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American Federation of Labor to Condemn Alien Recistration Bill

October 7, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

A resolution condemning the proposed Alien Registration Bill was presented at the convention of the American Federation of Labor here today by J. M. O’Hanlon, delegate of the New York State Federation of Labor.

The resolution points out that the proposed legislation for the registration of foreign born workers would permit photographic and finger printing and make it impossible for the foreign born to participate in the struggle of American Labor for a higher standard of living.

Cyrus S. Ching, Chairman of the Immigration Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers, in his report to the annual convention of the Association in session at the Waldorf Hotel, expressed the committee’s doubt of the new immigration quota based upon “the national origin test,” which is to become effective in 1927. Constant intermarriage, he said, made it dubious whether we have the date upon which to predicate even approximately racial origin. Mr. Ching recommended that the registration of aliens should be made compulsory by law.

Commissioner General of Immigration Harry E. Hull who addressed the convention declared that the present restrictive policy of the Government on immigration should be upheld. He recommended the adoption of some means of registering the 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 aliens now in this country who are considering themselves citizens and will only learn for the first time that they are not should they leave this country and attempt to return. He said that the Government by cutting down the admission of aliens had done away with the day of cheap labor. He said that the present policy is insuring the individual prosperity of our workers and protecting American interests.

“Present-day immigration is less than one-fourth of that for 1907, the peak year of immigration,” said the Commissioner. “During the past two fiscal years ended June 30, 1925 and 1926, respectively, 294,314 and 304,488 immigrants were admitted to the United States. In the fiscal year 1907 immigration reached a total of 1,285-349.”

The Commissioner discussed the problem of dealing with the citizenship of women. “Prior to Sept. 22, 1922, on which date the Cable Act was passed,” said the Commissioner, “the marriage of an alien woman to a citizen of the United States made her a citizen and conversely the marriage of an American citizen woman to a foreigner forfeited her citizenship. Since that date an American woman who married a foreigner (except in certain cases where the husband is ineligible to become a citizen) does not lose her citizenship, nor does the American husband confer citizenship on his foreign wife. As a result of this situation we have had some very hard cases before the department on appeal. We had to regard as aliens under the law women who are as much citizens as you or I and who have wanted to return from foreign residences where they have been living with their husbands. I think that in a case like that a general discretion should be conferred upon the department to authorize the readmission of expatriated native and naturalized citizens.”

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