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The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mrs. Kahn. They marry American-born Chinese men in San Francisco.
The CHAIRMAN. Not very many of them.
Mrs. Kaun. I do not think they return to China in large numbers. It seems to me they marry in the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. When the children of Chinese citizens here go to China, both boys and girls, it seems that the boys come back, but the girls remain there.
Mrs. Kain. If that is true, I do not know why they prefer to stay there.
The CHAIRMAN. Then why work around here to invite them to come in?
Mrs. Kaux. We want to bring in these Chinese girls that these Chinese-American citizens marry. These men want to bring in their wives.
Mr. DICKSTEIN. Do you believe that these Chinese should marry white women?
Mrs. Kaun. They want to marry girls of their own race. Miscegenation is not permitted in California. In other words, these American citizens who are of the Chinese race could not marry women of other races in California.
Mr. DICKSTEIN. You say that marriage between Chinese and people of the white race is prohibited in California ?
Mrs. Kain. Yes. I imagine that a majority of these native-born Chinese are residents of my district. I think I have a thousand of them in my district. This organization of which Mr. Fung is the head has more than a thousand members who were born in the United States, and most of them were born in San Francisco. I think Mr. Fung is quite representative of the type of Americanborn Chinese we have there. A large number of these men are college graduates, professional men, highly intelligent, and patriotic. They take an intense interest in our Government. It is most interesting to study a list of voters who really exercise their citizenship on election day in that district. The returns from that district are most enlightened. It is astonishing to see the number of these who vote and really take an interest in Government.
The CHAIRMAX. You understand that this bill does not apply solely to Chinese.
Mrs: KAHN. Yes, sir.
Mrs. Kaun. Yes. I do not think there are so many orientals outside of these Chinese.
The CHAIRMAX. You have quite a number of Japanese in California, have you not?
Mrs. KAHN. I do not know how many native-born there are. That may be shown later. This number particularly will increase. I am not making a plea for the Chinese because they are Chinese or for the Japanese because they are Japanese, but because they are native-born American citizens. I do not see any reason for discriminating against any class of American citizens. "I do not think these native-born American citizens of the Chinese race should be deprived of these blessings any more than any other American citizen should be deprived of them. I refer, as I said before, particularly to the rights to enjoy family life.
The CHAIRMAN. You are familiar, I believe, with the Chinese exclusion act?
Mrs. Kain. Yes. I am familiar with the Chinese exclusion act.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe that Mr. Kahn himself favored the Chinese exclusion act.
Mrs. Kann. He did.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you for esting statement.
STATEMENT OF KENNETH Y. FUNG, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF
THE CHINESE AMERICAN CITIZENS' ALLIANCE, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mr. DYER. I would be glad to have the committee hear Mr. Fung at this time,
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Where are your headquarters?
Mr. Fung. Yes, sir; at Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco, and Boston, and in other cities.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you one in New York City ? Mr. FUNG. No, sir. The CHAIRMAN. But there are a number of Chinese in New York City.
Mr. Fung. Yes, sir. Quite a number. However, they have a separate organization and do not come under our jurisdiction.
The CHAIRMAN. Are they joining you in this appeal—the New York organization, I mean?
Mr. FUNG. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Have you a statement from them? Mr. Fung. No, sir; I have not. The CHAIRMAN. Can you get one? Mr. FUNG. I will try to do so. The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead. Mr. Fung. I am appearing here to-day in behalf of H. R. 2404. This bill would restore to these American citizens their former privilege of bringing in their alien Chinese wives. That bill is designed to relieve a very serious hardship imposed upon American citizens of the Chinese race. Under present conditions these nativeborn American citizens of the Chinese race are separated from their wives, because the wives are not allowed to come here. It will be recalled that I was here in 1928 in behalf of a bill identical with the one now before the committee. Incidentally, I will mention that this is the third time this bill is up for consideration. I feel that the very fact the honorable chairman has consented to hear us on this bill indicates that the bill is not without merit. We are here simply to try to devise some practical means of relieving this very real hardship. In all probability, when the immigration act of 1924 was being considered by Congress, the fact that section 13
of the act would prohibit the admission of the alien Chinese wives of American citizens was not called to its attention. Under section 4, subdivision (a) of the act, it is provided that the wife of a citizen of the United States is admissible into this country and during the discussion of the then proposed act in Congress, it was pointed out that provision would take care of all the wives of American citizens. However, under section 13, subdivision (c), it declares that no alien ineligible to citizenship shall be admitted unless they come within such exemptions as treaty merchants, professors, ministers, or students. Since these wives are themselves of a race ineligible to citizenship and because of the omission to include them in the exempted classes, they are being permanently prohibited from joining their husbands in America. It is to be noted that the provisions of the 1924 act relating to Chinese persons are so intermingled with other provisions which are not applicable to such persons, and with so many confusing cross references, that it is rather difficult for a person not well acquainted with oriental immigration matters to understand them fully.
It is inconceivable that Congress should have intended to be more favorable to an alien merchant than to a citizen of the United States. The Supreme Court has decided that an alien merchant, or a professor, or a minister, may bring his alien Chinese wife into the United States. Referring to this situation, the 1927 report of the Secretary of Labor, whose department is charged with the administering of the immigration laws, said in part:
The Chinese exclusion act specifically permits the entrance of Chinese merchants, and the courts have held that such provision includes the wife and dependent, unmarried, minor children. Should an oriental alien, however, chance to be the wife of an American citizen, regardless of the occupational status of the husband, the wife can not be admitted, thus giving to a Chinese and other aliens the right to the association of his wife which is denied to the citizen. I am sure it was never intended by the Congress that an alien should be entitled to more rights under the immigration laws than an American citizen.
The Assistant Secretary of Labor, Mr. White, under date of January 13, 1928, wrote to Hon. Albert Johnson, chairman of the House Committee on Immigration, and said in part:
It seems to me a practically indefensible situation has arisen under the immigration act of 1924 with respect to the admissibility of women who are ineligible to citizenship.
The Second Assistant Secretary of Labor, Mr. Husband, testifying in 1928 before the Senate Committee on Immigration on the same problem, said:
It appeals to us as an unfair discrimination in favor of the wives of aliens, and not only the alien merchant, but the professor, the minister of reilgious denominations, although an alien, may bring in his wife for permanent residence, but the United States citizen, who is a citizen by reason of birth in this country, is not granted the same privilege.
It is submitted that an American citizen in his own country should certainly be accorded rights at least equal to those given to an alien resident here.
H. R. 2404 is a bill in line with the general immigration policy, that of providing for the reunion of separated families. In his message to Congress, President Coolidge, referring to the immigraion act of 1924, said:
The situation should, however, be carefully surveyed in order to ascertain whether it is working a needless hardship upon our own inhabitants. If it deprives them of the comfort and society of those bound to them by close family ties, such modifications should be adopted as will afford relief, always in accordance with the principle that our Government owes its first duty to our own people and that no alien inhabitant of another country has any legal rights whatever under our Constitution and laws. It is only through treaty or through residence here that such rights accrue. But we should not, however, be forgetful of the obligations of a common humanity.
The Government's first duty is to our own citizens, and speedy relief should be accorded to our own citizens. Those of our citizens who have wives in China are as much citizens of this country as those whose wives are of the Caucasian race, and shall we deny to them the companionship of their wives and the comforts of a home, and to their children, who by law are American citizens, the fostering care of a mother's love! In further support of the contention that families should not be separated, the following is cited from the 1927 annual report of the Secretary of Labor, who said under the caption of “Reunion of Families":
The provisions of the present immigration law which have had most serious thought are those which are designed, or should be designed, to effect the reunion of separated families. In the consideration of this subject, there has also been studied means for preventing the further separation of families by the arrival in the United States of husbands and fathers as immigrants whose intention is to bring families to this country.
The Secretary further says, after referring to the fact that the immigration act of 1924 permits the admission of wives—not born of a race ineligible to citizenship—and unmarried children under 18 years of age of citizens, as nonquota immigrants, that
These provisions are very just concessions to citizens, for it must be conceded that a citizen of the United States separated from his family is entitled to special consideration. Moral and economic reasons, as well as privilege because of citizenship, dictated the wisdom of joining these families and keeping them together.
It is submitted that the same humane considerations which actuated Congress in making admissible the citizens' wives who are of a race eligible to citizenship apply with equal force to the citizens? wives who are of a race ineligible to citizenship. A man is a man whatever his race, and his natural desire for and need of his wife are the same, irrespective of his race or the race of his wife.
It is impossible to state how many persons would be affected by the proposed amendment, but the United States census of 1920 affords some basis of calculation. The number of Chinese in the United States, according to the 1920 census, is 61,639, of which 53,891 are males and 7,748 are females. Of the total Chinese population of 61,639, 43,107 are foreign born and 18,532 native born. Of the 18,532 native-born Chinese, 13,318 are males and 5,214 females. The proposed amendment will affect those males of American citizenship who have wives in China. Assistant Secretary of Labor Husband compiled some data on the number of wives of citizens admitted over a period of years and said that this would be an indication of what would occur in the future. From 1906 to 1924, a total of 19 years, there were admitted into the United States 2,848 Chinese wives of American citizens, an average of about 149 a year. This would indicate that there would be no great influx of Chinese wives into this country, but that they will come in the normal way.
H. R. 2404 is a humanitarian measure, because it provides for the reunion of families. The humane aspect of the proposed amendment can not be questioned. The home is the basis of the life of the Nation, and without a wife and mother a home can hardly exist. A law permanently separating a husband from his wife is an unnatural law, contrary to common humanity and the institutions of civilized society, and indefensible from the standpoint of morality, and such a law has no place upon the statute books of any civilized country. It is not good for man to practice celibacy. Marriage and the association of a man with his wife constitute the greatest safeguard of public morals.
It is the scarcity of Chinese females in this country which forces the Chinese-American citizens to go to China to seek wives of their race, intermarriage between the Mongolians and the whites being inadvisable and prohibited by law in 11 States of the Union. So when the 1924 immigration act went into effect, we find many Chinese wives of American citizens who were unable to be admitted into the United States. Among them are 30 or more Chinese wives of citizens who were on the high seas at the time the new law went into effect and these women were denied admission upon arrival at the various American ports. These cases were taken on appeal to the United States Supreme Court, with the hope that the court would hold that an American citizen had an inherent, natural, and constitutional right to have his wife with him in the country of his citizenship, that his domicile was her domicile, and that his home was her home. But the Supreme Court decided otherwise, not on the merits of the cases, but on the ground that it was the intent of the Congress to exclude these women, and the only hope for relief is in following the intimation contained in the decision of the court to the effect that Congress alone can remove this hardship. These women, subsequently, were admitted temporarily under bond and the Department of Labor has seen fit to extend their bonds from time to time, until Congress shall have time to take up the question of their relief.
In our second plea for relief to Congress, we ended with these words:
Therefore, the American citizen of the Chinese race comes to Congress for relief. Has he come in vain? We trust not.
That was in 1928. These citizens are still hoping that Congress will speedily grant them the relief which, in the name of humanity and justice, Congress can not and must not deny them.
The CHAIRMAN. Are some of the American-born Chinese married and have their wives in China?
Mr. FUNG. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the idea in marrying them when they knew there was no way to bring them to the United States?
Mr. Fung. This happened, in many cases, before the act was passed.
Mr. DYER. When I was in China for the last time, which was last summer, I learned of an American citizen who has lived in China for some years and married a Chinese woman and has some four or five grown children by reason of that marriage. Recently, he was retired by the corporation for which he was working, on a pension,