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SUPERVISION AND DETENTION OF CERTAIN ALIENS

MONDAY, MAY 5, 1941

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,

Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., the Honorable Zebulon Weaver, chairman, presiding.

Mr. WEAVER. Let the committee come to order.

Gentlemen of the committee, this is a continuation of the hearing on H. R. 3. We are pleased to have with us this morning, two of our colleagues, Mr. Starnes and Mr. Allen. Who else is to appear this morning?

Mr. STARNES. No one that I know of, as a proponent of the original H. R. 3, or in opposition to the substitute.

Mr. WEAVER. I understood that some respresentative of the Legion was to appear.

Mr. STARNES. Colonel Taylor has appeared already.

Mr. ALLEN. Colonel Taylor advised me a few minutes ago on the telephone he would try to get down here if he could.

Mr. WEAVER. The committee is ready to proceed. Mr. Starnes.

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE JOE STARNES, A REPRESENTA

TIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ALABAMA

Mr. STARNES. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have a twofold purpose in appearing before the subcommittee this morning, considering H. R. 3. The first is to endorse in toto the original bill of my very dear friend, Sam Hobbs, H. R. 3. I think it is an excellent piece of proposed legislation, and I trust this committee will report the original bill as written.

Undoubtedly there is need for legislation of the type of H. R. 3. We have a number of undesirable and criminal aliens in this country who are roaming about and carrying on subversive activities, and whose presence is undesirable, for whom we have no legislation, and no particular way of handling as we should for the protection of the country. Mr. Hobbs' bill provides a good way of handling those undesirable aliens, and I hope that this committee will report that bill. I am whole-heartedly, and without reservation, for the original H. R. 3, which deals, of course, with the detention of undesirable aliens.

The second purpose in appearing before this committee is to vigorously protest against the substitute bill, which, of course, as you know, is a bill embodying the views of the Department of Justice, which is now charged with the handling of our immigration and naturalization laws. I am opposed to that bill in toto. I doubt if it could be amended to effectuate the purposes that Judge Hobbs had in view when he wrote H. R. 3. It is too broad to be handled by this committee. Frankly, it is an immigration and naturalization bill and should be sent to that committee, and probably would be sent there if they had any hope that legislation reported out of that particular committee could obtain the support of the House and the country.

It is a subterfuge being used at the present time by the Department of Justice in order to obtain the prestige of a man of Mr. Hobbs characted to sponsor it and to bring it to the House with the approval, if they can get it, of this great Judiciary Committee, which does have the confidence of the House and the country.

I want to make some specific objections to specific proposals and then make a general statement. It will not take me long to finish.

In the first place, title I, which deals with “Any alien against whom a valid warrant of deportation is outstanding,” and provides for the detention and deportation of such aliens under certain circumstances, is merely a sop. It is a sop to those who believe in restrictive and selective immigration, and who believe that undesirable aliens should be deported, in order to get some one or some committee to sponsor and recommend title IV, which is the heart of this thing insofar as the Department of Justice is concerned.

Title IV contains the destructive germs of the Dickstein bill, which was introduced in the Seventy-third Congress, of the Kerr-Coolidge bill, in the Seventy-fourth Congress, and the bill they tried to attach to the Dies bill in the Seventy-fifth Congress, and which they have now attached as a tail to the kite of this committee in the form of a substitute to H, R. 3, the bill of my good friend, Sam Hobbs.

In the first place, title I does not have much meaning. In section 2, of title I, we find our first specific objection. That is, the establishment of a new board, with big salaries, and providing for the personnel to assist the board in its work.' That provides another bureaucracy to mushroom in one of our regular established agencies. If there must be a board why not use available personnel already in the Department instead of setting up a board which would call for additional appointments and additional expense.

Section 6 revokes the procedure for handling deportation cases which has been in effect ever since we have had immigration and naturalization laws and deportation statutes. It gives the alien the right for the first time in the history of this country to contest the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain findings of fact by an administrative board or group. That is something new. That has not been done heretofore. Heretofore the sufficiency of evidence upon which a finding of fact was based by the Department of Labor in handling these deportation cases could not be contested in our courts. There is a uniform line of decisions on that point.

Section 7 is objectionable. To permit an alien detained under authority of this title to depart voluntarily, rather than to deport hin, would permit him to reenter the country at some future time. In other words, to deport him would mean a bar his reentry; whereas, to permit him to depart voluntarily would permit him to reenter some time in the future.

As to section 8 I have only one suggestion to make, and that is, in addition to the penalties provided, that it should provide for the immediate mandatory deportation of an alien after he has paid his fine and served his sentence, instead of permitting him to stay in this country.

Passing to title II, which deals with aliens who have been ordered deported. I notice this section requires more than the original law requires. It requires conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction of an offense involving the receiving, sharing in, or benefiting by any part of the earnings of a prostitude, and so forth.

If you will turn to section 19 of the immigration laws of 1917, title VIII, section 155, United States Code, annotated, it doesn't require the conviction of one of receiving or sharing in the profits of a prostitute in this country. So that instead of a tightening up, this bill provides a distinct relaxation of existing law. It requires conviction before you can deport rather than just taking them when you have common knowledge, or they have a common reputation of receiving or sharing in the earnings of a prostitute.

Section 203 of title II permits the voluntary departure of the aliens involved in this title, and they are set out specifically, if I recall correctly. By voluntary departure they can, of course, at some future date reenter. It is the same objection I offered a moment ago to section 8 of title I. So that, again we find another relaxation of existing law.

There is a question in my mind, however, Mr. Hobbs. Section 204 may cure the objection I have raised to section 203. What is

your

idea about it? The voluntary departure. Do you think that section 204 is tight enough, tied in with section 203, to cure the objection I have raised?

Mr. Hobbs. That is the purpose of it.

Mr. STARNES. Coming to section 205 of title II we have the same objection raised there to permitting an alien to contest in a court of competent jurisdiction the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a finding of fact. This section would provide a shyster's paradise. And do not think that shyster lawyers have not already preyed upon aliens under the present laws. But this opens up a new field of opportunity for them; greener and more lush pastures than they have ever enjoyed before. And they will certainly take advantage of it.

Passing to title III. I have read this section carefully. It is a little too prolix, under both sections. It is a little difficult to understand. Unless the Communist Party of Russia is included in the general language at the beginning of section 301:

Any alien who seeks to enter the United States intending to act in behalf of any foreign government or foreign political party or groupand unless it is included in the general language in section 302 in the beginning

Any alien who shall act in the United States in behalf of any foreign government or foreign political party or groupthe Communist Party of Russia has been excluded entirely in this bill. Although whoever drafted this originally was very careful to include the Nazi Socialist Party of Nazi Germany in the description of parties,

I offer no criticism about including the Nazi Party of Germany but I do offer the suggestion, however, that the Communist Party of Russia should have been specifically named also so there would be no doubt

Let us take up the language in subsection (c), title IV. In the case of any alien (other than one to whom subsection (d) is applicable) who is deportable under any law of the United States and who has proved good moral character for the preceding 5 years, the Attorney General may (1) permit such alien to depart from the United States to any country of his choice.

That is an enlargement of the discretionary power of the Attorney General, as stated, and permits the alien to leave the country voluntarily and makes him eligible for reentry, which he would not be if you did not vest that discretionary power in the Attorney General and if you forced him out of the country by deportation proceedings.

Mr. CRAVENS. That is in lieu of deportation ?
Mr. STARNES. If he was deported he could not reenter.

Mr. CRAVENS. If he leaves the country voluntarily in lieu of deportation, isn't that the same thing as deportation ?

Mr. STARNES. No. He can reenter at some future time; under deportation, he cannot.

Mr. CRAVENS. Isn't he in the same position, so far as reentry is concerned, where he departs voluntarily in lieu of deportation?

Mr. STARNES. That is the point I am making. If he leaves voluntarily, he can come back, whereas if he is deported he cannot reenter this country.

Mr. CRAVENS. If he departs voluntarily under this section, in lieu of deportation, is not the effect the same as if he had been deported, so far as reentry is concerned?

Mr. STARNES. No; I do not see it that way. I do not think the Department of Justice sees it that way. That is the reason the bill was written as it is. SEC. 2. *

suspend deportation of such alien if not racially admissible or ineligible to naturalization in the United States if he finds that the alien has resided in the United States for 7 consecutive years.

That would do away with certain provisions in our present law. Another relaxation, because it would obviate the necessity of the preexamination procedure now required by law.

There are no strengthening provisions in this bill. It is a farce to say so. It is ridiculous for any man, I do not care what his situation in life, or how learned he is, to state that this bill is a restrictive bill, or that it brings additional restrictions upon the alien. The only thing it does is to hold out a sop, in title I and title II, by the little detention feature it has, and that is killed by giving certain discretionary powers in this particular section to the Attorney General.

Now, then, we come down to the meat of this bill, when you hit title IV, there is nothing restrictive about it anywhere, and I defy anyone to show anything restrictive about it.

Here is an objectionable feature in this subsection (c) that I want to point out to the committee. We had the same feature in the Smith bill. That is one reason, among others, I did not support the conference report. The Attorney General is given discretionary power in this particular section to suspend deportation of the aliens enumerated, and report such cases to the Congress. Now, if the Congress, by a concurrent resolution of both Houses, does not order deportation, then the deportation proceedings are canceled.

If we are going to pass such a bill as this, why not change it to the effect that the Attorney General may, in his discretion, suspend such deportation and report those cases to the Congress for con

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gressional approval. If the Congress fails or refuses to approve the suspension of the deportation of the alien required to be deported, that he then proceed with the deportation. They have the cart before the horse here. You are giving an administrative officer the powerand that was the objection I had to a similar provision in the Smith bill-you are giving him the power to set aside and nullify the law of the United States of America, and it will take action on the part of the Congress, in a concurrent resolution, in order to overcome that power of the Attorney General. I submit that is not a democratic procedure, and that the better procedure would be that this administrative officer and all administrative officers must enforce the law unless they have a clear mandate or permission from the Congress of the United States to the contrary.

We find in this same section a change in the quota laws which have been in existence since we established the quota law, I think in 1924, which permits the entry into this country of approximately 153,000 persons per year for immigration purposes. There is no quibbling about this. I have talked it over very carefully with Mr. Schofield, and I have a very great admiration and respect for Mr. Schofield's earnestness and sincerity, and his apparent ability. He very frankly told me that this was a refugee section, and that it did change, as any man knows who has any familiarity at all with our immigration laws, the whole quota system which has been in existence since 1924.

First, it changes it so as to provide a larger number of immigration visas to be charged against the year in which the immigrant entered this country. This particular section deals with quota immigrants, I presume, although it is rather difficult sometimes in reading

I the bill, to find out what it does refer to. But it does permit the Department of Justice to charge these people to unused back quotas. That is a radical departure, Mr. Chairman. The law has been heretofore, that if a country did not use up its quota for a certain year the unfilled part could not be used in future years. I think that is a sound and salutory provision of law.

We have an untold number of refugees in this country. We have hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions of people, who are seeking to escape from France, Portugal, and other countries. Many have come to certain sections of the Western Hemisphere, waiting to leap across the border immediately upon the passage of this act, who can be given a quota immigration status and charged to these back year suntil they are filled, and when they are filled, God bless your souls, there is another change in here. They can mortgage the future quotas from now until the end of time under the provisions of this bill.

This is the most radical change we have had suggested to the Congress of the United States since the enactment of the original quota laws in 1917: Fill up first the unused back quotas from 1924 down to date, and if that is not sufficient to take care of the huge refugee army here, and those ready to enter this country, legally or illegally insofar as entrance requirements are concerned-it doesn't make any difference under the provisions of this bill, whether they come in legally or illegally-to mortgage future quotas until the end of time without any genuine restriction.

If you want to take such a bill as that to the floor of the House and to the country, that is your responsibility, but that, in my judgment, is

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