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Due to the fact that steamship service to Canadian ports for the accommodation of civilian passengers is gradually being resumed, the fiscal year upon which we are about to enter will, no doubt, witness the reestablishment of something like prewar travel via these ports; in fact, such movement has already set in, as evidenced by the number of passengers coming to Canadian ports during recent months destined to the United States.
Unwillingness or inability to meet the head tax requirements of our immigration law continues as the predominant cause for excluding aliens applying for admission to the United States from Canada. The reading test is also conspicuous as a cause for debarment, 2,496 of this class having been excluded during the past fiscal year. Soldiers' dependents are now being brought to Canada in large numbers, and the cases of those who later seek entry to the United States present problems most difficult of solution from an immigration standpoint, for not a few of such cases involve the tragic aspect attributable to the war, which is always especially appealing
With the withdrawal of alien enemy and passport regulations, it is believed that the interchange of traffic between Canada and the United States will be once more restored to prewar conditions.
The Canadian government has passed a new immigration law, paralleling in the main our immigration act, with some additions that are improvements. Thus, so far as immigration to the United States across the northern border is concerned, particularly with reference to aliens from countries other than Canada, we now have some degree of protection that we did not have before, when Canada had a more liberal immigration system than that of the United States, which enabled European aliens to get a foothold on the North American continent and then seek to enter the Cnited States surreptitiously, if they could not enter legally. This, however, does not indicate that we could eliminate any of our protective system on the Canadian border. On the contrary, we should increase our protection there by a proper patrol system in addition to the other measures that might be considered practicable.
IMMIGRATION FROM MEXICO. Immigration from Mexico in the past year amounted to 39,601 (29,818 immigrants and 9,783 nonimmigrants), as compared with a total of 23,635 aliens (18,524 immigrant and 5,111 nonimmigrant) admitted from that country in the fiscal year 1918. This increased number of recorded arrivals is partially explained (as pointed out in the report of the supervising inspector at El Paso, Appendix VI) by the fact that owing to the patrol of the border which has been maintained for the purpose of enforcing war-time regulations those seeking entry to the United States have been compelled to apply for admission at the lawfully designated ports of entry, whereas before that patrol was established many were able to cross the border at unguarded points without examination. This condition, it is estimated, has resulted in the collection at Mexican border ports of over $100,000 in alien head tax, which, had it not been for the patrol system, would in all probability have been lost to the Government.
As heretofore stated, there have been temporarily admitted under departmental exemptions, in addition to the above, 20,643 Mexican
laborers for employment in agricultural pursuits, railroad maintenance of way, Government construction and mining. The total number of such laborers admitted under all departmental orders since the spring of 1917 has been 29,563.
SMUGGLING AND SURREPTITIOUS ENTRY OF ALIENS. Prior to the conclusion of hostilities and the relaxing of vigilance on the part of both the American and Canadian military authorities, the northern border was so closely guarded as to make it practically impossible for even the most ingenious smuggler of inadmissible aliens to operate successfully, and the consequent abatement of efforts of such aliens to enter this country during the first part of the present fiscal year enabled the smuggling-prevention force to continue its assistance to the naval and military authorities in the enforcement of war measures, in which work they rendered valuable services.
Smugglers operating on the New York border, many of whom were Canadians, were forced largely to abandon the practice during the war owing to the vigorous enforcement of Canadian measures applicable to those found assisting aliens to escape from that country. The withdrawal of the Canadian military patrol from the border following the armistice resulted in the immediate resumption of smuggling operations. From that time to the close of the fiscal year, 11 smugglers and 31 contraband Chinese were apprehended, and 4 of the former had been tried and convicted previous tó June 30.
It was possible to accomplish the foregoing results with the small force available for smuggling-prevention work only because the officers totally disregarded hours of duty, personal convenience, and the ever-present danger incident to encountering, single handed, criminals of the character engaged in "border running between the two countries.
In addition to the above, doubtless some aliens of the inhibited classes succeeded in eluding the small force available for smugglingprevention work and gained illegal entry into the United States.
The accidental discovery of four Chinese on the S. S. Lizzie Vance, following the arrival of that vessel at San Francisco from the island of Tahiti, resulted in the prosecution of the ship's cook, a Chinese, who admitted being responsible for the attempt to smuggle the aliens in the manner indicated.
Chinese laborers continue to pass in transit through the United States to the West Indies, and the bureau has substantial reasons for believing that it is the intention of some of these aliens ultimately to seek surreptitious entry into the United States. Appropriate means should be employed to meet this condition.
During the latter part of the year covered by this report information was received by the bureau which indicated that Japanese laborers enter Mexico, not only direct from Japan but via Central and South America, for the purpose of gaining illegal entry into the Cnited States at points along the southern California-Mexican border. An exhaustive investigation conducted by a special representative of the bureau confirmed this information and resulted in tire exposure of a well-organized plan to circumvent the immigration law, the ramifications of which extended to the alien from the time he left Japan, until his illegal entry into the United States was effected.
In the course of the above investigation 37 persons implicated in the illegal importation of Japanese laborers were arrested, among them being several Japanese ranchers and their intermediaries. Some have already been convicted and given substantial penitentiary sentences; and 117 contraband Japanese laborers were apprehended and deported.
During the year covered by this report 49 prosecutions were instituted against persons engaged in smuggling aliens into the United States; 46 of the smugglers were arrested, of which number 16 were convicted, 11 dismissed, 1 was acquitted, 21 are awaiting trial, and 3 are not yet apprehended.
Of the 20 cases pending July 1, 1918, 2. of the defendants were convicted, 5 acquitted, 3 dismissed, and í died.
In connection with the above 49 prosecutions, 136 Japanese and 35 Chinese were apprehended, as well as 2 Austrian and 3 German alien enemies; all were held for deportation under departmental warrant.
The bureau strongly recommends that ample funds be provided for a patrol service to guard the borders and coast lines of the country and the insular possessions against smuggling and similar violations of the law. The bureau now has a small force doing effective work along that line on the borders of Canada and Mexico and on our coasts, but this needs to be materially increased. In advocating specialized effort in work of this nature, it may be pointed out that the regular immigration oflicials, who are charged with the enforcement of the general phases of the immigration law, can not give suticient time from other duties to make effective effort to entirely overcome the studied and devious methods practiced by those who seek to enter the country surreptitiously. This class of work needs experienced officers who will devote their entire time and all their energies to the task. During the past year when it was possible for a time to patrol certain sections of the Mexican border, the supervising inspector in charge of that district was able to report that more progress was made in enforcing the law than had been the case for 10 years previously.
ADMINISTRATIVE FINES. The system of administrativo fines against transportation companies on account of violations on their part of various sections of the immigration act, through the bringing to this country of aliens who are members of the excluded classes or through failure to furnish, concerning aliens who are passengers on or members of the crews of vessels, the information required by law, was explained in detail in the bureau's report for last year (pp. 33-35). During the past year fines amounting to $58,055 have been assessed in 3,423 cases. The particulars concerning administrative-fine cases handled during the year are set forth in the appended table.
In connection with the refunding of passage money to aliens on whose account fines have been imposed on transportation companies, the commissioner of immigration at Boston recommends that, owing to the great difficulty of locê ting such aliens after they have been deported from the United States (although great care is exercised in securing proper foreign addresses), arrangements be made whereby the amount of the passage money in these cases might be forwarded by the collectors of customs (with whom it is required by law to be de
posited by the transportation agencies) to American consuls nearest to the places of residence of the aliens involved, and the aliens directed to appear before the appropriate consular officials in order to claim the amounts due them. This recommendation is based upon a report from the collector of customs at Boston that approximately 90 per cent of such passage money deposited with his office on account of excluded aliens can not be refunded for the reason that the aliens are unknown at the addresses given by them. The bureau has this matter now under consideration.
Administrative fines assessed against transportation lines.
Philadelphia... Baltimore Norfolk... Jacksonville...
200 200 25 10 10 300
10 10 200 200
$2,000 Bringing alien unable to read.
400 Bringing alien native of proscriberi zone.
Bringing alien afllicted with physical defect,
Failure to lurnish printed or typewritten mani.
Failure to furnish lists of incoming crews.
Bringing alien unable to read,
Failure to detain excluded alien.
Failure to furnish lists of incoming crews.
Failure to furnish manifest.
Failure to furnish lists of incoming crews.
Bringing alien unable to read.
Taking consideration to be returned is alien
ous contagious disease.
Bringing alien amicted with physical defect.
Bringing diseased alien seamen.
400 Bringing alien native of proscribed zone.
190 400 Bringing alien afflicted with dangerous conta
gious disease. 20 Improper manifesting. 600 Failure to detain and deport errhul aliens,
20 Failure to furnish list of incoming crew. 53,015
9 9 9 14 35 9 9
25 10 50 200 200 200 200
50 10 50 10 200 200 200
11 18 36
10 300 10
SUMMARY BY CAUSES,
Bringing diseased, defective, or otherwise inadmissible aliens as passengers..
4.30 2,199 30,650 3,000
UNIFORMITY OF PRACTICE IN THE FIELD SERVICE.
For some time past the bureau has been considering the advisability of detailing officers who, by experience and training, were well equipped to promote a proper application and enforcement throughout the service of the immigration and Chinese-exclusion laws, and also to institute uniform methods of procedure in its field offices of (1) accounting, (2) statistics, (3) compliance with general orders, (4) filing and recording, (5) office practice, and (6) to report as to any matters of administrative detail which required consideration by the department or bureau.
Although inaugurated a few months before the close of the fiscal year, the work has been carried forward systematically and efficiently, and those charged under their respective assignments with this important branch of the bureau's activity have been accorded instant and full cooperation by the officers in the Immigration Service.
The plan gives every promise of success, but has been in operation too short a period to enable the bureau in this report to do more than suggest the advantages which will eventually accrue therefrom. Suffice it to say that it has enabled the bureau to keep in close touch with conditions affecting the service and to render prompt assistance to field officers in the discharge of their allotted tasks.
One of the gratifying accomplishments during the year covered by this report was the award of a contract and actual commencement of the work of building the immigration station at Boston, for which object an appropriation was made several years ago. The site was acquired in 1911 and is located in East Boston, at a point convenient to the larger wharves and near both street car and ferry lines to the city proper. Although it has been necessary to erect a smaller building than was at first planned, the foundations and structural steel are of sufficient strength to provide for adding a number of stories to take care of all estimated needs. The project is under the direction of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department, and the work is rapidly proceeding. It is anticipated that the new structure will bə ready for occupancy during the coming fall or early winter, and when that time arrives it will be possible to realize the bureau's desire of many years to house the service at Boston in a fireproof building owned and operated entirely by the Government.
The Ellis Island station has continued largely at the disposal of the Army and Navy under the arrangements which were concluded in February, 1918, and it is pleasant to record that the Immigration Service was in position to furnish housing accommodations at our greatest port of embarkation to thousands of American sailors who were required to man vessels carrying troops and supplies overseas. Also that hospital facilities were available for thousands of returned heroes whose illness and wounds demanded hospital care when they were removed from the transports at New York. The conclusion of hostilities made it possible for the Navy Department to relinquish its quarters at the close of March 31, 1919, and the need for hospital facilities was so greatly reduced that the War Department released the hospitals at the close of the fiscal year 1919. It may be added