Lapas attēli

there, or to assume active control of an already possest interest in a farming enterprise in this country.

The California Alien Land-Holding Legislation In April, 1913, there was introduced into the California legislature a bill restricting rigidly the holding of land, through either purchase or lease, by aliens, and especially by aliens ineligible to citizenship under the United States naturalization laws. The Japanese Government considered that this was aimed especially at the Japanese, and through Viscount Chinda, the Japanese ambassador, earnest protest was made. President Wilson, in consequence, telegraphed Governor Johnson asking that action be delayed until the Secretary of State, Mr. Bryan, could visit California and lay before the legislature the international aspects of the case, hoping that then a law might be framed which would "leave untouched the international obligations of the United States." After Secretary Bryan's visit, a new bill was framed which, it was thought, recognized fully the provisions of the treaties existing between Japan and the United States. This bill, however, which shortly afterward became law, was not satisfactory to the Japanese Government. The protests stated that the legislation was unfair and discriminatory, inconsistent with treaty provisions, and not in conformity to the spirit and fundamental principles of friendship, upon which the relations of the two nations depend. In making these protests, the Japanese Government left the situation as it was, but always with the possibility of taking the question up again diplomatically.*

Since the passage of the California law, one even

In Appendix D will be found the text of the California law.

more drastic has been passed in Arizona. In a number of States laws restricting the holding of land by aliens have been passed. In Washington the ownership of lands, excluding mineral lands or those necessary for their development, by aliens who have not declared their intention to become citizens is prohibited, except when acquired by inheritance, by mortgage, or in the regular course of justice in collecting a debt. In Wisconsin non-resident aliens can not acquire by purchase more than three hundred and twenty acres. Such laws are common in foreign countries, and no one questions the right of a country to make such restrictions. . During the winter of 1917, an alien land bill was brought up in Idaho. Again sharp and emphatic protest was made by the Japanese Government. It was reported in the press that the Japanese Ambassador had made it plain to our State Department that it would be difficult for the Japanese Government to keep its people in hand if such legislation was passed. The matter was immediately taken up by the State Department with the Idaho legislature and the bill was side-tracked after Secretary of State Lansing had asked the State not to complicate an already difficult situation by new international differences.

The Administration of the Law

The general administration of the immigration service has been placed by Congress in the hands of the Commissioner-General of Immigration. His official status is that of a bureau chief in the Department of Labor. Final authority is vested in the Secretary of the Department. The Commissioner-General is represented at the most important ports of entry by a Commissioner of Immigration, who has charge of the immigrant station, and a number of inspectors.

The immigrant station in New York is the largest, and may be taken as representative of the entire system of administration and inspection of incoming aliens. The immigrant inspectors, with the health officials, board incoming vessels carrying aliens. The steerage passengers, together with any aliens in the ship's hospital, are transferred by barges to Ellis Island, the sick aliens being sent to the immigrant hospital. The other aliens are first required to pass in single file before two surgeons of the Marine Hospital Service, who simultaneously make a double examination, one into the general physical condition of the alien, the other for signs of trachoma. If there is any doubt about an immigrant's physical or mental condition, he is detained for a more rigid examination. The women are examined separately by matrons. Any pregnant woman is held for a special examination, on the ground that she is liable to become a public charge.

After the physical test, those who successfully pass are arranged according to the order of their names on the ship's manifests, and are then passed in single file before other inspectors for further examination. These inspectors ask the same questions which the immigrants were required to answer in filling out the manifest for the ship's officers, and make note in red ink of any discrepancies in their replies. The immigrant is also required to show the money he has in his possession. Any persons concerning whose status the inspectors have a doubt, are detained. The others are allowed to pass through the gates, where they can buy tickets to their final destination, or receive assistance in finding relatives and friends.

The aliens who have been detained are required.

to appear before Boards of Special Inquiry, appointed by the Commissioner-General. They consist of three inspectors, the decisions of two being final. An appeal may be taken from these boards to the Commissioner of the port, from him to the CommissionerGeneral, and from the Commissioner-General to the Secretary of Labor. The President may, of course, if he wishes to do so, review any case. The proceedings before the Board of Special Inquiry are private, but a complete copy is made of the record. In case of appeal, the record goes to the Commissioner of the port, and the detained immigrant appears before him in person. After the Commissioner renders his decision, the papers in the case are sent to Washington and placed on file.

Immigrants detained because of special inquiries or appeals, are maintained by the Government at the expense of the steamship companies. Those who are to be deported are held until the vessel on which they came is ready for its return voyage. Diseased aliens are treated in the immigrant hospital on Ellis Island until the time for their return to their native countries. In the case of contagious diseases which are not dangerous, or other curable diseases, when the alien intends joining a husband or wife in this country, he or she is allowed to stay in the hospital until a cure is effected.


On the borders of Canada and Mexico, inspectors are placed on all trains entering the United States, at ferries, and near the principal roads, so that proper inspection may be made to exclude disqualified persons. The procedure followed, including the work of

physicians and of Boards of Inquiry in doubtful cases, is substantially the same as that followed at sea ports, and similar appeals lie to the authorities in Washington.

The law requiring the steamship companies to return debarred immigrants free of charge to the country of embarkation, has led to a careful medical inspection by the companies at the port of embarkation. This examination is usually made by physicians of the home country employed by the steamship companies, or by the ship's doctor. In the most important ports of Italy-Naples, Palermo, and Messina-by an arrangement between the two countries, special examiners of the United States Public Health and Marine Hospital Service have been detailed for the work. Tho their reports are unofficial, the companies, of course, always accept them. In other countries and ports the American consul sometimes recommends an examiner, who is paid by the steamship company. In some instances the company has a preliminary examination made at the place of purchase of the ticket before the would-be emigrant leaves his home. These measures are very helpful in preventing needless expense and often great suffering on the part of the emigrant, and they ought to be everywhere adopted.


The enormous difficulties of a just, humane, and still strict enforcement of the law appear when one considers that at the port of New York sometimes 5,000 immigrants are admitted in one day; that it is impossible, in consequence, to give much time to each doubtful case; and that the cases themselves are often of extreme complexity, involving judgment of health,

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