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as I say, over 20 years. They could not under the law file any declaration of intention because they were not available for citizenship. And the only purpose of the objection of my colleague from New York, if it is taken seriously, if this bill passes without this, would mean that these people who have been in the United States for over 20 years would have to wait 2 years longer before they could file their declaration of intention.
The CHAIRMAN. That is true.
Mr. Lynch. That is correct. So far as a certificate of arrival is concerned, to which objection was made by my colleague in an offhand way, there is not anything so very important about that, because as I understand it, under the act of March 2, 1929, they can to the registry office and register and if they are people of high moral character and arrived before 1924, that is the equivalent of a certificate of arrival in all respects except the issuance of that certificate.
So I do not see anything at all in this bill that is objectionable, if you can see your way clear in principle to permit these people who have been here since prior to 1924, to be admitted to citizenship.
Mr. ALLEN. Well, now, just let me ask you this: We were asked last year to break down the wall of Asiatic exclusion by piecemeal. We are asked again today for another segment. I am wondering if you think that is the proper way to go about that.
In other words, if the policy established over 50 years ago was good, should we not live up to it, and if it was bad, should we not get rid of it entirely? In other words, are we getting anywhere when we go at it in this way?
Just as certainly as the sun rises in the morning, if this bill is reported out, we are going to have a bill in a very few days about the Koreans. They have been before us.
The CHAIRMAN. We have only a very few Koreans in this country. Mr. ALLEN. That does not matter. We are talking about principle. This whole thing involves a principle, largely.
Mr. LYNCH. Well, is not the whole quota law rather a matter of principle that has been adopted?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes; over 50 years ago.
Mr. Lynch. And is not the exclusion the exception to the quota law?
Mr. ALLEN. Well, we first adopted the exclusion principle over 50 years ago, and then later we fixed a quota, in 1924.
Mr. LYNCH. Well, I think, Congressman, that we have to legislate largely in the light of the development of history and our economic views. Personally, I think the situation has changed decidedly with respect to our views on all these matters since possibly 50 years ago, when the Exclusion Act was first passed, and what may have been good over a period of years may now be pointed out, by reason of the development of these other countries, to not be the right legislation at this time. That is the way I look at it. I do not know whether that is sound, but it would seem sound to me.
Mr. ALLEN. That is my point. Regardless of my attitude toward this or any other legislation, if we are going to meet the issue, are we not almost compelled, in good conscience, to meet it as a whole, or reject it as a whole?
Mr. LYNCH. I think you are pretty nearly meeting it as a whole when you apply the quota system, for instance, to these countries that have developed and have come within the sphere of American activities within the past years. That is the way it would seem to me.
I think you could very well pass this legislation and feel perfectly justified, in that the circumstances have changed so much since the original legislation. The attitude of the State Department, for instance, the attitude of the Attorney General, but more particularly the attitude of the State Department, because that has to do with foreign relations, is such that the feeling is that it would be a good thing for this country if we could get a friendly feeling developed between foreign countries and ourselves.
Mr. KEARNEY. I would like to inject this thought here. Going back to the Chinese bill, and following with this bill that is now before us, practically all of the witnesses have testified in words or in substance that due to the tremendous war effort on the part of these various nations, or dominions, whatever you wish to call them, that is the answer in the minds of a great many of the witnesses as to why the nationals of these particular countries should be admitted to citizenship in our own country.
Mr. LYNCH. Do you want my expression on that?
Mr. LYNCH. I myself do not believe that is the fundamental reason. I think that the fundamental reason for the extension of this law is that our own attitude with respect to the comity of nations has so developed that from our own point of view, in order to establish perhaps more friendly relations, it is better to enact this legislation.
It has been said before that India and China are our allies, but after all, they are fighting their own war. They had to get into the war, just like we had to get into the war, and their war effort is something entirely dependent upon themselves. And if that were the only reason for extending citizenship to these people, I would say that that in itself was not a valid reason, for the reason that they are fighting because they have to fight.
Mr. ALLEN. I am delighted to hear you say that.
Mr. Lynch. I think the real viewpoint on this entire subject should be based on the belief as to whether or not we can establish for our country better relations by removing the quota, or establishing the quota, rather, in accordance with the Celler bill, or in any event, at the very least
Mr. KEARNEY. You would not go as far as the Celler and Luce bills go, is that it?
Mr. LYNCH. No. I have no objection to the Celler bill or the Luce bill. When I say I have no objection, I do have a slight objection to one part. I personally think that it would be for the better interests of our own country to have the most friendly relations with India, and I think that those friendly relations can be established for the betterment of our own country by passing some kind of a quota bill, the amount to be determined by the Congress. But I say if this committee does not go that far, at least we ought to go as far as my bill suggested, and that is to extend the privilege of citizenship to the people who have been here over 20 years, who, by their moral character have shown that they are capable of American citizenship,
who have adopted our form of life and practically our form of government, without having a part in it, and whose children are American citizens fighting along with our own boys in the ranks. I think you ought to go at least that far.
Now I said that I endorse the Celler bill in principle. And the only objection I really have to it is that it provides that a preference up to 75 percent of the quota shall be given to Indians born and resident in India or its dependencies.
It would seem to me that if anybody came in after 1924, of course he perhaps came in illegally, or may have come in on some kind of a student visa, business visa, or what-not. I think a person who has remained in the country and has lived in the country for over 20 years, should not be compelled to go back to India, when there are only about three or four thousand who would be compelled to go back to India before they could come in under a quota, while some Indian who is not at all familiar with our form of life and our Government would be permitted to come in under the quota.
The CHAIRMAN. May I make one observation? That would not apply, for this reason: If, assuming now that the committee and the Congress vote a quota under the Celler bill, and also provide for naturalization of those classes or groups who are in this country—
Mr. LYNCH. Prior to 1924.
The CHAIRMAN. They would not have to go out of the country at all. In other words, there were a number of Chinese in this country. We gave them a quota. Those Chinese who can qualify under our naturalization laws may apply for citizenship without going back to China. The same situation would apply to the Indians in this country. If the principle is adopted by this committee and Congress, namely, if a quota is granted, which would be 75, and it would include the 4,000 or whatever the number is, who are in this country, they would immediately be given the right to apply for citizenship without having to wait the specified statutory period, because they have been here that long.
Mr. Lynch. Well, if those people who have been here for whatever the statutory period might be, and who have registered—they are all registered or supposed to be registered under the act of 1940, in any event, but if those who are here would be admitted without being under the quota, that would cover the situation.
The CHAIRMAN. I see your point.
The CHAIRMAN. I see your point. Mr. Shaughnessy just called my attention to the fact that there are a number of them here who came here after 1924.
Mr. Lynch. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. And you would want to provide, since they have American born children, and other family ties, that that burden be relieved under the law?
Mr. Lynch. That is right.
Mr. Lynch. That is the only objection I can see to the Celler bill. Now the Celler bill takes care of my people who came here before 1924. So if you pass the Celler bill with the amendment I suggest, it will be perfectly all right. If you do not, I think you ought to pass my bill.
Mr. ÅLLEN. I want to command Judge Lynch for not undertaking to wrap this bill up in the flag. You have tried to argue the merits of the bill, and you have left the patriotic angle out. And I think you are correct in doing that. And that does not detract from the contribution the Indians have made in the war. But I think our contribution to them is certainly as great, and I think it is greater.
Mr. Lynch. Far greater.
Mr. ALLEN. Because they would have been swamped by the Japanese long ago if it had not been for the American boys. And I do not like the idea of selling this bill on the ground that we owe it to India for something India has done in the war.
Mr. LYNCH. I am very glad you brought that out, Mr. Allen. You brought it out more clearly than I did. That is my position. We are doing something on our own behalf, I hope, for our own benefit, not as a reward to India for what India has done and should have done for herself, and by the same token, what China has done and should have done for herself.
Mr. ALLEN. In other words, the yardstick is and should be, of what value it would be to America?
Mr. Lynch. That is right.
Mr. ALLEN. That ought to be the yardstick with which we measure the bill.
Mr. Lynch. If my bill, which as I say is not all-inclusive, is passed, I think we would get at least 3,500 good American citizens. And if you want to go on and estalbisb the quota, I am sure you could get good citizens under the quota. But I would hate to have you send back the people who have come in after 1924, and penalize them for the benefit of somebody who is in India and can get under the quota the minute the bill passes.
The CHAIRMAN. I think the committee should go into that question, and I believe it will.
Mr. ARNOLD. In what part of the country do most of these folks live?
Mr. Lynch. I should say the majority of them in the western country, California, Arizona, Texas. We have a lot of them in New York, who are in business. But I think the majority of the people who would actually be most affected, are spread between New York and the far West, rather than in the middle sections of the country.
Mr. KEARNEY. There are a lot of them in New York.
Mr. LYNCH. I want to say that Senator Langer called me up last week and said he wanted to be present at the hearing today, but owing to the death of Senator Moses he would not be able to return until probably Saturday.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, we will extend your hearing until next Wednesday. Just put one or two witnesses on who have to go back.
Mr. Lynch. This gentleman comes from Iowa, and he has to go back. Dr. Mazumdar.
STATEMENT OF DR. HARIDOS T. MAZUMDAR, PROFESSOR OF
SOCIOLOGY AND ECONOMICS, WILLIAM PENN COLLEGE, OSCALOOSA, IOWA; VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR INDIA FREEDOM; EDITOR, VOICE OF INDIA
Dr. MAZUMDAR. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I am Dr. Haridos T. Mazumdar, professor of sociology and economics, William Penn College, Oscaloosa, Iowa; vice president, National Committee for India Freedom, and one of the editors of the Voice of India. I have no written statement, Mr. Chairman. I am glad I could be here this morning and listen to the testimony that proceeded inine. And I should like to make three or four points, and I hope if Congressman Allen has any questions he will permit me to answer them.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose I have some questions? Dr. MAZUMDAR. I would be very glad to answer them. The CHAIRMAN. I have no questions, but I just wanted to ask you. Dr. MAZUMDAR. Congressman Allen asked questions of this lady, who is not competent to answer questions about the internal affairs of India
The CHAIRMAN. She is competent. We have had testimony yesterday and today that was very clarifying.
Dr. MAZUMDAR. First of all, this particular bill of Mr. Lynch attempts to bring relief to a group of people who are in a very especially underprivileged position. They have been in this country for a number of years. They have participated in American culture, American activities. They have rendered their contributions to the well-being of America. They have paid taxes. They have carried on their part of the work in the business of this land. To all intents and purposes they have been Americans in everything except in the exercise of the rights of American citizenship. They are here. They are going to die here. They are doing their duty in everything as American citizens, except in the one vital fact of the exercise of the rights of American citizenship.
It would seem to me that America has an obligation to do the right thing, to rectify a serious wrong, by giving them the right to become American citizens, as the Lynch bill provides.
Let me also make this point clear, Mr. Chairman. I was very happy that Congressman Celler could be present at these sessions. I was privileged to meet Congressman Celler a few years ago in New York at a luncheon, and I tentatively suggested this idea, that our people were in an unfortunate situation, something ought to be done. And I am very happy that he has taken the initiative in introducing his bill to put India on a quota basis, putting her on a par with the countries of Europe and Asia.
Mr. Lynch's bill attempts to rectify a serious grievance, which might or might not be covered by the Celler bill. I want to see both bills favorably considered by this committee and passed by the House and Senate, if it is the best judgment of the Congress of the United States of America.
And I want to make this point, sir—two points:
1. Our people have been registered for selective service, and under the Alien Registration Act, every one of our fellow countrymen from India has undertaken to fulfill the requirements of the laws of this