be prosecuted. If they are not, I believe, from my reading and study of the Declaration of Independence, and my reading and study of the Constitution, that they, as men, as people, have the right to live in peace, and to pursue their ways.
It is quite obvious that the moment that they do anything which is against the public interest that they can be prosecuted just as anyone else can be prosecuted, and therefore I see no reason why at this time there should be any attempt to make special provisions to detain aliens in a manner other than anyone else would be detained if they committed a crime.
The second point which has been discussed at even greater length within these groups of young people, is the question of the Amerieanism of this bill, which has been seriously questioned.
It has been the understanding of the young people that go through our public schools, that when they study the Constitution, that when they study the Declaration of Independence, they are not studying them for their literary value, but rather for the value it will have in guiding their lives and their conduct as citizens, and it seems that the Attorney General has, in this law, been particularly concerned, at least in the section at the end of this letter of his, where he emphasizes his concern over the passage of the bill, or a substitute, about The Communist Party.
I think that this is one of the things that young people understand very little about at the present time. Their understanding is that in this country a group of people can be together and nominate for public office any one they feel is fit for public office; that if, in doing this, it seems wise in order to get him elected, that they form a political party, they may do so; that as a political party they have the right to pint ip candidates and to campaign for those candidates for public Office, no matter what the political party may be called.
We know that at this particular time minority groups are in great disfavor with the administration, particularly, and that most particularly the administration is concerned with the Communist Party.
Mr. Jackson has said so; the President has said so, and of course these references in the letter of the Attorney General make it very clear, that one of his most important reasons for desiring the passage of a bill of this kind, is to make it easy for him to prosecute members of the Communist Party.
This seems to us to be entirely at variance with the meaning and spirit of the Constitution; and it seems to us, particularly at this moment, when democracy is the thing which is at stake, when democracy is the thing we are all concerned about, we have got to practice democracy at home, we have to be very careful that no democratic right is infringed upon, or interfered with, particularly the basic right of citizenship to vote and to participate in elections and to form a political party for participating in such elections.
There was a time when the administration felt very kindly toward minority parties, including the Communist Party. At the present time the Democratic Party and the administration seem to frown on any minority expression of opinion. They have even gone so far as to frown on minority Members of the House, members of the Republican Party, and it is my suspicion that the Republicans, if such a bill were passed, if such a policy was adopted by the Congress, the Republicans might well be the next on the list, because the administration has to be able to do away with any political opponents. If they are going to be able to do away with rights of minorities, minority political parties, then I think we will have very little democracy left in this country.
The young people, the American Youth Congress, and other young people, who understand what democracy means, understand that, first of all, democracy includes the right of people to form political parties.
Again we say there are more than plenty of laws which limit the activities of groups of people against any overt acts which may be detrimental to the welfare of the people of the country, and it would seem to us that the right of the party which calls itself Communist must be exactly equal to the party which calls itself Democratic or Republican, if we really are going to continue parliamentarian systeni, if we are really going to continue the traditional way of government, and that the purpose in this act which the Attorney General says will serve him is to persecute the Communist Party to establish a policy which is the establishment of a matter of fact. By that I mean he has had, as he says, a good deal of difficulty in the courts. Well, that is perfectly natural, where courts recognize the right of political parties. Our Congress recognized the right of the Communist Party to exist, as well as the right of any other minority party.
The Attorney General has had some difficulty with the courts, apparently. Therefore, he wants Congress to decide a question of fact, which I do not think is proper for the Congress to decide. I think that questions of fact have always been left to the courts, and that they can be left to the courts without any difficulty.
The act, apparently, and especially because of the interpretation of the Attorney General, is directed against a minority political party, and because the act seems to us to be unnecessary, we are very much opposed to its passage, and we feel that the Congress, if it is interested