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or teach the unlawful destruction of property, or who are affiliated with any organization which so advocates or teaches, and stowaways, except that otherwise admissible stowaways may be admitted by the Secretary of Labor. Several changes are also made in the phraseology of the old law respecting excluded classes. For example, the old law excluded "insane persons, and persons who have been insane within five years," and also "persons who have had two or more attacks of insanity at any time previously," while the new law in that regard simply reads "insane persons" and “persons who have had one or more attacks of insanity at any time previously." The old law excluded "polygamists, or persons who admit their belief in the practise of polygamy," while the new law includes "polygamists, or persons who practise polygamy or believe in or advocate the practise of polygamy," and "persons afflicted with tuberculosis" in the old law, is made to read, "persons afflicted with tuberculosis in any form" in the new act. The law of 1907 also excludes another class designated as mentally defective aliens when it was believed that such defect, however slight, might affect the alien's ability to earn a living, but the new act excludes this class without reference to the economic factor.

It will be seen that the new law is more stringent than the old with regard to the admission of insane persons, or those liable to become insane. Danger from this source is further guarded against by a provision that medical officers who have had special training in the diagnosis of insanity and mental defects shall be stationed at ports of entry, the obvious purpose being that aliens shall undergo a more rigid mental examination than in the past. The drastic pro

visions relative to cases of suspected insanity are somewhat modified, however, by an additional new clause which stipulates that aliens certified for insanity or any mental defect may appeal to a board of medical officers of the United States Public Health Service and may introduce one expert medical witness before the board in their own behalf.


The long-existing law against the importation of labor under contract is amended so as to provide for the exclusion of laborers coming by reason of false, as well as true, promises of employment. The contract labor law, however, has always provided that skilled labor may be imported "if labor of like kind unemployed can not be found in this country." The new law-modifies this exception by the inclusion of the Immigration Commission's recommendation that the question of the necessity of bringing in skilled labor may be determined by the Secretary of Labor prior to the importation, whereas under previous laws this could not be determined prior to the arrival of the imported laborers at a United States port. The contract labor law does not apply to alien actors, artists, singers, or to those who belong to any recognized learned profession. The present law adds nurses to the other exempt professional classes.

The solicitation of immigration by transportation companies has long been under the ban. Formerly a fine of $1,000 was imposed on steamship companies for each offense, such fine to be collected by means of ordinary legal procedure, but there have been few if any cases in which violators have been punished under the law, altho it is quite generally supposed that

steamship companies did solicit and promote immigration contrary to the law. The new law is far more stringent in this regard, as it subjects violators to either civil or criminal prosecution, instead of civil prosecution alone as in earlier laws. What is more to the point, the Secretary of Labor is given authority to impose an administrative fine of $400 in each case if he deems such action advisable. The new law goes even further than this in an effort to prevent the stimulation of immigration by the steamship companies for it even stipulates that, whenever the Secretary of Labor is satisfied that the law is being persistently violated, it shall be his duty to deny to the offending steamship company the right to land passengers of any or all classes at United States ports for such a period as may be necessary to insure an observance of the law.

Under the Act of 1907 the Secretary of Labor was granted a special fund of $50,000 annually for the enforcement of the law excluding contract laborers, and in the new act the fund is increased to $100,000 annually and made available for the exclusion of induced and assisted immigrants as well as contract laborers.


Another amendment which may be of considerable importance in the administration of the immigration law concerns the long existing provision excluding persons likely to become a public charge. Altho necessarily indefinite this provision is very effective, and among the various classes who are denied admission year by year "persons likely to become a public charge" have been by far the most numerous. In the text of the old law this class appeared between paupers and professional beggars in the list of excluded aliens, and

accordingly the inference was that it applied solely to the aliens' condition as regards health, age, means, etc. But immigration officials eventually began to consider circumstances not directly connected with the alien in determining whether they were likely to become public charges if admitted, and finally it became a common practise to reject persons on that account, because poor economic conditions existed in the locality to which they were destined, or even because of racial feeling against the alien in question, the theory being that if aliens could not get employment there they would necessarily become public charges.

This construction of the law was finally tested in the courts in the case of a group of Russian Ossetins, a Caucasus Mountain people, who came to New York, destined to Portland, Oregon, and were denied admission as persons likely to become a public charge chiefly because it appeared that because of poor industrial conditions then existing in Portland it would be impossible for them to find employment there. The Supreme Court of the United States, however, took an opposite view of the matter, and, in short, held that aliens could be excluded as "likely to become a public charge" only "on the ground of permanent personal objections accompanying them irrespective of local conditions." In reaching this decision the Supreme Court held that so long as "persons likely to become a public charge" were mentioned in the law along with beggars, paupers, idiots and other classes of that nature they were to be considered as generally similar to the others and therefore not liable to different treatment. The court held that the statute "deals with admission to the United States, not to Portland" and added that:

"It would be an amazing claim of power if commissioners decided not to admit aliens because the labor market of the United States was overstocked. Yet, as officers of the general Government, they would seem to be more concerned with that than with the conditions of any particular city or State."

The Secretary of Labor appealed to Congress to amend the law so as to overcome the Court's objection and recommended that the clause be amended to read "persons likely for any reason to become a public charge," and that it be transferred from its unhappy position between paupers and beggars to another part of the section. Congress adopted the last but not the first suggestion, and the provision is now found in that part of the section which refers more especially to rejections on account of economic conditions.


The regulation of immigration was not fully assumed by the Federal Government until 1882. Among various other classes of aliens who were deemed undesirable the law enacted in that year provided for the exclusion of convicts, except those convicted of political offenses. All subsequent laws have a similar provision, and since 1891, in common with other debarred aliens, convicts or criminals whose true character was not discovered until after they were admitted to the country have been subject to deportation. At first such deportations could be made only within one year after landing, but this period was subsequently extended to two, and then to three years, and in the new law it is fixt at five years, with the drastic proviso that anarchists, and persons who were criminals before coming to the United States, may be deported irrespective of the

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