Page images
PDF
EPUB

INDUCED AND ASSISTED IMMIGRATION.

The question of induced and assisted immigration, which in normal times was a serious problem, gave the bureau little trouble during the year, but it is expected that former conditions will be revived to a greater or less extent when immigration again flows in its usual channels. It is believed, however, that the new immigration law will afford a more satisfactory means of dealing with the problem than was provided in previous laws.

CONTRACT LABOR.

The number of contract-labor cases of various kinds which came to the attention of the bureau was unusually large, but they were of such a nature that legal proceedings against importers were instituted in only three cases during the year. However, investigations of many reported or suspected violations have been made, and 69 aliens who were found to have entered the country in violation of the contract labor clause were deported, as compared with 33 during the fiscal year 1918. As elsewhere noted, during the year 774 alien contract laborers arriving at United States ports were denied admission compared with 474 in 1918. It has always been possible under the law to import skilled labor provided labor of like kind unemployed could not be found in this country, but the immigration act of 1917 goes a step further than previous laws and provides that the necessity for importing such labor may be determined by the Secretary of Labor before importation is made. The law stipulates that permission to bring in labor under this provision may be granted only after a full hearing and investigation into each case, and such investigations have formed an important part of the work of the bureau's contract-labor division during the year. Concrete examples of the operation of this feature of the new law are found in certain Canadian border cases, where it has been a long-established custom for employers to bring more or less skilled labor from Canada for seasonal work. Formerly these cases gave the bureau much trouble and while many suits were instituted against alleged importers, convictions were infrequent, and the practice continued as before. Under the new law, however, some employers who practically ignored the contractlabor law, even if they did not knowingly connive to violate it, now openly present their needs for labor to the department, and it is believed that on the whole results have been satisfactory. be suggested, however, that a more general observance of the rules would often save embarrassment and delay, sometimes enabling would-be immigrants to avoid useless trips to this country, the blame for which is frequently placed upon the Government when in fact it should be borne by the intending importer or others interested.

It may

ORIENTAL IMMIGRATION.

The number of Chinese applicants for admission during the year has been comparatively small

, the rigid requirements of the passport regulations having operated especially to restrict this class of travel. The statistics of Chinese immigration will be found in Tables 1 to 8, and detailed discussion of them in Appendix I, pp. 79-81.

The decision of the circuit court of appeals for the ninth circuit in the case of Quan Hing Sun et al. v. White (254 Fed., 402), holding that all Chinese persons or persons of Chinese descent applying for admission to the United States are entitled (if not admitted on primary inspection) to an examination by a board of special inquiry like aliens of all other races so applying, has enabled the bureau to take a long-desired step in bringing the procedure in the cases of Chineso applicants into substantial accord with that followed in the. cases of aliens generally. In consequence, under date of March 6, 1919, the bureau, with the approval of the department, promulgated an amendment to rule 3 of the Chinese regulations, modifying the procedure at ports of entry so as to require the cases of all applicants not ordinarily admitted on primary inspection (generally speaking, those holding return certificates and section 6 exempt certificates) to be heard before a board of special inquiry, instead of, as heretofore, before a single inspector, the board being vested, ac in the cases of all other aliens, with the power to admit or exclude, under both the immigration and exclusion laws, both examinations being conducted at the same hearing, and appeal from excluding decisions being allowed in the usual way. The bureau is confident that good results will follow from the adoption of this changed procedure, particularly in the direction of insuring fair and just hearings for all applicants and the prompt disposal of those found admissible by the boards, as well expediting the transmission of records to the department for review in excluded cases in which the alien avails himself of the right of appeal.

In the early part of the fiscal year the bureau detailed the inspector in charge of the New York-New Jersey Chinese district, Mr. H. R. Sisson, to act as its special representative in the field to exercise supervision over the methods of procedure followed at the ports of entry, particularly as regards the enforcement of the exclusion laws, with a view to producing uniformity of practice at all ports. He has submitted an interesting report of his work under this detail, which will be found at p. 277, Appendix IV.

Other features of oriental immigration, including the admission of aliens from Japan under the limited-passport system, and the operation of the "barred zone” provisions of the act of February 5, 1917, are discussed fully in another portion of this report. Table XVII shows that 19 natives of the Asiatic mainland and islands comprehended in the zones were excluded, and Table XVIII, that 11 of such natives were expelled from the country, a total of 30, as compared with 19 excluded and 1 deported during 1918. The statistics covering the admission and rejection of Japanese aliens will be found in Tables A to F, Appendix I.

SEAMEN.

The immigration act of February 5, 1917, opened the way for a more adequate control of alien seamen arriving at United States ports than had hitherto been possible, and perhaps the largest single item of work performed by the bureau's field officers during the year was in this connection. This activity has continued to be under the general supervision of the bureau's

special representative designated for this particular duty (Mr. J. J. Hurley) and the entire subject is treated in full in his report, which forms Appendix III hereto. (See p. 267.)

The bureau is gratified to note that the year's experience has largely confirmed the views so often expressed by it to the effect that the problem of arriving seamen could be regulated in such a manner as to not interfere with the traditional rights of this class and at the same time tend to prevent diseased, criminal, or otherwise inadmissible aliens from coming to the United States in the guise of seamen, only to desert their ships on arrival and remain in the country. As the result of experience in the year 1918, the rules governing the subject were carefully revised and new methods were introduced for improved work in the field. Under the present practice it is possible to segregate diseased alien seamen for compulsory treatment in hospitals, thus affording their fellow workers on vessels protection against contagion, while segregation on shipboard relieves them from close association with diseased shipmates. Under the new practice all alien scamen arriving in United States ports are medically examined each time they arrive, the examination, so far as possible, being similar to that made in the case of alien passengers. Identification cards are provided each seaman and various other precautions are taken to prevent the spread of disease and the unlawful landing of inadmissible aliens. The great volume of work entailed by the enforcement of the seamen's regulations is clearly indicated by the fact that during the fiscal year 810,097 examinations of seamen were conducted, 261,551 identification cards were issued and 4,053 seamen were certified for loathsome or dangerous contagious diseases and removed to hospitals for treatment.

It is recommended that arrangements be perfected whereby the masters of vessels can be furnished by the American consular officers at foreign ports of departure with a supply of seamen’s identification cards in blank, with full instructions concerning their proper use and the necessity that every member of the vessel's crew shall, upon arrival at a United States port, have in his possession an identification card properly made out and bearing his photograph. This procedure, it is believed, would materially reduce the time required for the examination of crews, with a corresponding reduction in the delay to vessels which sometimes occurs where it is necessary to do this work after arrival. It is advisable, also, that blanks be

provided through consular officers in order that proper crew lists may be promptly presented to immigration officials on arrival, thus avoiding the imposition of fines on masters of vessels for failure to deliver such documents.

Much good has resulted to seamen under the new order of things. The right to desert their ships, however, makes it possible for them to enter the country without examination by immigration officers. The seamen's law provides that seamen desiring to leave their calling and remain in the country must present themselves for proper examination under the immigration law. Many do this but more do not, and while many of the latter are doubtless admissible and would be regularly admitted on examination, it is believed that numbers of the diseased, anarchistic, and otherwise excludable classes choose this method of gaining illegal entry into the country.

It is apparent that a follow-up system is necessary in the case of deserting seamen who do not apply to immigration authorities for for admission, and it seems advisable that this branch of the work should be delegated to the special patrol service recommended under the head of "Smuggling and surreptitious entry of aliens” (p. 26).

IMMIGRATION FROM INSULAR UNITED STATES.

Since 1914 the bureau has annually published statistics covering the movement of aliens from the insular possessions and again presents such figures in the series of tables numbered from XXIV to XXVII-A (Appendix I). From the first table of the series it appears that in the period since 1908 during which records have been kept of this class of travel, 29,158 aliens have come from all of the insularterritory and possessions to continental United States, and that during the past year 2,398 aliens (222 immigrant and 2,176 nonimmigrant) have been admitted from insular United States; it will also be seen that of the total of 29,138 who have so entered in the 12 years covered by the records, 19,311 were from the Territory of Hawaii, 8,559 from Porto Rico, 1,017 from the Philippines, and 251 from the Virgin Islands of the United States; 18,487 of these landed at San Francisco; 8,724 at New York;719 at Seattle; 60 at New Orleans; 7 at Galveston; 4 at Portland, Oreg.; 1,106 at Pacific ports in Canada; 10 at Mexican border ports; 15 at Charleston; 4 at Norfolk; and 1 at Newport News,

The remaining tables of this series furnish details concerning the immigration to and from the mainland and the insular possessions and between the respective possessions themselves. The statistics here given do not include citizens of the island possessions, these not being regarded as aliens. (Gonzales v. Williams, 192 U. S., 1.)

The commissioner of immigration at San Juan has recommended in his annual report (Appendix VI hereafter) that on account of the proximity of the Virgin Islands to Porto Rico those two possessions be not regarded as foreign to each other, so that aliens properly examined and admitted to either group would not require reexamination should they later apply for admission to the other. This can not of course, be done under existing law.

IMMIGRATION FROM CANADA.

Compared with the immigration movement between Canada and the United States, both ways, for the year ended June 30, 1918, the figures covering this same movement for the past fiscal year, as shown by the tables subjoined, contain some interesting information,

Immigration movement from the United States to Canada for the past two years, complete,

and immigration from Canada to the United States for the same period.

1917-18.

From Canada to the United States.

From United States to Canada.

Months,

United

States citizens.

Cana

dian citizens.

Other aliens.

Total,

United Cana

States dian citizens. citizens.

Other aliens.

Total,

1917. July.... August. September October.. November.. December

1,970 2,005 1,577 1,939 1,785 1,785

1,613 2,615 3,032 2,612 1,935 1,532

534 894 681 728 763 622

4,147 5,514 5, 290 5,309 4,483 3,939

3, 367
3,758
3, 700
3, 302
2, 770
2, 107

1,075
1, 151

832
915
809
614

727 806 815 855 790 512

5, 169 5,715 5,377 5,072 4,369 3,233

Immigration movement from the United States to Canada for the past two years, complete,

and immigration from Canada to the l’nited States for the same period-Contá.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In discussing the matter of immigration from Canada one year ago, it was shown that the strict military rules then enforced throughout that country had operated to greatly reduce immigration from Canadian sources, and it was suggested that the close of the war would, in all probability, present new immigration problems along the northern border line.

By reference to the monthly reports in the tables above it will be noted that immediately following the armistice agreement the emigration of aliens from Canada to the United States was exceptionally heavy, the total for the year showing practically 83 per cent increase over the year previous, the total admissions being 73,634, as against 40,272 for the year 1918.

Aside from ex-Canadian soldiers who were permanently domiciled in the United States at time of enlistment and therefore entitled to return to this country when discharged from military duties, alien arrivals from Canada included but a very limited number of the transoceanic class except those who had had a long residence in Canada.

Of the 73,634 aliens admitted to the United States from Canada for permanent residence, 52,010 were citizens of the Dominion and 21,624 were subjects of other countries who had resided in Canada for various periods.

« PreviousContinue »