Washington (Jan. 24)
A statement attacking Senator Blease’s bill for “voluntary registration” was issued by Congressman Samuel Dickstein yesterday.
“After giving Senator Blease’s bill the most careful consideration, I cannot determine the purpose of the Senator except to fur(###)ber humiliate and disturb the many aliens in the U.S.
“On the surface this bill seems harmless because, under its terms, it is not obligatory to apply for the certificate of arrival but this is true only on the surface. The law on the statute books will greatly give the impression that aliens must obtain a certificate of arrival.
“If a man enters the country legally, why should he need a certificate of arrival and pay $3.00 for it? Under the present law where a man arrives legally, at the end of the period of five years he can apply for citizenship and the Naturalization Bureau will obtain his certificate for the purpose of naturalization and that is sufficient to determine his states. This bill impresses me as the start of a campaign for compulsory registration of aliens. As for those aliens who enter illegally, if we would only legalize the status of those who so entered up to 1924, this problem would be solved.
“I have fought for the plan of legalization since 1922. The House Immigration Committee has reported a bill which fixes the time limit of legalization to 1921. I still hope that when the matter will be presented to Congress, that 1924 will be accepted as the proper time limit.
“Summarizing, I am opposed to the bill because it will accomplish no constrictive purpose; second, it will embarrass those aliens who are legally in the United States; third, it is an attempt and a wedge to impose compulsory registration in the near future; fourth, it will bring much confusion among the law abiding aliens of the United States; fifth, it will place a new burden upon legally admitted aliens.”