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Mr. TREVOR. That would probably cover the question of illegal entrants. But in no case does that correct the vice of this section, which destroys the very principle of the quota law.
Mr. HoBBS. Now, then, I want to state to the gentleman that was clearly my idea and the idea of the subcommittee and the idea of the full committee, that that was limited to lawful entrants.
Now, then, if we are wrong, we would be glad to change it, because that is all we proposed to do.
But I have a more serious quarrel with your statement. You inti. mated, at least so far as my construction was concerned, that section (6) was several. As a matter of fact, it requires proof of all six of these things, and it is conjunctive and not several.
Mr. TREVOR. I have already said, in response to your colleague's comments that I thought that possibly I had overstated the case wheu I felt that this applied to illegal entrants.
Mr. Hobbs. Yes; but you said just a few minutes ago that if he proves section (6), he could come in and his status could be changed. Now, I want to call your attention to the fact that all six of those are to be proved.
Mr. TREVOR. All six of them have got to be considered together. I said that, but I was in error and I confess the error.
Mr. HOBBs. I beg your pardon.
It may be a misprision in the printing; my colleague calls attention that this is a period and not a semicolon. "Of course it ought to be a semicolon.
Mr. TREVOR. I think it should be.
Mr. HOBBs. Thanks you you very much, sir; you have been very helpful.
Washington, D. C., April 23, 1911. Hon. ZEBULON WEAVER, Chairman, Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN WEAVER: A sharp attack of illness last night compels me to return to New York for treatment. For this reason and to my great regret, I am unable to discuss personally with Mr. Hobbs this morning some of the recommendations for amendment of his bill which I made yesterday in the course of the hearing.
If circumstances permit, I will at a later date avail myself of the privilege accorded to me by the committee to submit some recommendations for amend. ments. However, if I am not presuming too much upon the courtesy of the committee, I would like to have inserted in the record of my testimony in connection with my comments on title 1, section 6 of the bill, the following remarks:
This section, if enacted, will in my opinion, accord privileges to aliens which are actually denied to a large body of law-abiding citizens of the United States through presidential veto of the Walter-Logan bill.
I cannot emphasize too strongly not merely the injustice of this curious situation but the utter confusion which will result in the administration of our immigration laws if the sufficiency of evidence to sustain the findings of fact in alien detention cases is thrown into the courts.
Again thanking you, Mr. Chairman, for your most courteous consideration of my testimony yesterday, believe me. Very respectfully yours,
JOHN B. TREVOR. (Dictated but not read.)
Mr. WEAVER. We will hear from the gentleman from Detroit, who wishes to make a statement.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT SEIBERT, WAYNE COUNTY, INDUSTRIAL
UNION COUNCIL OF THE CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS, OF DETROIT, MICH.
Mr. SEIBERT. For the record, Mr. Chairman, my name is Robert Seibert. I live in the city of Detroit, Mich. I am in the city of Washington, an official delegate of the Wayne County Industrial Union Council of the C. I. O. We are here for the purpose of defense of civil rights. We have had a conference here beginning last Saturday and ending Sunday in regard to civil rights as a whole.
In addition to being a member of our organized labor, I am also an officer of the Democratic Party of the State of Michigan. My congressional district is on record in opposition to this enactment of the bill in Congress at the present time. As an organization, we are opposed to the Hobbs bill because we believe that the Hobbs bill violates the civil rights of the citizens and noncitizens of the United States as provided for in the Constitution. The Constitution provides that a citizen or a noncitizen in a State has certain immunities. We believe that the Hobbs bill transgresses upon the Constitution.
We have tried while we were down here on short notice to secure arguments from the Constitution in the Annotated decisions, which is a Senate document, and we will argue from that basis. We believe that the House bill will open up into the United States an infringement through illegal search and seizure. We have seen in the city of Detroit, very recently, and since from the American Legion here, who have opened up the question in the Ford case. We can state very definitely that the constitutional liberties of not only aliens, of every other individual in the city of Detroit was jeopardized in that situation through the bias and prejudice of the judge sitting in the Eastern District of the State of Michigan.
Mr. CRAVENS. Federal or State?
Mr. SEIBERT. Federal Judge Tuttle, who demanded that Captain Lyons of the police department shoot down strikers who had_assembled peaceably, because from the past expressions of Judge Tuttle to the public and in the court in the city of Detroit, I have heard him in discussions of the whole affair, attack labor as a bunch of lying agitators.
I say, Mr. Chairman, than when a man of that character in that position does that, then he is not entitled to sit on the bench, and I was instrumental in putting a motion through my organization to ask for his impeachment.
Now, the Hobbs bill will open up abuses to constitutional guarantees. For instance, as I stated, aliens and citizens of States are entitled to immunities.
Title I here, section 1: Any alien against whom a valid warrant of deportation is outstanding shall, peuding deportation, be subject to supervision and detention in accordance with the provisions of this title.
The Bill of Rights and the Constitution prohibit detention without proper legal procedure. And further on in the Hobbs bill it provides that the Attorney General and a board, if they do not take action, that Congress upon the report in these particular cases shall usurp the judicial power. I believe that is clear. It says here:
The Clerk of the House shall have such report printed as a public document
Meaning the report in regard to activities that is to be submitted under the Hobbs bill. Such report is to be printed as a public document.
If during the session of the Congress at which a case is reported, or if a case is reported less than 30 days prior to the close of the session, then during the next session of the Congress, the two Houses pass a concurrent resolution stating in substance that the Congress does not favor the suspension of such deportation, the Attorney General shall thereupon deport such alien in the manner provided by law. If during the session of the Congress at which a case is reported, or if a case is reported less than 30 days prior to the close of the session, then during the next session of the Congress, the two Houses do not pass such a resolution, the Attorney General shall cancel deportation proceedings upon the termination of such session, except that such proceedings shall not be cancelled in the case of any alien who was not legally admitted for permanent residence at the time of his last entry into the United States, unless such alien pays to the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization fee of $18 (which fee shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts). Upon the cancelation of such proceedings in any case in which such fee has been paid, the Commissioner shall record the alien's admission for permanent residence as of ibe date of his last entry into the United States and the Secretary of State shall, if the alien was a quota immigrant at the time of entry and was not charged to the appropriate quota, reduce the quota of the country of the alien's nationality as defined in section 12 of the act of May 26, 1924.
It appears that the Hobbs bill in this instance has provided for what is provided for in article III of the Constitution, which says:
SEC. 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at the stated times receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
The Constitution does not say that Congress has the right to try such cases before it as a judicial authority. It vests the judicial authority in this country in the courts, and not in Congress. I believe in that one instance, that if the bill was taken to the Supreme Court, under this it would prove itself to be unconstitutional.
Mr. CRAVENS Don't you believe, though, Mr. Seibert, that judicial proceedings are executive in character?
Mr. SEIBERT. Well, it is a debatable question as to whether it is or not, under the circumstances.
Mr. Cravens. Let me see if I get your position. Colonel Trevor, who preceded you, also objected to that same section on the ground that he said the Attorney General would go ahead and deport them, anyway, without any supervision of Congress. Are you taking that position, or that it should not be done at all?
Mr. SEIBERT. No; I take the position that every person in this country is entitled to his day in court.
Mr. CRAVENS. Well, I am just trying to get your position, and I am asking if it is to the same position that Colonel Trevor took.
Mr. SEIBERT No; I am not. I believe the only way that democracy can function efficiently is to give those who are driven out under politi. cal persecution and who enter this country as Mr. Hobbs I believe stated under certain circumstances they may not be extra-legal, or they are extra-legal, so-called; that they be given their day in court and that they be tried by a jury of their peers, and not by the House.
I believe that the bill in that instance is out of line with constitutional procedure.
Mr. CRAVENS. Are you not forgetting this circumstance, though, that in this bill that this bill only becomes effective or takes effect and only deals with aliens who have already had their day in court and where a decree of deportation has been entered and becomes final; and this bill seeks only to legislate on that phase.
Mr. SEIBERT. As I told you, we are trying to debate here on this particular bill. We did not know that the hearing was set for the period when it was. If we had, we would have probably come much better prepared to argue the bill as a whole.
Mr. CRAVENS. Well, I am not attempting to argue with you.
Mr. Cravens. I am just pointing out now, as I understand, the bill deals only with aliens who have already had their day in court.
Mr. SEIBERT. I do not interpret the bill that way. I interpret the bill as being a bill providing for the regulations in regard to deportation proceedings of aliens. I do not see in the bill any specific instance where the alien is given his day in court. Yet I do see wording there that he shall be incarcerated for a period of 90 days without bail. I do see that, which I believe is another question that is unconstitutional.
I think that the courts in this country have clearly defined what the rights of a person is, be he citizen or be he noncitizen, and that in the questions of the amendments of the Bill of Rights that they be liberally construed in order to give the prosecuted or the arrested individual the benefit of the doubt. And yet we find in a great many instances where it is not being done, and where organizations appear before this body here and other bodies of Congress demanding legislation which their own rank and file is not in accordance with. They have done that, and I do not think the rank and file of the American Legion—because we have some 325,000 men in Wayne County living in our locality who are members of the American Legion, who vehemently protest the national officers procedure in coming before Congressional committees and making statements out of line and in violation of the desires of the rank and file of the American Legion.
Mr. WEAVER. Mr. Seibert, let me call your attention to the very first section of title 1. That is when this bill begins to operate, as has been pointed out.
Mr. SEIBERT. Section 1?
Any alien against whom a valid warrant of deportation is outstanding shall, pending deportation, be subject to supervision and detention in accordance with the provisions of this title.
Now, it does not begin to operate until there has been an orderly and due force of process preceding it, to determine whether or not he shall be deported. Now, that is where this bill begins to work.
Mr. SEIBERT. I want to, as much as I dislike to, Mr. Chairman
Mr. WEAVER. I want to call your attention to the fact that we have a practical problem here.
Mr. SEIBERT. That is right.
Mr. WEAVER. I don't know what you want to do. We have some eight or nine thousand, and probably will have many more, who may be subject to deportation, after hearing. They always are entitled to a hearing. If they are all found to be subject to deportation, we cannot
get them back to their countries. What are you going to do with them? That is the practical problem we are debating.
Mr. SEIBERT. I agree with you. Not only is it a practical problem with lots of aliens, but also lots of other disturbing elements in this country. The same problem exists, and what are we going to do?
Mr. WEAVER. That is the problem, what are we going to do with the people whose deportation cannot be effected after they have been ordered deported. Go ahead.
Mr. CRAVENS. Further on in the bill, you recall Colonel Trevor's testimony that there is a provision for habeus corpus proceeding, and he said they were getting too many court proceedings.
Mr. SEIBERT. I agree that Colonel Trevor, or whatever his name is, is out of line with a lot of the practical problems in the bill, because he said he had been working 20 years to restrict the quotas of immigration. And I want to ask this committee: In the establishment of America, how was America established, to begin with, except by immigrants who came from persecuted countries and came here because of our liberal construction of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights and it made them better citizens.
Mr. CRAVENS. Don't forget the Indians.
Mr. SEIBERT. Well, the Indians are restricted on certain things I do rot agree with.
Mr. CRAVENS. What I was calling your attention to a moment ago was that there is a course of procedure provided, and it is an extended court, larger than they have now, and Colonel Trevor objected to the enlargement of the judicial proceedings.
Mr. SEIBERT. All right; let me ask the committee this: Even though the Constitution provides for certain legal steps as a minimum of protecting the constitutional rights of the citizens of this country as well as the noncitizens of this country, why, then, is the ex parte injunctions and the ex parte proceedings used? And there is nothing in here that definitely defines the ex parte proceedings that tell the applicable in this case.
Mr. CRAVENS. No; but it necessarily follows in all such proceedings the habeas corpus right guaranteed by the Constitution is always available. And this bill goes ahead and enlarges the scope of those very proceedings, and Colonel Trevor objected to the enlargement.
Mr. SEIBERT. Yes; it allows for habeas corpus proceedings. After you have let the horse out of the barn, so-called, you lock the door. The proposition of habeas corpus, Mr. Chairman, I believe should be reversed in this bill and should be stated first.
Mr. CRAVENs. You have got the first proposition; that is, that there must be a valid deportation warrant outstanding, which presupposes an orderly judicial proceeding to determine that fact. Then after he is ordered deported, then he can still have this habeas corpus proceeding in which the evidence can be inquired into. So that this bill, rather than restricting any judicial proceedings or depriving anyone of judicial rights, as a matter of fact it enlarges those rights and gives him more rights than he has got today.
Mr. SEIBERT. I cannot see where it does, because our courts are not dealing judicially with these matters. As I said before, it is these ex parte hearings where they are determined that makes it not only hard for the noncitizen but it makes it awfully tough for the citizen.