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LEGISLATIVE CHANGES RECOMMENDED
In the course of this report certain matters that require correction or provision by way of legislation in order that the ends of effective administration may be secured already have been touched upon. These matters, in concrete form and somewhat further elaborated, are now presented for your attention with the following recommendations:
First. Two million dollars to be expended for increased personnel and more effective administration of the coast and land border patrol, instead of the annual appropriation of $1,000,000 under · which this force now operates.
Second. Five hundred thousand dollars to be added to the appropriation for enforcement of laws regulating immigration into the United States, to be expended for additional immigrant inspectors and other personnel, and for accomplishing more effectively the removal from the country, as contemplated by law, of aliens found to be illegally in the country. This recommendation is to be regarded as correlative to the proposed increase in force and equipment of the patrol force, and will enable the Immigration Service to cope more successfully with the situation heretofore protrayed of the large number of illegally entered aliens already in the country.
Third. A prompt provision through legislation, with adequate appropriation of funds, to provide for a country-wide registration of all aliens now in the United States, with provision for future similar registration of newcomers within a stipulated time after entry. In my opinion, such steps can not be taken too soon, for the welfare of the country. To the objection that may be raised that this plan is contrary to American ideas and smacks of Old World restrictions, it is sufficient to cite that our citizens are constantly called upon in one way and another to record themselves upon official registers, and it is the least that a sound Government wishing to remain sound in its institutions should expect that the aliens who elect to reside within its boundaries should similarly indicate their willingness to become and remain a law-abiding part of the population by properly submitting themselves to enrollment in official records. Such registration, first of all, will furnish the material now lacking for formulating proper recommendations to the Congress for control of the alien problem within the country and enable immigration officials to ascertain promptly what number of aliens are illegally here and subject to removal under the immigration laws. The plan would be at the same time a protection to the lawfully admitted alien residents and a curb to the aliens who have by means of surreptitious entries or under the guise of visitors or seamen secured unlawful admission. The law-abiding part of our alien population have no occasion to fear the results of such a survey, while the alien violator of the laws will be induced to remove his unlawful presence or expose himself to apprehension and ultimate deportation proceedings. It is logical to assert that one of the greatest incentives to unlawful entry will be thereby removed and that there will be a noticeable falling off in alien smuggling activities.
Fourth. Legislation should be enacted that will provide for legalizing the presence in this country, without departure therefrom on appearance and examination before immigrant inspectors and
officials of the Public Health Service, of those aliens who entered prior to the date upon which the first quota law became effective (June 3, 1921), and who are found to be otherwise admissible except for some technical irregularity in the records established at the time of entry; who may, for instance, have entered bona fide as visitors or transits and subsequently remained, or as to whom no record of entry across land boundaries prior to the date mentioned is found upon immigration records. The potential menace which such aliens present already has been set forth in some detail. The fact is brought out that there is a very considerable part of the population to whom the possibility of naturalization is practically shut off by reason of the fact that, where such aliens are natives of quota countries, existing quota restrictions really prevent the alien's departure with any prospect of a successful reapplication from any foreign country after due compliance with law. We should treat such aliens as may be comprehended within the foregoing with charity and liberality and encourage them to assume a lawful status and subsequent citizenship.
Fifth. In addition to existing measures calling for deportation, a penalty should be provided that will discourage aliens who gained admission by clandestine means or who go through regular channels but accomplish their entry by means of false and misleading statements. The five-year statutory limitation upon the deportation of alien criminals should be removed, and this cause for deportation made a continuing one.
Sixth. The issuance of reentry permits provided for in section 10 of the immigration act of 1924 is too uncertain a measure as it now stands and should be amended so as to vest administrative officials with authority to refuse permits when, in the opinion of the department, an alien applicant is of an inadmissible class or not entitled to be or remain in the country. When issued such permit should prima facie entitle its proper holder to readmission to the country under all the provisions of the immigration laws, unless such an alien on arrival as an applicant for reentry is found to be mentally defective or diseased or for any other reason is mandatorily debarred by existing immigration standards. The present act as it now reads provides that the Commissioner General of Immigration shall issue such permit, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, if he finds that the alien has been legally admitted to the United States and that the application is made in good faith. The law further states that such permit "shall have no effect under the immigration laws, except to show that the alien to whom it is issued is returning from a temporary visit abroad.". Thus the carrying out of the law frequently results in the application at a port of an alien who is in possession of a return permit but who on examination is found to be ineligible for admission under the standards imposed by the immigration act of 1917, thereby rendering the procedure subject to a great deal of criticism.
Seventh. Since in order to be most effectively employed in the enforcement of the law the Immigration Service in its very nature must be maintained as a mobile force-officers of the service being widely scattered along the seaboard and land boundaries as well as at inland stations, with representatives in Hawaii and Porto Rico Congress should provide for payment of moving expenses for officers
and their families and effects where transfers are ordered in the interests of the Immigration Service in the line of duty. The comparatively low level of salaries now prevailing makes it very unwise in the majority of instances for the department to move immigration officials about from one official station to another with the freedom which good administration of such laws, with the seasonal or changing conditions presented from time to time, often render advisable.
Eighth. It is recommended that a general discretion with regard to excluding provisions of the immigration laws be vested in the Secretary to authorize the readmission of expatriated native and naturalized citizens.
Ninth. Authority should be included in section 15 of the act for the imposition of a bond to guarantee the maintenance of the exempt status of an immigrant student, where the applicant is not believed to be seeking admission in good faith, under section 4 (e). As the matter now stands, the bureau finds itself compelled to refuse admission to many aliens applying as immigrant students, whom it could properly admit as such if authority were expressly conferred to exact bonds for the maintenance of student status.
Tenth. The law now provides that the father and the mother of a citizen of the United States shall be given only preferred treatment by the consuls in securing immigration visas; whereas, the wives and the unmarried children under 18 years of age of citizens are granted immigration visas as non-quota immigrants. It is my recommendation that this “non-quota immigrant” status should be extended to the parents of citizens, and further that the age limit for granting non-quota visas to the unmarried children of citizens should be raised from 18 to 21 years, thus eliminating two preference classes—the parents and the unmarried children, between the ages of 18 and 21 years, of citizens of the United States and placing these two classes among the non-quota classes. This will expedite the admission of parents and children of American citizens and the bureau sees no reason why we should delay what is so clearly an act of mercy.
Eleventh. Section 4 (a) of the act should be amended to provide that a wife who is an American citizen, and resides in the United States, may petition for the issuance of a non-quota immigration visa to her alien husband. As it now stands, the law permits such a citizen wife to petition only for preference for her husband. This subdivision of section 4 should also be amended to provide that either a husband or a wife who is a citizen of the United States may petition for the issuance of non-quota immigration visas to the children of either alien spouse.
Twelfth. Section 4 (d) of the act extends a non-quota' status, under specified conditions, to ministers of religious denominations, and professors of colleges, academies, seminaries, or universities, and to their wives and unmarried children under the age of 18 years, if accompanying or following to join them; but the exemption provided in this section can be extended only to the wives and children of such ministers or professors who themselves complied with the conditions named therein, that is, who entered since July 1, 1924. This is in accord with an opinion by the solicitor for the department, and the same is generally held to apply to the wives and unmarried children of immigrants entitled to non-quota status under section
ats, whom i sly conferre
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 29 ordered in the
4 (c) by reason of nativity in Canada, Newfoundland, Mexico, and ity. The con
other non-quota countries. It is, therefore, recommended, in accordit very unui ance with what is believed to have been the intention of Congress in ve immigratic
enacting this section, that amendatory legislation be provided to th the freedo
cover the admission of the wives and minor children of non-quota nal or chang: immigrants under section 4 (c) and (d), who entered the United advisable.
States prior to July 1, 1924. on with regar Thirteenth. Section 11 provides at the present time for an annual vested in the
quota for each nationality of 2 per cent of the number of foreigned native an born individuals of such nationality resident in continental United
States as determined by the census of 1890, with a minimum quota of of the act fe 100, and further provides that beginning July 1, 1927, and for each of the exemr fiscal year thereafter, the allotment shall be determined according to s not beliera
national origin. The bureau feels that the present method of ascer(e). As th:
taining the quotas is far more satisfactory than the proposed deterto refuse ad
mination by national origin, that it has the advantages of simplicity and certainty. It is of the opinion that the proposed change will lead to great confusion and result in complexities, and accordingly it is recommended that the pertinent portions of section 11, providing
for this revision of the quotas as they now stand, be rescinded. ed treatmen
Fourteenth. Under the existing provisions of the immigration laws
relating to steamship fines it is prescribed that the master, owner, citizens are agent, etc., of vessels bringing aliens to the United States shall, in t is my ret certain instances, be assessed in a penal sum of a certain stipulated
amount “and in addition a sum equal to that paid by such alien for his transportation from the initial point of departure * * to
the port of arrival * * * such latter sum to be delivered * o preference
to the alien on whose account assessed." In other words, under the ages
present laws it becomes necessary to regard the refund of passage money as a part of and inseparable from the penalty against the line. Experience demonstrates that aliens frequently practice fraud upon the line, in inducing it to bring them to this country and, in such instances, it is not believed that the alien should be allowed to profit by his fraud to the extent of receiving a refund of his passage money. It is, therefore, recommended that discretion be vested in the Secretary of Labor to decide whether refund of passage money should be directed.
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Since assuming office I have been favorably impressed with the loyalty manifested by the officers and staff of the Immigration Service, both at the bureau and in the field. The Immigration Service might well be termed our first line of defense in time of peace, and too much credit can not be given the small army of men who, not infrequently at grave risk, protect our frontiers from the invasion of undesirable aliens.
Undermanned as the service is, underpaid as many of the employees
some points, the officers and employees have, in spite of these dis-
In conclusion I desire, on behalf of the employees of the bureau
* children with the
1, 1924. artment, nmarried section
Immigration Service and to make grateful acknowledgment of the cooperation which has been extended by officers of the Department of State and the United States Public Health Service, and practically every other administrative branch of the Government, in the enforcement of the immigration laws. Respectfully submitted.
HARRY E. HULL,