Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

United States Chamber of Commerce Opposes Alien Registration Bill

March 14, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Opposition to the proposed bill concerning the registration of aliens in the United States was expressed by the United States Chamber of Commerce in the report of a special committee made public yesterday.

The immigration committee of the United States Chamber of Commerce, considering all angles of the question, came to the conclusion that “the registration of aliens is not in accordance with American principles; it would arouse hostility and mistrust, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce the law effectively; it would raise questions of treaty rights, of nationals of other powers, unless registration include citizens as well as aliens; it would entail large expenditures to pay for the routine work of annually registering 7,000,000 persons and additional expenditures for a corps of agents to seek out alien’s who fail to register, and punish them. It would lead to demand for annual registration of ail inhabitants of the country.”

Declaring that this bill is not in accordance with the American principle of freedom, the committee stated that “freedom of the individual from official surveilance or espionage, unless he is suspected of crime, is an American principle. Periodic registration and close supervision of individuals by officials has been held by Americans to be characteristic of tyrannies, not of free governments. Whether registration of aliens would run counter to provisions of the federal constitution is a question that probably cannot he decided until a test case is brought before the Supreme Court. Two provisions, however, deserve consideration. The Fourth Amendment assures ‘the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. . . and no warrant shall issue but upon proper cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.’ The other provision of the Constitution is ‘The Constitution and the laws of the United States. . . and all treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.'”

The committee which rendered the report consisted of Karl de Laittre, chairman, vice-president of Bovey-De Laittre Lumber Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; Henry Bruere, vice-president, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York; J. T. Duryea, president, Pierce, Butler and Pierce Manufacturing Corporation, New York; Thomas Evans, Merchant and Evens Company, Philadelphia, Pa., Henry A Garfield, President, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Frank J. Goodnow, president, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Charles Nagel Nagel and Kirby, Attorneys-at-Law, St. Louis, Missouri; and Francis W. Shephardson, Secretary and Acting Director, the Julius Rosenwald Fund, Chicago, Ill.

Recommended from JTA