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DEPORTATION OF CERTAIN ALIEN SEAMEN
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 1934
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in the committee room in the Senate Office Building, Senator Marcus A. Coolidge (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Coolidge, Copeland, Hatfield, King, Nye, and Reed.
The committee had under consideration the following bill:
[S. 868, 73d Cong., 1st sess.]
A BILL To provide for the deportation of certain alien seamen, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this act may be cited as the "Alien Seaman Act of 1933."
SEC. 2. Every alien employed on board of any vessel arriving in the United States from any place outside thereof shall be examined in quarantine by an, immigration inspector to determine whether or not he (1) is a bona fide seaman, and (2) is an alien of the class described in section 7 of this act; and by a surgeon of the United States Public Health Service to determine (3) whether or not he is suffering with any of the disabilities or diseases specified in section 35 of the Immigration Act of 1917.
SEC. 3. Unless such alien was shipped in a port in continental United States, then if it is found that such alien is not a bona fide seaman, he shall be regarded as an immigrant and immediately be ordered removed from the vessel to an immigration station; and the various provisions of this act and of the immigration laws applicable to immigrants shall be enforced in his case. From a decision holding such alien not to be a bona fide seaman the alien shall be entitled to appeal to the Secretary of Labor, and on the question of his admissibility as an immigrant he shall be entitled to appeal to said Secretary, except where exclusion is based upon grounds nonappealable under the immigration laws. If found inadmissible, such alien shall be deported, as a passenger, on a vessel other than that by which brought, at the expense of the vessel by which brought, and the vessel by which brought shall not be granted clearance until such expenses are paid or their payment satisfactorily guaranteed. If an alien shall be shipped in a port of the United States and subsequently shall be returned to the United States by the same vessel, his right to remain in the United States shall not thereby be improved, extended, or altered.
SEC. 4. If it is found that such alien is subject to exclusion under section 7 of this act, the inspector shall give immediate order to the master to remove such alien together with his effects and wages, if any, to an immigration station, and such alien shall then be deported in accordance with the provisions of said section 7.
SEC. 5. If it is found that, although a bona fide seaman, such alien is afflicted with any of the disabilities or diseases specified in section 35 of the Immigration Act of 1917, disposition shall be made of his case in accordance with the provisions of the act approved December 26, 1920, entitled “An act to provide for the treatment in hospital of diseased alien seamen.”
SEC. 6. All vessels entering ports of the United States manned with crews the majority of which, exclusive of licensed officers, have been engaged and taken on at foreign ports shall, when departing from the United States ports, carry a crew of at least equal number, and any such vessel which fails to comply with this requirement shall be refused clearance: Provided, however, That such vessel shall not be required when departing to carry in the crew any person to fill the place made vacant by the death or hospitalization of any member of the incoming crew.
SEC. 7. No vessel shall, unless such vessel is in distress, be granted entry into a port of the United States if such vessel has as a member of her crew any alien who if he were applying for admission to the United States as an immigrant would be subject to exclusion under subdivision (c) of section 13 of the Immigration Act of 1924, except that any ship of the merchant marine of any sovereign nation may freely bring any excluded citizen or subject of such nation or any person not racially excluded who is a bona fide seaman as a member of the vessel's crew, exclusive, however, of any citizen, subject, or inhabitant of any colony, dependency, or mandate who is racially excluded from coming to the United States as an immigrant. Any alien seaman brought into a port of the United States in violation of this provision shall be excluded from admission or temporary landing and shall be deported, either to the place of shipment or to the country of his nativity, as a passenger, on a vessel other than at on which brought, at the expense of the vessel by which brought, and the vessel by which brought shall not be granted clearance until such expenses are paid or their payment satisfactorily guaranteed.
SEC. 8. This act shall take effect sixty days after it is passed.
The CHAIRMAN. The bill we will take up first is what is known as the Seaman's bill ”. I think, Senator King, perhaps the best way to proceed is to ask Mr. MacCormack to take up with the committee his bill to be substituted in the place of this S. 868, and let him tell us about his bill, with the idea that his bill may produce less disturbance in foreign countries in regard to the seaman's bill, the present bill.
STATEMENT OF DANIEL W. MacCORMACK, COMMISSIONER OF
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mr. MacCORMACK. We have studied the seaman's bill this
not with a view of opposing this particular legislation, but with a view of finding, if we could, some proposal which would substantially attain the ends aimed at in the present bill, while at the same time removing some of the objections that the State Department and our Department have had to it as an administrative measure, and as one affecting our international relations.
Senator NYE. Will the substitute bill be made a part of the record ? The CHAIRMAN. We will make the bill a part of the record.
A BILL To provide for the regulation of the admission and deportation of alien seamen
and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this act may be cited as the Alien Seaman Act of 1934.
SEC. 2. (a) Every alien employed on board any vessel arriving in the United States (as the term United States is defined in sec. 28 (a) of the Immigration Act of 1924), from any place outside thereof shall be examined by an immigrant inspector to determine whether :
(1) He is a bona fide seaman (as defined in sec. 3 (5) of the Immigration Act of 1924); or
(2) He is an alien of the class described in section 3 (b) of this act; and by a medical officer of the United States Public Health Service to determine
whether he is suffering from any of the disabilities or diseases specified in section 35 of the Immigration Act of February 5, 1917 (39 Stat. 874).
SEC. 3. (a) No alien seaman found upon arrival not to be a bona fide seaman within the meaning of this act shall be permitted to land in the United States except temporarily for medical treatment pursuant to such regulations as the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, may prescribe, including the exaction of a bond for the ultimate departure, deportation, or removal of such alien from the United States.
(b) Any bona fide alien seaman who, were he applying for admission as an immigrant, would be subject to exclusion under subdivision (c) of section 13 of the Immigration Act of 1924, shall be denied landing except temporarily for medical treatment or pursuant to such regulations as the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, may prescribe, including the exaction of bond when deemed necessary.
(c) No alien seaman found upon arrival to be afflicted with any of the disabilities mentioned in section 35 of the Immigration Act of February 5, 1917, shall be permitted to land except in accordance with the provisions of the act approved December 26, 1920 (41 Stat. 1082).
(d) Any employee of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, under regulations prescribed by the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, shall have power to detain for investigation any alien who he has reason to believe entered the United States as a seaman and has remained in violation of law. Any alien so detained shall be immediately brought before an immigrant inspector designated for that purpose by the Secretary of Labor and shall not be held in custody for more than 24 hours thereafter unless prior to the expiration of that time a warrant for his arrest is issued.
SEC. 4. (a) The owner, charterer, agent, consignee, or master of any vessel arriving in the United States from any place outside thereof who fails to detain on board any alien seaman employed on such vessel until such alien seaman has been inspected by an immigrant inspector (which inspection in all cases shall include a personal examination by the medical examiners), or who fails to detain such seaman on board after such inspection or to deport such seaman if notice is given the master or other responsible officer of such vessel by the immigration officer or the Secretary of Labor to do so, shall pay to the Collector of Customs of the customs district in which the port of arrival is located the sum of $1,000 for each alien seaman in respect of whom such failure occurs.
(b) Proof that an alien seaman did not appear upon the outgoing manifest of the vessel on which he arrived in the United States from any place outside thereof, or that he was reported by the master of such vessel as a deserter, shall be prima facie evidence of a failure to detain or deport after notice to do so by the immigration officer or Secretary of Labor, and such proof shall be prima facie evidence of a failure to comply with section 6 (b) of this act.
(c) If the Secretary of Labor finds that deportation of the alien seamen on the vessel on which he arrived would cause undue hardship to such seamen, he may cause him to be deported on another vessel at the expense of the vessel on which he arrived, and such vessel shall not be granted clearance until such expense has been paid or its payment guaranteed to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Labor.
SEC. 5. Any vessel entering a port of the United States manned with a crew the majority of which, exclusive of licensed officers, have been taken on at a foreign port, shall when departing carry a crew equal in number to that employed on board at the time of the vessel's arrival: Provided, however, That such vessel shall not be required when departing to carry in the crew any person to fill the place made vacant by the death or hospitalization of any member of the incoming crew.
SEC. 6. (a) It shall be unlawful for any owner, charterer, agent, consignee, or master of any vessel arriving in the United States from any place outside thereof to fail to comply with the provisions of section 5 of this act, and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Labor that there has been a failure to comply with such section in any particular, the owner, charterer, agent, consignee, or master shall pay to the collector of customs of the customs district in which the port of arrival is located the sum of $100 for each and every member of the crew employed on board such vessel at the time of arrival in lieu of whom another seaman, as required by this act, has not been taken out as a member of the crew.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any owner, charterer, agent, consignee, or master of any vessel arriving at a port of the United States to fail to return on the vessel when departing from the United States any alien seaman, not a lawful resident of the United States, who upon arrival of the vessel in the United States was employed thereon, and, if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Labor that any such alien seaman so arriving has not been returned on the same vessel upon its departure from the United States, such owner, charterer, agent, consignee, or master shall pay to the collector of customs of the customs district in which the port of arrival is located the sum of $250 for each and every alien seaman, not a lawful resident of the United States, not so returned: Provided, however, That this shall not apply in respect of any such alien seaman who after arrival cannot be returned as above required by reason of the death or hospitalization of such seaman.
Sec. 7. No vessel shall be granted clearance pending the determination of the liability to the payment of any fines specified in this act, or while any such fines remain unpaid, except that clearance may be granted prior to the determination of such question upon the deposit of a sum sufficient to cover such fines, or of a bond with sufficient surety approved by the collector of customs of the customs district in which the port of arrival is located to secure the payment thereof.
SEC. 8. Sections 19 and 20 of the Immigration Act of 1924, are repealed, but shall remain in force as to all vessels, their owners, charterers, agents, consignees, and masters, and as to all seamen, arriving in the United States prior to the enactment of this act.
A REPORT TO ACCOMPANY A BILL ENTITLED “A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION
OF THE ADMISSION AND DEPORTATION OF ALIEN SEA MEN AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
The proposed bill is offered to meet certain conditions discovered through experience in the application of the immigration laws with reference to alien seamen. The needs of international commerce require that generally liberality shall be exercised in the matter of the admission of seamen. Accordingly our immigration laws have heretofore taken cognizance of that fact and have provided rather liberally for the admission of aliens who arrive in the United States as seamen. Experience has demonstrated, however, that this process is accompanied by certain evils of considerable proportions with respect to the proper enforcement of the immigration laws. The benign provisions respecting the admission of alien seamen have too frequently been used as a means for aliens to gain admission to the United States and then remain here unless the Government has been able to ferret them out from amongst the population and deport them at its expense. This problem has been recognized for a number of years. There is attached to this report a statistical statement covering such data as is available concerning alien seamen for the years 1919 to 1923, inclusive. Since the advent of the numerically restrictive immigration laws the questions attaching to the control of the admission of alien seamen has grown in importance. Briefly stated, the problem necessarily is how to provide for the better control of the admission of seamen so as to prevent such admission from being an avenue of entry in violation of the restrictive policy of the immigration laws and at the same time not unduly to interfere with the commerce between countries. The problem has not been and is not one easy of solution. If it is to be solved it seems proper to attempt a solution through the instrumentalities of the immigration laws and if this is to be the means, regard must be had for the practical and efficient application of any control for which provision is made. It is with these considerations in mind that this bill is offered, with confidence that it will provide a better control than presently exists even if experience should show that it falls short of a solution of the problem.
The following is an analysis of the bill by sections:
Section 2: This section in general merely provides for the process of examination of arriving alien seamen, incidentally defining the terms “United States” and “bona fide seamen by reference to the definition of such terms in the Immigration Act of 1924.
Section 3: This section in general provides for the denial of the landing privilege to alien seamen who, upon examination as provided in section 2, are found to be (a) not bona fide seamen, with the exception that emergency or other necessary hospital treatment may be accorded under appropriate control; (b) of a race who, were they applying for admission for permanent resident, would be excluded from admission to the United States, 'with the exception that landing for hospital treatment or other purposes may be accorded under appropriate control, which would allow bona fide seamen who are nationals of the country of the vessel to land under regulations ; and (c) afflicted with certain mental and physical disabilities described in section 35 of the act of February 5, 1917, with the provision, however, that such aliens may have the benefits permitted by the act of December 26, 1920 (41 Stat. 1082), which act provides for the treatment of aliens suffering with any of the disabilities described under certain conditions and subject to certain control. It will be observed that while the provisions of this section in general provide for the denial of landing to alien seamen of the classes described, in each instance there is afforded a means to prevent inhumane hardships growing out of the need for medical care. Further, the section authorizes the detention for a period not in excess of 24 hours of an alien who designated employees of the service have reason to believe entered the United States as a seaman, deserted his calling, and remained here in violation of law. This authority, limited as it is to a particular group, nevertheless applies to that considerable number of aliens in the country who have used the seaman route as a means of gaining entry into the country. Unless some such power is given it must continue to be a serious problem how to apprehend these aliens in accordance with law notwithstanding that it may be known from the alien's admissions that he is here in violation of the immigration statute.
Section 4: This section is an adoption of section 20 of the Immigration Act of 1924, with minor amendment hereafter discussed, except that the provision of the latter section specifically dealing with the collection of the penalty imposed has been left out at this point and inserted later in section 7 of this bill where the provision is made effective as well to other sections of the bill. The reasons for adopting in this bill the provisions of section 20 of the Immigration Act of 1924 are that those provisions have, in experience of administration over a period of approximately 10 years, proved so efficacious and there has been shown to be so little, if any, real injustice to the seaman who is coming to the United States with a bona fide intention of merely landing for a temporary period in pursuance of his calling that it has been deemed unwise to venture any further experimentation along this line. Any plan which would enlarge the process in enforcing seamen provisions would most certainly result in difficulties of administration almost insurmountable and of hardships to individual aliens scarcely able to be foreseen. The amendment of section 20 of the Immigration Act of 1924 as adopted in section 4 of this bill has been made to meet a serious difficulty in the enforcement of penalties thereunder by reason of certain court decisions which have held that under the provisions of section 20 of the service of notice upon the master to detain and deport a mala fide alien seaman is an insufficient basis for prosecuting the penalty against the owner, charterer, agent, or consignee of the vessel. In other words, it has been held that in order to impose the penalty upon any person named in the statute it first must be shown that thạt person had been obligated individually to detain and deport the alien by notice which ordinarily is served upon the master. As amended in section 4, any of the persons named in the section would be liable under the provisions mentioned if notice has been served upon the master.
Section 5: This section contains what may be termed the equal crew provision of the bill. It is designed for the purpose of discouraging the practice of some steamship companies or their vessels in bringing to the United States excessive crews for the purpose of leaving behind in the United States certain members thereof and departing with smaller crews. There should be no residue of seamen in the United States after the departure of a vessel and it does not seem unreasonable to insist that carriers should provide for the removal of as many seamen as they provide a means for entering the country. The provision is limited to vessels the majority of the crew of which have been engaged at foreign ports.
Section 6: This section provides penalties designed to aid in the enforcement of section 5. Subdivision (a) provides a penalty of $100 for each place