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mind when we were very happy indeed to limit the number of witnesses, because if we get a very large volume here nobody will read it, but I believe that now with the limited testimony—and I am confident that all the bills have been thoroughly covered that we will be able to secure the reading attention of a large number of the members of the Senate.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Well, I did not anticipate that we would get through with the testimony of the proponents of the bill today, and I told the opponents that they should come Thursday morning. So I want to thank you, Senator, and say that you are a man of your vord. You said you would only have five witnesses and that is all you have had.
Senator REYNOLDS. Yes; five is all we put on.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. We will recess until Thursday morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 3:30 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned until 10 a. m. Thursday, Apr. 29, 1937.)
DEPORTATION OF ALIENS
THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 1937
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. Pursuant to adjournment, the subcommittee reconvened, in the committee room, 412 Senate Office Building, at 10 a. m., Senator Lewis B. Schwellenbach (chairman of subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Schwellenbach (presiding) and Moore.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE L. WARREN, DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL
MIGRATION SERVICE, NEW YORK CITY Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Mr. Warren, you may proceed. Please state your name and occupation.
Mr. WARREN. My name is George L. Warren. I am director of International Migration Service, New York City. That is a private organization. We render service to families whose difficulties require action in more than one country. We correspond for perhaps 1,100 private and public welfare agencies in the country. Each case requires that some action be taken in some other country. We accomplish that action through correspondence.
Senator MOORE. Without payment and without price?
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. How long have you been engaged in that work?
Mr. WARREN. We were organized in 1924, incorporated under the laws of New York. It is entirely a voluntary charitable organization.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. How long have you been personally engaged in that sort of work?
Mr. WARREN. I have been in social work generally since I left college in 1910. I spent 10 years in business, and returned to this work in 1928.
In the course of a year we handled approximately 3,500 cases in the United States, requiring action in some other country, so we are in touch with many of the difficulties that are covered in these bills.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. You may proceed.
Senator SchwELLENBACH. When you are discussing the bills, please discuss them in numerical order.
Mr. WARREN. In that event, I will refer to S: 1363 first. That bill gives the President authority to designate any alien or any group of aliens for the purpose of deportation. It does not seem to me that provision is at all necessary. Our deportation laws are very complete and many cases are covered by them, and I see no necessity for placing an additional burden on an already overworked President to find additional cases.
The second provision of the bill authorizes the Secretary of Labor to deport those who have subsisted on public or private relief for a period of 6 months. It seems to me that would work an unusual and cruel hardship on many families. We must bear in mind that the majority of people who receive relief do so for comparatively short times, temporary periods. A temporary need of relief would bring certain aliens within the provisions of this bill. I think we should recognize that when we admit aliens to this country who have complied with the provisions of our laws, in effect, we assume some responsibility for them, at least to the extent of giving them relief when necessary,
There is a popular opinion that many aliens are on the relief rolls. That is not justified by any facts that have been presented to date. There is no evidence that has come to my attention to show that aliens are on the relief rolls in any larger number or even as large a number as our general population of citizens. As a matter of fact, most of the relief is provided under State laws. The Federal Government has participated during the period of this administration. If the States, in their judgment, are willing to give assistance to aliens under certain conditions, it seems unnecessary for the Federal Government to step in and say such aliens should be deported.
We are deeply concerned with the problem of families that are separated by the deportation laws. This legislation will greatly aggravate that problem. Let me cite one case that will be covered by such a bill. A few years ago we had in our home a housekeeper who came originally from Ireland. She had been in this country for 52 years. She had worked for four different families during that time. She had saved her money, and always lived a quiet life. She was able to provide for herself during her old age.
But during the depression the bank in which she had deposited her money failed. Because she was of such a quiet, retiring disposition the question of acquiring citizenship had not occurred to her. While in our employ she was obliged to go to the hospital. It was only at that time that I discovered, to my surprise, that she had not become a citizen. She had no relatives in Ireland. It would have been nothing short of cruelty to have deported such a person to Ireland merely because, at the age of 75, she was obliged to go temporarily to a hospital.
You might say that is an extreme case. It is not an extreme case. Many people after they reach the age of 45 find it very difficult to comply with the requirements for naturalization.
In my judgment, such a provision of law would cause the deportation of many very worthy individuals. It is impossible to estimate the number. We feel that such a law would be a reflection on the fairness of the United States Government.
Furthermore, it seems to me that such legislation will immediately suggest and bring about some retaliatory measures by other countries, who will find new reasons for refusing passports to their former nationals. We have not had sufficient time to investigate the complicated provisions of the various countries with respect to the loss of citizenship, but we do know that many countries already provide that absence for a period of 5 years is sufficient justification for expatriation. In self-defense, no doubt many countries would endeavor to find new procedure and rules to protect themselves from the return of those who have been absent from the country for a period of years.
In general practice, the European countries have adopted a standard among themselves that, when one of their nationals resides in another country for a period of 10 years, thereafter the other country accepts
a responsibility for keeping him. That is reasonable. It is based on the assumption that he has contributed 10 good years of his life to the economic development of the other country, and that he should not in fairness be dumped back on his country of origin just because at the end of that time he had received relief. There is no time limitation in this bill, and it would include persons such as I pointed out who have been here as long as 50 years.
Going on now to S. 1364, that in the main provides for the registration and fingerprinting of aliens, setting up a separate interdepartmental committee to accomplish that. It seems to me that is totally unnecessary legislation I cannot see any justifiable reason for setting apart in any community a special group of aliens. I suppose it is proposed because of popular opinion that aliens contribute so heavily to our crime population. Recent statistics issued by the Department of Justice completely refute any such contention. They show that aliens do not participate in the crime statistics of the country in the proportion of citizens, when you take into account the proportion they bear to the total population.
Senator MOORE. What about their children?
Mr. WARREN. In the main, they are American citizens. They are born here.
Senator MOORE. Do you find them in the criminal statistics?
Mr. WARREN. I do not believe there are any statistics as yet to indicate anything of that sort in reference to children. At least, none has come to my attention. And certainly, as far as the children are concerned, the majority of them were born here. We unquestionably have some responsibility for their crimes, if any such exist. In any event, they are citizens and would not be covered by this particular legislation.
I think the registrations of aliens only would bring about another abuse. It would bring about great confusion. It would be extremely costly in administration, in terms of millions, and would even be responsible for numerous forms of exploitation. As I understand it, this bill would even include those who have been temporarily admitted to the country as visitors. It seems to me it would be particularly offensive for our Government, after permitting alien visitors to come to this country, to then require them to submit to registration and fingerprinting. The fact that the fingerprints and registration will be filed in the Bureau of Criminal Identification in the Department of Justice presupposes that the aliens to be registered are suspected persons, that they are potential criminals, that they are undesirable, and that we do not welcome their presence. We have to accept him when we give him a visa on such basis and, unless strong proof would be offered, it seems to me that such legislation is entirely unnecessary and unwarranted.
Senator MOORE. I presume the object is to keep track of aliens. Other countries have some form of registration, or identification. They make them report to the police station at certain intervals.
Mr. WARREN. Yes. I do not believe the experience of the other countries will prove that that kind of registration effectively locates the criminal whom we would all like to locate.
Senator MOORE. I am not speaking particularly with reference to criminals. Is it not more to keep track of aliens, as to who they are, especially whether they are here illegally, and may move about to different points?
Mr. WARREN. I cannot find any logical reason to keep track of them. The theory behind it probably is to detect those who have entered the country illegally. They would not be caught by such registration because the punishment involved is far less than deportation. They would not be inclined to register, but would rather risk the punishment involved than to risk deportation. The Department of Labor, which has the responsibility of locating illegal entrants would still be under the obligation of finding people who were not registered. I have had some experience in trying to find lost persons in Germany. Occasionally we have requests from relatives in this country who are very anxious to find residents or former residents of Germany.
Senator MOORE. You say the punishment is far less. The bill provides a penalty of a fine of $10,000, imprisonment for 5 years, or both. It also provides that upon the payment of the fine and the completion of the sentence the alien shall be taken into custody and deported forthwith. That is the penalty for not doing it.
Mr. WARREN. We realize the penalty would be very great, but still we feel the vicious, illegal entrant would certainly fail to register, even though that punishment is provided. If the bill were enacted into law, it still would not accomplish the purpose of locating and identifying him. He would avoid registration, and the Department of Labor would still be faced with the same problem of locating him.
Senator MOORE. If he did anything else and was apprehended and then discovered, he would be reported to the Department.
Mr. WARREN. That condition exists now. If he does anything else at the present time he is reported to the Department of Labor hy various State and central Federal agencies. I do not see that this bill, which would create great embarrassment and inconvenience to many persons, would actually accomplish anything in respect to the real problem.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. What kind of embarrassment would it cause anybody to go and register?
Mr. WARREN. Many of the foreign born who are really American citizens would not understand it. They would feel they would be forced to register.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Suppose they do.
Mr. WARREN. Their fingerprints would be taken. People react differently to fingerprints. The bill provides they shall be filed with the Department of Justice. There is an implication there that the person being fingerprinted is a suspect.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. The testimony the other day was that in practically every foreign country much more strict requirements are made.
Mr. WARREN. That is quite true.
Senator SCHWELLENBACH. Why should it be offensive to anybody if we require of aliens something less than is required by the country