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Section 14 and section 36, act of 1917; $10 each
Passage money disposed of, $185,000 plus.
It is evident that, as a result, or partly as a result, of administrative fines imposed in the past, steamship companies are taking greater care to prevent the transportation of inadmissible aliens. This is shown not only by the smaller number of fine cases coming before the department (though the amounts thereof are greater than in past years owing to change in the law) but by the evidence presented by the lines to prove their contention that they acted in good faith and did all that they could to ascertain whether the aliens on whose account fines are proposed were admissible, and that they did not accept them for passage until after it had been determined, so far as possible, that they would be permitted to land in the United States. Very few instances arise in which there is reason to suspect that the owners of the line, or those responsible for the operation of the ships, connive at violation. Most of the penalties, therefore, are imposed for errors or faults of omission rather than commission, the degree of diligence exercised being, in the department's opinion, less than that required by the law or by the facts in the individual cases.
The detail abroad of technical advisers on immigration matters has done much to lessen the number of prospective or proposed fines, as these officers have examined aliens prior to embarkation and have not permitted those to embark who, in their judgment, were inadmissible to this country.
The Congress appropriated $5,851,705 for the conduct of the Immigration Service and the administration of the various laws pertaining to immigration for the fiscal year 1926. The following statement shows the amount made available for each object: For the enforcement of laws regulating immigration into the United States.
$4, 534, 865 Coast and land-border patrol..
1, 150, 000 For fiscal maintenance and upkeep of immigration stationsFor salaries, Bureau of Immigration.Total..
5, 851, 705 The net amount expended during the fiscal year 1926 for all purposes, after deducting refunds to the appropriation for expenditures not properly chargeable against the Government, was $5,685,173.46,
75, 000 91, 840
leaving an unexpended balance of $166,531.54. Taking into consideration the revenue to the Government incidental to the operation of the Immigration Service the past year, in amount, $4,229,499.06, the net cost of operating the Immigration Service for the past 12 months was $1,455,674.40, a very modest sum for the great results obtained and the importance to the country of the enforcement of the immigration laws.
The following table shows the various sources of income and the amounts collected under each head: Immigration head tax (through customs districts).
$3, 034, 322. 35 Immigration fines (through customs districts)-
620, 811. 74 Collections for immigration permits to reenter the United States..
326, 101. 83 Forfeiture of bonds...
127, 632. 47 Forfeiture of bonds collected by Department of Justice
4, 455, 90 Sale of exclusive privileges.
1, 260, 66 Sale of Government property
573. 95 Miscellaneous collections..
447. 41 Care and treatment of aliens, Ellis Island Hospital, Public Health Service..
113, 892. 75 Total..-
4, 229, 499. 06 A saving to the appropriation of $107,278 was made during the fiscal year 1926 as the result of a charge of 50 cents a day per alien collected from steamship companies and individuals for overnight maintenance of aliens at immigration stations. This plan was inaugurated February 16, 1922, and up to the close of June 30, 1926, $797,353 has been saved to the Government.
During the fiscal year 1926 several important changes affecting personnel were put into effect, the principal ones being the assignment of immigrant inspectors abroad and the enlargement and reorganization of the immigration border patrol.
During the latter part of the fiscal year 1925 several immigrant inspectors were temporarily detailed to Great Britain and Ireland for the purpose of determining the feasibility of examining prospective immigrants abroad. The results obtained through this experiment proved highly successful and during the fiscal year 1926 the plan was permanently adopted and extended to a number of other foreign countries. Twenty-one such officers are now on duty in European countries.
On July 1, 1925, the personnel of the coast and land-border patrol was 472. This force was reorganized and strengthened during the year until it reached a maximum of 632 on June 30, 1926, the average force for the year being 516. The additional men were assigned to duty at points along the eastern Canadian border, the State of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. As a result of experience gained during the year, it is obvious that a force of at least 1,000 men is required to establish an effective enforcement of the immigration laws at all points and protect the country against alien smuggling activities.
A survey of institutions and investigations conducted in the various immigration districts discloses that there are a considerable number of undesirable aliens in the United States unlawfully, many of them public charges. As a consequence, deportation work has
materially increased. It is estimated that at least 150 additional immigrant inspectors are needed to take care of the increase in deportation work, and if this force can be provided, the men will be assigned to duty in cities having a large alien population, such as New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Boston.
"Ellis Island,' as the immigration station at the port of New York is best known, has always furnished one of the most difficult problems of administration. With the advent of the quota restrictions in 1921 upon the number that might come through immigration channels, the difficulties at New York were intensified, so far as administrative officials were concerned, even though the volume of immigration was greatly reduced. Further and more complex laws and regulations, to which were added quota complications and passport technicalities, not to mention the aggravated competition of steamship interests, all combined to produce a situation that taxed the ingenuity and best efforts, not only of the commissioner of immigration at the port but also of the bureau and departmental heads at Washington. The further narrowing of the quotas brought about by the act of 1924 and the distribution of arrivals throughout the fiscal year made necessary certain readjustments in the way of equipment and personnel. The extension of the foreign inspection during the past year has also contributed further to lessen detentions at the port, decrease the number of appeal cases, and generally to make unnecessary the maintenance of a large plant on the scale previously required. Administrative officials have made substantial progress in cutting down the excessive salary overhead and in reallocating the force without sacrificing efficiency or law enforcement. There has in fact been a net saving of $68,718.62 on salaries over the fiscal year 1925. Further efforts to adjust Ellis Island to present-day requirements will continue to be made, and, meanwhile, it is not too much to say that New York has a model immigration station, of which the country may well be proud. Often the object of unfavorable comment in former years, the year just past has witnessed a much more favorable popular attitude toward the station and its management. It is hoped that the term "Ellis Island” may in time be freed from any unpleasant significance in the thought of our own people and the minds of the newcomers to our shores, and that the greatest immigration station in the United States may realize for itself and for the country its fullest possibilities. Continued, intelligent, and cooperative administration will surely bring this about. A further reduction of the present force wherever possible is one of the problems that is receiving the earnest thought of the bureau. It is hoped that a considerable saving will be effected in the near future by the elimination of any surplus force. Constructive suggestions along this line are receiving most careful consideration. It is especially desirable that excess personnel at the Ellis Island immigration station be eliminated, for the reason that constantly increased demands, chiefly along the borders, require additions to the inspection forces there; indeed, a significant factor of the immigration situation at the present time is the transfer of activities from the seaport to the border stations. The
quota restrictions, while in many respects serving to simplify the problems of administration at seaports, have greatly increased the duties of border immigration officers.
As a consequence of the economic and industrial situation in other countries, the number of aliens that would enter the country were it not for the restrictive immigration laws is problematical. The number of applications received at the United States consulates indicates that the immigration to this country, if at present unrestricted, would perhaps be the largest in our history. Many aliens finding themselves unable to obtain an immigration visa, and surrounded as they are by unfavorable conditions at home, naturally seek other means of gaining entry to the United States, where prosperity awaits the toiler. It is moreover a more or less peculiar trait of human nature that we desire most those things of which we are deprived. The bureau is receiving constant reports of the large numbers of aliens who have left their home countries and have proceeded to foreign contiguous territory, Cuba and elsewhere, with the one and only purpose of eventually gaining entry to this country. It is also known that there are agencies, international in their scope and operations, that are engaged in assisting aliens to effect unlawful entry, and the situation is one which requires constant vigilance, if we are to prevent the introduction into this country of large numbers of aliens of a highly undesirable type, who in defiance of our laws seek to settle in our midst.
no means of determining whether these classes that seek to enter through the back door or by underground channels are infested with loathsome and contagious diseases; whether they seek to spread revolutionary doctrines; whether they have been released from penal institutions with the understanding that they will leave their country; and at all events the manner in which they go about to gain entry is an evidence that they have no respect for the laws of this country. Confronted by a situation of this kind, it is most fortunate that Congress made provision for the establishment of an immigration border patrol service. A brief history of the formation of this patrol force was given in the last annual report of the bureau. At that time there was connected with it an authorized force of 472 employees. As the efforts to thwart the purpose of the immigration laws are constantly increasing, it has become more and more apparent that the immigration patrol force must extend its operations, and consequently constant efforts have been made to increase the number of officers identified with it.
Originally this force operated exclusively along the land boundaries, but it soon became apparent that to control the situation officers must be stationed in Florida and in other places along the sea and Gulf coasts, and accordingly the force has been added to until it now numbers 632 employees. When it is taken into consideration, however, that our land boundaries extend for several thousand miles on the north and south, and with Cuba and other islands—to which aliens have proceeded for no other purpose than to surreptitiously enter this country-only comparatively short distances removed from our seacoasts, a force of even
600 men is certainly not adequate to protect the country properly from an unlawful alien invasion. The hope is expressed, and it is confidently believed, that as the needs for extending the service become apparent to our lawmakers, they will supply the necessary funds to bring this force up to the standard in point of numbers and equipment, that will render it effective against any means that may be employed by aliens and others to circumvent the law. By this it is not meant that the situation is out of control at the present time. On the contrary, the immigration border patrol force has been so well organized and the officers identified with it so zealous in the performance of their duties that, notwithstanding the fact that a greater number of aliens are seeking unlawful entry, it is confidently believed that fewer of them are succeeding than in former years. The force must be increased, however, in proportion to the efforts made by aliens, organizations, and individuals to circumvent the law. The growing number of highways crossing the international boundaries and their increasing use by visitors from one country to the other create an added burden upon the service to turn back the undesirable alien and defeat the efforts of the smuggler. With the ever-increasing speed of land and water vehicles, to say nothing of the quite common use of aircraft, the advantages of the smugglers are ever increasing, and while I do not go so far as to raise the cry, which was heard throughout the world during the late war, of men and more men, I do believe that there is a pressing necessity for a force of at least 1,000 employees in the border patrol. As an illustration of the effectiveness of this service the following table contains a brief summary of its activities and accomplishments: Principal activities of immigration border patrol, fiscal year ended June 30, 1926
CHARACTER OF WORK
Persons questioned and pedestrians examined.
INSPECTION OF TRAINS, MOTOR VEHICLES, ETC.
on same (estimated).
Number 2, 299, 224
5, 580 8, 103
331 3, 382 8, 049
1, 250 3, 082, 500 2, 768, 789
758 19, 557 293, 396
179, 881 2, 062, 000 629, 282
38, 370 2, 087, 912