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by the absorption in America of the opportunities for livelihood. Now, since immigration has been restricted the birth rate in America has unexpectedly increased. This book is a very erudite and interesting story. He shows that mankind has constantly absorbed everything that means subsistence, reaching as it does to all opportunities of living; that the opportunity for man to obtain a proper living in the world is rapidly passing away; that particularly is that true in America, and that with this great mass of people coming from outside we are ourselves depriving our own progeny of their chances to grow and increase and improve.
Now, this is a very vast subject, and it means that our ideals of American life and its aspirations, which we think are so worth while, will necessarily be circumscribed and limited if the birth rate of the people who have absorbed those feelings and thoughts from the other parts of the world and have settled here-if that birth rate is decreased by the influx from people outside.
I only want to say in conclusion that you gentlemen have had much more experience than a man like myself in matters of this kind. I think the first point, of all things, is restriction; first, restriction; then quality; and, third, assimilability. Assimilability is language, the power to read and understand what we have ourselves and our forbears created on this continent. And that to me does not mean any discrimination that is racial. I think you will see that my efforts are in the interest of the organization that has sent me here, and that organization itself is made up of all the races of the world.
I want to thank you very much for your kindness. STATEMENT OF MAJ. OVERTON C. LUXFORD, VICE COMMANDER
OF THE MILITARY ORDER OF THE WORLD WAR FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Mr. LUXFORD. Mr. Chairman, I am heartily in favor of all that my predecessor, Major Blair has said, and I have only a few points that I would like to touch on. I am in favor, and the order which I represent is also in favor, of restricting immigration in accordance with ne quota under the census of 1890. If the census of 1910 is adopted it will allow the admission of a much larger number than our so-called melting pot is able to melt.
We are firmly of the opinion and believe it should be enacted that the immigrant should be selected at the port of origin, through the medium of consular representatives, where certificates of immigration will be issued, to which will be attached the photograph of the immigrant and his full description, to be examined at the port of entry on this side.
We also believe absolutely that the burden of proof as to whether or not an immigrant is entitled to admission should be placed on the immigrant at his expense, rather than at the expense of the United States Government. As it stands now, we have to prove that an immigrant is not admissible. The law should be framed so as to require him to prove to us first that he is admissible.
We also believe that these immigrants should register on arrival, that that registration should be conducted annually, at which times if an immigrant can not prove that he has registered on arrival he should be deported. This annual registration would show also whether they have taken steps to become American citizens.
The CHAIRMAN. May I state to you, Mr. Luxford, that this question of registration has received a good deal of consideration by both committees. It probably will come up in connection with the changes in the naturalization law, you understand. I do not think there is any disposition on the part of the committee of either House to insert à registration provision in the present immigration law. A registration provision would involve the registration of some 13,750,000 aliens. I am only saying that I do not think that is a practical suggestion, so far as the present immigration law is concerned.
Mr. LUXFORD. Mr. Chairman, my idea of that is that our current newspapers tell us each day of the infiltration over our borders of immigrants that are illegally entering and have no right to be here.
The CHAIRMAN. Exactly.
Mr. LUXFORD. And registration, if required, would be a check on that, and unless an immigrant had his certificate
The CHAIRMAN. I do not place entire confidence in everything I read in the public press.
Mr. LUXFORD. Neither do I, sir. I would be very much downhearted if I did.
The CHAIRMAN. These questions relating to immigration have to be considered very carefully on principle, in all their bearings. There are two sides to the question of registration. I am not prepared to say whether I indorse it or I do not. I feel that I am not sufficiently acquainted with the facts to reach any conclusion. I know there is opposition and there are arguments in favor of it. I am simply saying that I do not think it is a pertinent question so far as the present immigration legislation is concerned.
Mr. LUXFORD. We do not wish to raise any question of race at all in the immigration question, but we do unalterably believe that no one should enter the United States that may not become an American citizen or with whom we do not want our daughters to intermarry. That is vital, and in any consideration of this question that should not be lost sight of.
The CHAIRMAN. What would you say of the 100,000 Japanese that are here?
Mr. LUXFORD. Would you want your daughter, sir, to marry one of those, or any other race-I am not particular, Japanese or any other race? It is a matter inherent in the heart of every Americanborn citizen, particularly those who are descendant from the people that founded this country through the Revolution. They have certain ideals, which I won't even discuss, but when it comes down to them, sir, they do not consider any race that they do not want to intermarry with admissible.
The CHAIRMAN. When I look at the votes in some of the States and find Senators elected by less than a third of the qualified electors, I would like to Americanize some of our American citizens.
Mr. LUXFORD. I grant you that, sir. That is well taken.
In conclusion, I would like just simply to mention what is termed the melting pot. There are influences, as we all
know, that are trying to pull down the established Government. These people are not making an effort to become American citizens, and our thought, our whole idea is to keep them out. Let them stay where they belong. There is no thought in our mind of offending any nation, but we should have the right to say who shall or shall not enter this country. This is our country, and while it is supposed to be a haven for the oppressed, it should not be a rendezvous for malcontents or those who wish to destroy or pull down or upset the work of our forefathers.
I thank you very much, sir.
STATEMENT OF MR. JOHN L. BERNSTEIN, REPRESENTING
HEBREW IMMIGRATION AID SOCIETY.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bernstein, you represent the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society?
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Yes, sir. Mr. Jacob L. Cohen and myself are here as a committee for that association.
I have had the pleasure of appearing before this committee before. The organization which I represent is an immigrant aid society. Most of its work, perhaps 95 per cent of its work, is done for Jewish immigrants, although it makes no distinction between races, and as many as apply of the other religions and races are served in the same way.
The work of the society is a sort of a continuation of the work of the Travelers' Aid Society in the United States; that is, showing the immigrant the way to travel about and protecting him. It is the work of the young men's and young women's christian associations. I mean, it is a sort of continuation of all this work for the benefit of the immigrant.
The organization has a membership of about 150,000 throughout the United States. That membership is composed of all classesbankers, large manufacturers, workmen, small business men, etc. It maintains an office in New York, a large building where it houses and cares for immigrants. It also gives them aid in the procuring of first naturalization papers and final papers. Very often, about twice a week, it has lectures on Americanization. It has a sort of gallery of the great men of the United States, and instruction is given in English and in Jewish. While in our house a guide takes them through, and says, “ This is Grover Cleveland, former President of the United States. This is George Washington," and so on with other men.
Of course, in common with many other people, we are opposed to the further restriction of immigration, because we feel that the present restrictions are quite sufficient, perhaps even too harsh. We believe, as the chairman stated—which I happened to overhear-that the 1917 law contains about as much selection as human ingenuity can put into language. Every alien is examined here as to his qualifications, physical, mental, and moral.
We believe that the present 3 per cent quota law is drastic enough, and that the cutting of that percentage to 2 per cent is not necessary. I believe that the report of the Commissioner General of Immigration will show that while in the last fiscal year, or during the immigration fiscal year for the past two years, there came into the country about 300,000 to 350,000 immigrants, the number that remained
here that is, deducting from that number the number of aliens who have departed from the United States-is, I think, a negligible number. So that after all, immigration should not be counted by the number admitted but from the number admitted should be deducted the number who leave, and the net total is the total of immigration that we get into the United States. Under the present quota law a very small number of immigrants have come here since the quota law was passed.
We believe that there is no necessity for further restriction. But I should not raise that question now, because this bill upon which this committee is meeting provides for the census of 1910, so that the question of the census of 1890 that has been so much talked about is out of the consideration of the committee, if I understand it right.
I have listened to the gentlemen who have spoken here this morning. They make the claim, as many others do, that the founders of this Republic came only from certain northern European stock. I believe that a study of the history of the United States will refute that. I might say that most of the people who were here at the time and who established this Republic were from northern Europe, but we all remember very well that the man who practically financed a large part of the revolution of the United States was a Jew, named Soloman. He was not of that Nordic stock, and yet we all know from history that he gave his all to the revolution. And, if I remember correctly, he died in jail because he could not pay the little debts that he had after he gave all to the American revolution.
We all know by history that even in the discovery of America at least 30, one-quarter, of Columbus's crew were Jews.
I am not going to discuss this question any further. I know that gentlemen have appeared here who are much more able, much more competent than I to discuss that question, What I want to call the attention of the committee to to-day, however, is this: I believe that even those who think it is best for the interests of the United States that all immigration should be excluded will concede as Americans that the wives and minor children of those who are already here, whether they are citizens of the United States or whether they are residents of the United States having declared their intention to become American citizens, should be allowed to come here. I believe that even the majority of those who think that immigration is not desirable will concede as Americans that it is un- -American to part a wife from her husband or part minor children from their father. American life, like all civilized life, is based on the family unit, it is based on the home, and the longer you keep a wife and children away from a man who is here the less you help him to become a good American, a real American, and the less you help him to become a good man. Being away from his wife and children does not help his morality, so to speak.
Now, is my belief and it is the belief of those who have sent me here that whatever quota you decide on, whatever time you decide on as to the quota, there is no reason for subjecting wives and minor children to a quota, no matter what that quota is. I see that in this bill you give a preference to the wives and children of American citizens. First of all, it is my belief that the wives and children of all people now resident in the United States and who have de
clared their intention to become American citizens have a right, an inherent human right-I do not mean a constitutional American right; I understand that aliens are not protected by our Constitution, but they have an inherent human right to be reunited with their families.
You say the preference shall be given to them. That looks very food in the statute, but I happen to know how the preferential classes are worked out, because the present quota law also has a preference. The consuls are distributed, of course; one in Poland, in Warsaw; one in Rumania, in Bucharest, etc.
The consul in Riga, for instance, decides that he must wait and not issue any visé to anybody until he exhausts every application for wives and children of American citizens. But inasmuch as he does not know what applications may come in to-morrow—he knows how many he has to-day, but he does not know how many may come in to-morrow or the day after, and he stops giving visés to anybody, with the idea that perhaps the wives and children may apply. He waits, perhaps, to the end of the year.
In Bucharest, for example, the American consul adopts this method: He will give visés preferentially to wives and children, under the statutes, for four days a week, and the other one or two days out of the week he will give visés to the other people. I think that the consul in Riga is right, inasmuch as he does not know how many wives and children will apply during the year, and logically he is right in saying that he must wait until the 30th of June, the last day of the immigration year before giving a visé to anybody but a woman going to her husband. That is why the clause about preference in this bill does not help the situation. And even if it did, if you are going to limit the number of people coming to the United States to a number less than at the present time, there
be cases where wives and children will not be able to be reunited with their husbands and fathers for years to come, because you can not tell just when the quota will be open.
The present law has worked out this way. I have known cases of wives and children crossing the ocean during the immigration year of 1922 and 1923 three times and being deported for the third time because the monthly quota was exhausted.
So I say, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, that whatever bill you adopt, whatever quota you adopt, whatever percentage you adopt, whatever basis of percentage you adopt, you ought to eliminate wives and minor children from the operation of any quota. They are entitled to be here with their husbands and fathers. They are entitled to their protection, and they ought to get it at your hands.
Now, there are a couple of minor matters—they are minor here, but they are not minor to the immigrants. I notice your bill provides that the immigrant when he applies to the consul shall produce his dossier or prison record. Now, of course, on the face of it that looks harmless. Why shouldn't we know whether a person who wishes to enter the United States was or was not a criminal. We are entitled to know that. But, of course, when you say that when he makes application he must state under oath whether he was or was not, I think it is a very broad provision, and when you tell him that he must produce his government dossier he is going to have a very hard time. I will tell you why.