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COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,
BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION,
Washington, June 30, 1919. Sır: A year ago, in submitting to you the report of its work for 1918, the bureau referred with some satisfaction to the part which it had been privileged to take, both through its executive officers in Washington and its employees in the field, in assisting the departments of the Government directly concerned in the prosecution of the great war, now successfully terminated. At that time, and throughout the portion of the fiscal year now closing during which every resource of our Nation was devoted to the bringing about of the result so brilliantly accomplished, the officers and employees of the bureau and of the Immigration Service gave of the best that was in them to the special lines of activity for which their training as immigration officers had peculiarly fitted them, cooperating in many important ways with the Departments of State, Treasury, War, Navy, and Justice, a cooperation the value of which has been generously acknowledged by the executives of those departments. For purposes of record the bureau will make hereafter a brief reference to what have come to be known, for convenience' sake, as its "war activities.''
The year just closed has witnessed an increase in immigration from 110,618 to 141,132 (immigrant aliens only), while 123,522 emigrant aliens have left the country for permanent residence. The arrival of 95,889 nonimmigrant aliens, and the departure of 92,709 nonemigrant aliens are also recorded. The net increase in population is therefore but 20,790. This does not mean, however, that the work of the bureau and of the Immigration Service has been in any degree diminished; on the other hand, the busiest year in its experience has just been completed. Among the causes contributing to this condition have been the necessity for doubly close examination of all arriving aliens, in order that the entry of dangerous elements might be guarded against; a very large increase in the number of investigations and warrant hearings necessitated through the institution of deportation proceedings against alien anarchists and others found here in violation of law; the volume of work required at seaports to enforce properly the provisions of law relating to alien seamen, involving 810,097 examinations; 1 and a very noticeable increase of
Yang seamon, of course, had to be examined several times, on account of making numerous trips to United States ports during the year.
travel over the land boundaries, more especially the Canadian border. This traffic has, since the close of the war, attained proportions hitherto unknown, averaging 1,000,000 passengers per month, with a number of applications for admission 75 per cent greater than that for the preceding year, 13 per cent of such applicants having been found to belong to classes excluded by law. Referring to the examination of alien seamen under the present law and regulations, and bearing in mind that such examinations consume on the average more time than does the inspection of alien passengers, it will be seen that during the past year the service has examined a total of 1,065,744 aliens (composed of 247,021 admissions, immigrant and nonimmigrant, 8,626 exclusions, and 810,097 seamen), which nearly approaches the yearly average of examinations for the 10 years preceding the World War, viz, 1,174,948. As a matter of fact these various conditions have, in connection with the additional work purely of a war emergency nature hereafter referred to, taxed to the utmost the ability and capacity of the field force as well as that of the bureau proper, and have required, especially as regards the former, the exaction of hours of service far beyond the requirements of law and disproportionate to both the compensation allowed and the grave responsibilities laid upon this class of Government employees.
The two charts accompanying this report (Appendix I) show the interesting fact that our immigration statistics now cover a period of 100 years, and this is made the subject of a brief review under the head "A century of immigration” (p. 38).
THE BUREAU'S MOST IMPORTANT WAR ACTIVITIES.
The following paragraphs summarize briefly the most notable of the special enterprises in which the bureau has been engaged as a direct result of the war. Of these, perhaps the most extensive and important has been the work undertaken for the Department of State under the joint order of July 26, 1917, and the President's proclamation of August 8, 1918.
ENFORCEMENT OF TRAVEL-CONTROL REGULATIONS.
The act of Congress approved May 22, 1918, entitled, “An act to prevent in time of war departure from and entry into the United States contrary to the public safety," was made effective by the President's proclamation of August 8, 1918, under which immigration officers, among other Federal officials (including United States attorneys and United States commissioners), were designated to represent the Department of State as permit agents for the examination of aliens seeking to depart from the United States, and in addition were named as control officers for incoming travel at all ports of entry and for outgoing travel on the land boundaries, this latter function at the seaports being allotted to the customs service of the Treasury Department. Customs officers also participated in the land border control by serving at points where the bureau's officials were not stationed and by assisting at other places.
In order that the share of the immigration service in this most important work might be properly discharged the bureau was granted
an appropriation of $500,000 from the President's fund for "National security and defense,” and the creation of a temporary organization of inspectors and clerical employees was proceeded with. The passport-permit regulations were placed in operation on September 15, 1918, supplementing the joint order of July 26, 1917, referred to in this report for last year.
The following table shows that during the portion of the fiscal year since September 15, 171,995 permits for aliens to leave the United States have been granted through immigration officers, and 4,119 refused. At the close of the year, 1,173 applications were pending, and in 3,477 other cases applications had been withdrawn or permits not claimed or called for. Citizens of the United States numbering 8,632 were furnished with identity cards for travel between the mainland and the insular territory or possessions, and 35,610 alien permits and 15,775 citizens' permits for travel across the Mexican border were also issued. These figures represent but a bare outline of the great amount of work performed under this heading, practically every case handled having required close and careful investigation, and in addition thereto the clerical labor and correspondence incident to these activities were extremely heavy. The bureau and its officers and employees, however, were in no small degree gratified to be of service to the Department of State in this work of war-time protection to the Nation, and at the same time the cooperation of the other interested branches of the Government is gratefully acknowledged. The bureau, in the person of its law officer, Mr. A. Warner Parker, was directly represented on the interdepartmental committee designated to assist the Secretary of State and his representative, the Chief of the Division of Passport Control, Mr. R. W. Flournoy, jr., in the administration of the passport and permit regulations. The Department of State has officially expressed its satisfaction with the manner in which this branch of the service has been conducted, and the zeal and good judgment shown by the members of the immigration service who served as permit agents and control officers.
At the date of this report, the provision for continuance of the passport work by immigration officials having expired by limitation, it becomes necessary to demobilize the temporary organization of field officers and employees, above referred to, and their services are being discontinued on this date.
More complete information regarding the conduct of passportpermit work by immigration officials will be found in the reports of the commissioners of immigration and inspectors in charge of districts, which form Appendix VI, hereafter.
Aliens' permits to depart from United States issued and refused, and citizens' Identity
cards issued, by immigration officers, Sept. 15, 1918, to June 30, 1919, under provisions of President's proclamation of Aug. 8, 1918.
tions for Applicapermits tions canceled | pending or per
June 30, mits not 1919. called for.
Montreal (eastern Canadian border States)...
8,954 15, 176 33, 444 28, 731 10, 661
219 2,928 1,413
201 6,158 6,048
727 6,928 14,387
60 1,167 2, 529 25, 605 171, 995
1 In the Mexican border district 35,610 alien permits and 15,775 citizens' identity cards, for limited travel in Mexico, wese issued, and there were refused 332 applications for the former and 108 for the latter.
In this connection it will be noted from Table I (Appendix I) that 216,231 aliens (123,522 emigrant and 92,709 nonemigrant) and 218,929 United States citizens left the country during the fiscal year. The apparent disparity between the number of departing aliens and the number of permits issued as shown above is due to the fact that in many instances several aliens have been included in one application for permit and to the further fact that a considerable number of permits were issued by Federal officials other than immigration officers.
The question of emigration in general is discussed under the heading “Review of world immigration,” hereafter (see p. 52).
IMPORTATION OF LABORERS FOR WAR NECESSITIES.
Reference was made in the last annual report of the bureau to the arrangements at that time perfected under which, availing itself of the discretionary power conferred by section 3 of the immigration law to admit for temporary purposes aliens otherwise inadmissible, the department, in answer to insistent demands, authorized the suspension of the contract-labor, head-tax, and illiteracy-test provisions of that law in favor of aliens from Mexico coming to the United States for employment in agricultural pursuits, as railroad laborers, for certain work on buildings under construction by the Government, or to do common labor in mines. This suspension, being essentially a war measure, intended primarily to facilitaté the production of cotton and foodstuffs (although the other activities specified above were subsequently added), was terminated at the end of the calendar year 1918, except as regards farm laborers for certain sections, more especially those engaged in the production of sugar and cotton, the existing arrangements as to these being continued in force, with certain limitations, until the close of the fiscal year, at which time the matter of continuation for a further limited period was under consideration.
In the past year a total of 20,643 aliens were admitted temporarily from Mexico under the above arrangements, 10,491 being engaged as farm laborers, 9,998 as railroad laborers, 89 for Government construction work, and 65 for mining labor. During the entire period within which the departmental orders relating to Mexican labor were in force, dating from June, 1917, a total of 29,563 laborers from that country were admitted to work in the United States. Of these, 9,036 have, at the date of this report, returned to Mexico, 249 have died here, and the remainder, 20,278, are still in this country, 14,016 represented as being with their original employers and 6,262 having left the service of those employers. The principal destinations of these laborers at the time of admission were as follows: Texas, 8,636; Arizona, 6,803; California, 6,382; Idaho, 1,549; New Mexico, 1,292; Kansas, 1,147.
A table giving complete details as to all Mexican laborers will be found in the report of the Supervising Inspector at El Paso, Tex. (Appendix VI).
Under like circumstances there have been admitted under departmental authority 3,259 negro laborers from the Bahama Islands, 669 of whom were employed by the truck farmers of the east coast of Florida and 2,590 were engaged by contractors on Government construction work at Charleston, s. c. The great majority of these have now returned to their homes. The arrangement under which the Bahaman laborers employed at Charleston were admitted provided for the deposit to their credit in the postal savings bank of a percentage of their monthly wages, to be delivered to them on departing from the country, and there now remains the sum of $1,729 on deposit to the credit of 227 of these workers who deserted their employment. It is possible that legislation may eventually be necessary in order to provide for the proper disposition of these funds.
Incidental mention may be here made of 13,095 Porto Rican laborers (not aliens) who were brought to the mainland under the direction of the War Department, all of whom were returned to their homes after the signing of the armistice. The bureau's officers in Porto Rico handled these workers under the travel-control regulations and assisted in their registration and return.
OTHER WAR WORK.
The bureau has had no direct connection during the year with the internment of enemy aliens, that work having been assumed by the War Department on the 1st of July, 1918. A large amount of business, however, has been transacted'in determining the status under the immigration law of such aliens remaining in the country, and taking appropriate action looking toward the deportation, when possible, of those found to be here unlawfully. At the beginning of the fiscal year 69 enemy aliens who had been transferred from the Philip