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HEARINGS

BEFORE

U.S. Conquers. Haure,
THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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COMMITTEE ON RULES

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEVENTIETH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION

BERTRAND H. SNELL, New York, Chairman THOMAS S. WILLIAMS, Illinois.

EDWARD W. POU, North Carolina. FRED S. PURNELL, Indiana.

FINIS J. GARRETT, Tennessee. EARL C. MICHENER, Michigan.

WILLIAM B. BANKHEAD, Alabama. HARRY C. RANSLEY, Pennsylvania.

JOHN J. O'CONNOR, New York.
FRANKLIN W. FORT, New Jersey.
JOSEPH W. MARTIN, Jr., Massachusetts.

II

IMMIGRATION

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

COMMITTEE ON RULES,

Friday, February 8, 1929. The committee this day met, Honorable Bertrand H. Snell (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Johnson of Washington desires to make a statement with reference to some bills which he discussed with us the other day.

STATEMENT OF HON. ALBERT JOHNSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, AND CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION

Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am prepared now to suggest a tentative draft of a rule which the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization would like to have presented to the House.

The CHAIRMAN. If you will give us what you desire to do, we can take care of the rule part all right.

Mr. Johnson. We desire a rule that will cover H. R. 16927, a bill to clarify the law relating to the temporary admission of aliens to the United States, the bill having been introduced by Mr. Box, and the report having been made by Mr. Box.

The CHAIRMAN. Is that the bill that has to do with Canadian and Mexican immigration largely?

Mr. Johnson. Yes; and the emergency is acute. The matter is in the Supreme Court of the United States, and it is highly desirable to clarify that law, or to make clear the intent of Congress when it passed the 1924 act with reference to immigrants and nonimmigrants.

The bill has been drawn with great care, with the advice of the Solicitor of the State Department and the Solicitor of the Department of Labor, and with due regard to the Jay treaty. It is a very important bill and a very short bill.

The CHAIRMAN. Your committee are all agreeable to the contents of this bill at the present time?

Mr. Johnson. Yes. The report is voluminous, because it might have to do with decisions in the future. It has been very carefully prepared.

The next bill is H. R. 16926, granting preferences within the quota to certain aliens.

That is to allow the placing within the preferred classes, within the quota, of highly skilled persons badly needed in the development of business.

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The CHAIRMAN. But it does not increase the quota?

Mr. Johnson. It does not increase the quota. When the act passed the House it had such an exemption, but it went out in conference, and the situation has been troublesome ever since.

Mr. Pou. This bill also has a unanimous report from the committee?

Mr. Johnson. Yes; I think there is no objection to it. The third bill I want to call to your attention is H. R. 13793, a bill relating to records of certain immigrants, and for other purposes.

That is known as the Schneider bill. That permits aliens who were here prior to a certain date, in 1921, and who can show good conduct, to receive, on the payment of $20 a certificate of domicile, and thereafter, if they proceed toward citizenship, to pay $5.

We will have a committee amendment to the effect that the date when they may start again for citizenship shall be the date when they start making the record or application, and pay the money. The bill as now written would apparently let them start behind that date, and we are opposed to that.

The CHAIRMAN. From and after the passage of this bill?

Mr. JOHNSON. To start after they clear the record and pay the fee. It does not invite fraudulent statements as to the date when they did actually arrive.

Only yesterday the Senate passed the text of the Schneider bill, but they made the date, instead of 1921, 1924. They attached that to the Vincent bill, which was a small bill having to do with the residence of witnesses to an alien's 5-year residence prior to citizenship. We have left that in here to have it included in the rule, but it may be we can get that to conference.

The CHAIRMAN. If the Senate has passed an amendment to a bill that has already been passed by the House, would it be necessary to take that up de novo here? Could not that go to conference direct? You say they have added one of these bills to a bill in the Senate at the present time.

Mr. Johnson. I am of the impression-
Mr. GARRETT (interposing). One of your bills is the Schneider bill?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.

Mr. GARRETT. There is quite a controversy in the committee over the Schneider bill?

Mr. Johnson. Yes; but the controversy, I think, is subsiding, for the reason that a majority of the House Members of the committee insist on the date of 1921, the beginning of the temporary quota system, and not the date 1924, which was the beginning of the permanent quota system. The last-named date has been put in by the Senate. If we have conferees, we would be positively instructed to stand by the date 1921. That is the agreement that brought the Schneider bill out to the calendar before we knew it would be passed first by the Senate. The matter has been attached by the Senate to the Vincent bill, H. R. 349. The Senate has hung on some other naturalization matters which are not matters of dispute but are highly technical. The Senate bill passed only yesterday, and there has not been time for our committee to comment on the bill. I am in hopes that we can agree on it because the naturalization laws are so out of date; there has not been time to revise them properly.

Those are administrative necessities

Mr. PURNELL (interposing). What would be an example of a skilled noncompetitive alien? What class does that contemplate?

Mr. JOHNSON. We are having applications all the time such as, for instance, for a man to come to operate newly invented machinery, invented, for instance, in Norway, which has to do with hydroelectric operations. He can operate that machinery perfectly. If he comes now they have to admit him temporarily as a visitor and renew that permit. It is a little awkward for both departments.

Mr. PURNELL. Does that contemplate the entrance of any great number?

Mr. JOHNSON. They come within the quota.
The CHAIRMAN. It does not increase the quota?

Mr. JOHNSON. It does not increase the quota. So when they want a man admitted as an expert now they have to do it in two ways. They must show that it is not likely that such a man could be found in the United States, and make an affirmative showing, and then the application goes to the State Department, and from there it goes to the consul who satisfies himself that the man is an expert. He does that by knowing the number of years of his experience.

Mr. Pou. This bill simply gives a preference to those people within the quota limit?

Mr. Johnson. Yes; and it is badly needed.

Mr. FORT. I had a case of that kind in which the man whom it was desired to have admitted held up the work of 750 people on account of that situation.

Mr. Johnson. Both departments are asking for something to clarify the situation. A paragraph was in the 1924 act when the House passed it, making these classes nonquota. It went out because certain witnesses said every exemption made that much more administrative trouble.

The next bill I want to call your attention is the deportation bill, which is entitled “A bill making it a felony with penalty for certain aliens to enter the United States of America under certain conditions in violation of law."

Mr. BANKHEAD. Is that the one you discussed before?

Mr. JOHNSON. Yes. Since I was before you the other day we put back in that bill the paragraphs relating to the twice-convicted man within a period of 10 years. With those two paragraphs back if we can perfect it we are going to put in one more covering the alien convicted of carrying concealed weapons. With that provision we feel that the bill will be stronger than it was when I was before you the other day.

Mr. GARRETT. What is the number of that bill?

Mr. JOHNSON. That is Senate bill 5094, and the additional clauses to be added are on page 3, line 20, where it says, "An alien who is convicted of any offense (committed after the enactment of this act and at any time after entry) for which he is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of one year or more, and who is thereafter convicted of the same or any other offense (committed after the enactment of this act and at any time after entry) for which he is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of one year or more.”

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