A-12921, FEBRUARY 19, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 647

A-12921: Feb 19, 1926

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RELIEF OF ALIEN SEAMEN - CANAL ZONE AS PORTS IN THE CANAL ZONE ARE CONSIDERED FOREIGN PORTS TO THE UNITED STATES AN ALIEN SEAMAN SHIPPING ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM A PORT IN THE CANAL ZONE IS LIMITED IN THE MATTER OF RELIEF TO SUCH AS MAY BE EXTENDED TO AN ALIEN SEAMAN SHIPPING ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM A FOREIGN PORT. ARE ENTITLED TO RELIEF AS AMERICAN SEAMEN. IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD THAT A FOREIGNER WHO SHIPS ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL IN A PORT OF THE UNITED STATES IS AN AMERICAN SEAMAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAWS PROVIDING RELIEF FOR AMERICAN SEAMEN. 2 COMP. IT IS NECESSARY THEREFORE TO DETERMINE WHETHER A PORT IN THE CANAL ZONE IS A PORT OF THE UNITED STATES. THE POWERS IN RESPECT OF SUCH SEAMEN OF SUCH VESSELS BESTOWED BY LAW UPON CONSULAR OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES IN FOREIGN PORTS AND UPON SHIPPING COMMISSIONERS IN PORTS OF THE UNITED STATES ARE HEREBY BESTOWED UPON THE SHIPPING COMMISSIONER AND DEPUTY SHIPPING COMMISSIONERS ON THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE.

A-12921, FEBRUARY 19, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 647

RELIEF OF ALIEN SEAMEN - CANAL ZONE AS PORTS IN THE CANAL ZONE ARE CONSIDERED FOREIGN PORTS TO THE UNITED STATES AN ALIEN SEAMAN SHIPPING ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM A PORT IN THE CANAL ZONE IS LIMITED IN THE MATTER OF RELIEF TO SUCH AS MAY BE EXTENDED TO AN ALIEN SEAMAN SHIPPING ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM A FOREIGN PORT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, FEBRUARY 19, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY REFERENCE FA-196.2/730 OF JANUARY 30, 1926, PRESUMABLY BY YOUR AUTHORITY, REQUEST OF THE AMERICAN VICE CONSUL IN CHARGE AT COLON, PANAMA, FOR A DECISION WHETHER SEAMEN, NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS, SHIPPED ON AMERICAN VESSELS AT PORTS IN THE CANAL ZONE, ARE ENTITLED TO RELIEF AS AMERICAN SEAMEN.

IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD THAT A FOREIGNER WHO SHIPS ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL IN A PORT OF THE UNITED STATES IS AN AMERICAN SEAMAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAWS PROVIDING RELIEF FOR AMERICAN SEAMEN. 2 COMP. GEN. 32.

IT IS NECESSARY THEREFORE TO DETERMINE WHETHER A PORT IN THE CANAL ZONE IS A PORT OF THE UNITED STATES. SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1916, 39 STAT. 529, PROVIDES:

THE LAWS RELATING TO SEAMEN OF VESSELS OF THE UNITED STATES ON FOREIGN VOYAGES SHALL APPLY TO SEAMEN OF ALL VESSELS OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE, WHETHER SUCH VESSELS BE REGISTERED, OR ENROLLED AND LICENSED, AND THE POWERS IN RESPECT OF SUCH SEAMEN OF SUCH VESSELS BESTOWED BY LAW UPON CONSULAR OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES IN FOREIGN PORTS AND UPON SHIPPING COMMISSIONERS IN PORTS OF THE UNITED STATES ARE HEREBY BESTOWED UPON THE SHIPPING COMMISSIONER AND DEPUTY SHIPPING COMMISSIONERS ON THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 5, 1917, 39 STAT. 874, REGULATING THE IMMIGRATION OF ALIENS TO THE UNITED STATES, PROVIDES:

THAT THE WORD "ALIEN" WHEREVER USED IN THIS ACT SHALL INCLUDE ANY PERSON NOT A NATIVE-BORN OR NATURALIZED CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES; BUT THIS DEFINITION SHALL NOT BE HELD TO INCLUDE INDIANS OF THE UNITED STATES NOT TAXED OR CITIZENS OF THE ISLANDS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES. THAT THE TERM "UNITED STATES" AS USED IN THE TITLE AS WELL AS IN THE VARIOUS SECTIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO MEAN THE UNITED STATES, AND ANY WATERS, TERRITORY, OR OTHER PLACE SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF, EXCEPT THE ISTHMIAN CANAL ZONE; BUT IF ANY ALIEN SHALL LEAVE THE CANAL ZONE * * * AND ATTEMPT TO ENTER ANY OTHER PLACE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES, NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS ACT SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS PERMITTING HIM TO ENTER UNDER ANY OTHER CONDITIONS THAN THOSE APPLICABLE TO ALL ALIENS. THAT THE TERM "SEAMAN" AS USED IN THIS ACT SHALL INCLUDE EVERY PERSON SIGNED ON THE SHIP'S ARTICLES AND EMPLOYED IN ANY CAPACITY ON BOARD ANY VESSEL ARRIVING IN THE UNITED STATES FROM ANY FOREIGN PORT OR PLACE.

UNDER THIS LAST QUOTED PROVISION PORTS OF THE CANAL ZONE ARE DEEMED TO BE FOREIGN PORTS FOR IMMIGRATION PURPOSES. SEE PARAGRAPH 4, RULE 6, OF THE IMMIGRATION LAWS AND RULES OF JULY 1, 1925.

THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 569, PROVIDED THAT ALL LAWS AND TREATIES RELATING TO THE EXTRADITION OF PERSONS ACCUSED OF CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES SHALL EXTEND TO AND BE CONSIDERED IN FORCE IN THE CANAL ZONE AND THAT "FOR SUCH PURPOSES AND SUCH PURPOSES ONLY THE CANAL ZONE SHALL BE CONSIDERED AND TREATED AS AN ORGANIZED TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES.'

THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, 43 STAT. 1017, PROVIDES:

FOR RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF AMERICAN SEAMEN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, IN THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE, AND IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS * * *.

IT APPEARS FROM THE FOREGOING THAT CONGRESS HAS GENERALLY TREATED THE CANAL ZONE AS "FOREIGN" TO THE UNITED STATES, ANY EXCEPTION TO THAT GENERAL RULE BEING FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES ONLY. THE ACT OF AUGUST 21,1916, SUPRA, AND THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, AUTHORIZE AND PROVIDE FOR RELIEF OF AMERICAN SEAMEN IN THE CANAL ZONE ON THE BASIS OF RELIEF TO SUCH SEAMEN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. IT MUST BE HELD THEREFORE THAT AN ALIEN SEAMAN SHIPPING ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM A PORT IN THE CANAL ZONE IS LIMITED TO SUCH RELIEF AS MAY BE EXTENDED TO AN ALIEN SHIPPING ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM A FOREIGN PORT. 1 COMP. GEN. 583; ID. 621; 27 COMP. DEC. 617. SEE ALSO DECISION OF FEBRUARY 15, 1926, A-12918, 5 COMP. GEN. 634. THEREFORE, SUCH A SEAMAN DISCHARGED FOR DISABILITY IN A FOREIGN PORT WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO BE RETURNED TO THE CANAL ZONE OR TO ANY PORT IN THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.