A-56272, AUGUST 11, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 113

A-56272: Aug 11, 1934

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APPROPRIATIONS - IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE - DEPARTMENT OF LABOR THE COST OF MAINTENANCE OF ALIENS PENDING DECISION AS TO ELIGIBILITY TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE BORNE BY THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY OR TRANSPORTATION LINE. APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE ARE BASED ON ESTIMATES CONTEMPLATING THE CHARGING OF THE APPROPRIATION IN THE FIRST INSTANCES WITH ALL EXPENSES ARISING DURING THE TEMPORARY REMOVAL AND DETENTION OF THE ALIENS WITH SUBSEQUENT REIMBURSEMENT TO THE APPROPRIATION. AMOUNTS COLLECTED FROM STEAMSHIP COMPANIES OR TRANSPORTATION LINES ARE FOR REPAYMENT TO THE APPROPRIATION. 1934: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 20. THE AUTHORITY FOR THIS PRACTICE IS FOUND IN SECTIONS 17 AND 18 OF THE IMMIGRATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 5.

A-56272, AUGUST 11, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 113

APPROPRIATIONS - IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE - DEPARTMENT OF LABOR THE COST OF MAINTENANCE OF ALIENS PENDING DECISION AS TO ELIGIBILITY TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE BORNE BY THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY OR TRANSPORTATION LINE. APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE ARE BASED ON ESTIMATES CONTEMPLATING THE CHARGING OF THE APPROPRIATION IN THE FIRST INSTANCES WITH ALL EXPENSES ARISING DURING THE TEMPORARY REMOVAL AND DETENTION OF THE ALIENS WITH SUBSEQUENT REIMBURSEMENT TO THE APPROPRIATION. AMOUNTS COLLECTED FROM STEAMSHIP COMPANIES OR TRANSPORTATION LINES ARE FOR REPAYMENT TO THE APPROPRIATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, AUGUST 11, 1934:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 20, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

SINCE FEBRUARY 16, 1922, THIS DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN DEPOSITING TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE," PAYMENTS MADE BY TRANSPORTATION LINES TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE COST OF THINGS PECULIARLY INCIDENT TO THE OVERNIGHT MAINTENANCE OF ALIENS AT IMMIGRATION STATIONS, SUCH AS SOAP, CLEANING FLUID, BED CLOTHING, ETC., BUT NOT THE PAY OF EMPLOYEES NOR THE COST OF PERMANENT EQUIPMENT, SUCH AS BUILDINGS AND FURNITURE, NOR FOR LIGHT, HEAT, AND WATER.

THE AUTHORITY FOR THIS PRACTICE IS FOUND IN SECTIONS 17 AND 18 OF THE IMMIGRATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 5, 1917. THE PROVISIONS REFERRED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT UPON THE ARRIVAL AT A PORT OF THE UNITED STATES OF ANY VESSEL BRINGING ALIENS IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE PROPER IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS TO GO OR TO SEND COMPETENT ASSISTANTS TO THE VESSEL AND THERE INSPECT ALL SUCH ALIENS, OR SAID IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS MAY ORDER A TEMPORARY REMOVAL OF SUCH ALIENS FOR EXAMINATION AT A DESIGNATED TIME AND PLACE, BUT SUCH TEMPORARY REMOVAL SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED A LANDING, NOR SHALL IT RELIEVE VESSELS, THE TRANSPORTATION LINES, MASTERS, AGENTS, OWNERS, OR CONSIGNEES OF THE VESSEL UPON WHICH SAID ALIENS ARE BROUGHT TO ANY PORT OF THE UNITED STATES FROM ANY OF THE OBLIGATIONS WHICH, IN CASE SUCH ALIENS REMAIN ON BOARD, WOULD UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT BIND THE SAID VESSELS, TRANSPORTATION LINES, MASTERS, AGENTS, OWNERS, OR CONSIGNEES: PROVIDED, THAT WHERE REMOVAL IS MADE TO PREMISES OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE UNITED STATES, SAID VESSELS, TRANSPORTATION LINES, MASTERS, AGENTS, OWNERS, OR CONSIGNEES, AND EACH OF THEM, SHALL, SO LONG AS DETENTION THERE LASTS, BE RELIEVED OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SAFEKEEPING OF SUCH ALIENS. WHENEVER A TEMPORARY REMOVAL OF ALIENS IS MADE THE VESSELS OR TRANSPORTATION LINES WHICH BROUGHT THEM AND THE MASTERS, OWNERS, AGENTS, AND CONSIGNEES OF THE VESSEL UPON WHICH THEY ARRIVE SHALL PAY ALL EXPENSES OF SUCH REMOVAL AND ALL EXPENSES ARISING DURING SUBSEQUENT DETENTION, PENDING DECISION ON THE ALIENS' ELIGIBILITY TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES AND UNTIL THEY ARE EITHER ALLOWED TO LAND OR RETURNED TO THE CARE OF THE LINE OR TO THE VESSEL WHICH BROUGHT THEM, SUCH EXPENSES TO INCLUDE THOSE OF MAINTENANCE, MEDICAL TREATMENT IN HOSPITAL OR ELSEWHERE, BURIAL IN THE EVENT OF DEATH, AND TRANSFER TO THE VESSEL IN THE EVENT OF DEPORTATION, EXCEPTING ONLY WHERE THEY ARISE UNDER THE TERMS OF ANY OF THE PROVISOS OF SECTION EIGHTEEN HEREOF. ANY REFUSAL OR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS HEREOF SHALL BE PUNISHED IN THE MANNER SPECIFIED IN SECTION EIGHTEEN OF THIS ACT.

"THAT ALL ALIENS BROUGHT TO THIS COUNTRY IN VIOLATION OF LAW SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY SENT BACK, IN ACCOMMODATIONS OF THE SAME CLASS IN WHICH THEY ARRIVED, TO THE COUNTRY WHENCE THEY RESPECTIVELY CAME, ON THE VESSELS BRINGING THEM, UNLESS IN THE OPINION OF THE SECRETARY OF LABOR IMMEDIATE DEPORTATION IS NOT PRACTICABLE OR PROPER. THE COST OF THEIR MAINTENANCE WHILE ON LAND, AS WELL AS THE EXPENSE OF THE RETURN OF SUCH ALIENS, SHALL BE BORNE BY THE OWNER OR OWNERS OF THE VESSELS ON WHICH THEY RESPECTIVELY CAME. * * *"

HOWEVER, THE QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO WHETHER SUCH COLLECTIONS ARE PROPERLY REIMBURSABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION.

YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER RECOVERIES OF THE FOREGOING CHARACTER SHOULD BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE," OR TURNED INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF "MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.' IN THIS CONNECTION, THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF AN OPINION OF THE ACTING SOLICITOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ON THE SUBJECT, DATED DECEMBER 1, 1921, IN WHICH HE ADVISED THE DEPARTMENT THAT THESE MONEYS SEEM TO BE PROPERLY CREDITABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE REGULATION OF IMMIGRATION.

THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE WAS ESTABLISHED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 10, 1933, THROUGH THE CONSOLIDATION OF THE FORMER BUREAUS OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1517, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166, DATED JUNE 10, 1933. THE APPROPRIATION FOR "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE," FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1935, 48 STAT. 569, WHICH APPROPRIATION IS A CONSOLIDATION OF THE LANGUAGE CONTAINED IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FORMER BUREAUS, WITH CERTAIN CHANGES NOT HERE MATERIAL, PROVIDES:

* * * FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS REGULATING THE IMMIGRATION TO, THE RESIDENCE IN, AND THE EXCLUSION AND DEPORTATION FROM THE UNITED STATES OF ALIENS, AND PERSONS SUBJECT TO THE CHINESE EXCLUSION LAWS; FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS AUTHORIZING A UNIFORM RULE FOR THE NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS; SALARIES, TRANSPORTATION, TRAVELING, AND OTHER EXPENSES OF OFFICERS, CLERKS, AND OTHER EMPLOYEES APPOINTED TO ENFORCE SAID LAW; CARE, DETENTION, MAINTENANCE, TRANSPORTATION, AND TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE DEPORTATION AND EXCLUSION OF ALIENS, AND PERSONS SUBJECT TO THE CHINESE EXCLUSION LAWS, AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW, IN THE UNITED STATES AND TO, THROUGH, OR IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES; PURCHASE OF SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT, * * * AND FOR ALL OTHER EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ENFORCE SAID LAWS * * *.

THIS APPROPRIATION IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF ALL EXPENSES OF ENFORCING THE IMMIGRATION LAWS, INCLUDING THE ADMISSION, EXCLUSION, ETC., OF ALIENS. HOWEVER, THE LIABILITY FOR THE EXPENSES ARISING DURING THE TEMPORARY REMOVAL AND DETENTION PENDING DECISION ON THE ALIEN'S ELIGIBILITY TO LAND OR UNTIL RETURNED TO THE CARE OF THE TRANSPORTATION LINE OR VESSEL WHICH BROUGHT HIM TO THE UNITED STATES, IS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 15 AND 18 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 5, 1917, 39 STAT. 874, TO BE BORNE BY THE MASTERS, OWNERS, AGENTS, AND CONSIGNEES OF THE VESSEL UPON WHICH HE ARRIVED.

IT APPEARS THAT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS CONGRESS HAS APPROPRIATED FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION ON THE BASIS OF AND WITH KNOWLEDGE THAT THE COST OF MAINTENANCE OF ALIENS TEMPORARILY REMOVED FOR EXAMINATION WAS BEING CHARGED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION WITH REIMBURSEMENTS TO THAT APPROPRIATION BY THE STEAMSHIP COMPANIES AFTER THE COST OF MAINTENANCE HAS BEEN ASCERTAINED. THE ESTIMATES SUBMITTED IN THE BUDGET FOR 1935 UNDER THE TITLE,"SALARIES AND EXPENSES, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE," APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN PREPARED ON THE SAME BASIS AND UPON THE SAME CONSIDERATION AS THOSE FOR PRIOR YEARS AND SPECIFICALLY CONTAINS AN ITEM, WHICH HAS BEEN DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL ESTIMATES, REPRESENTING REFUNDS FROM STEAMSHIP COMPANIES, ETC., FOR EXPENDITURES NOT PROPERLY CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, INDICATING THAT IT WAS THE INTENTION THAT SUCH REFUNDS SHOULD BE REPAID TO THE APPROPRIATION. SEE THE BUDGET, 1935, PAGE 400. ALSO, HEARINGS ON DEPARTMENT OF LABOR APPROPRIATION BILLS FOR 1934 AND 1935.

IT APPEARS THE PROCEDURE OF PAYING ALL SUCH EXPENSES IN THE FIRST INSTANCE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION" WITH COLLECTIONS THEREAFTER FROM THE TRANSPORTATION LINES HAS BEEN ADOPTED MERELY AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURE IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE IMMIGRATION LAWS. AMOUNTS COLLECTED FROM STEAMSHIP COMPANIES, ETC., REPRESENTING ASCERTAINED COST OF THE MAINTENANCE OF ALIENS DURING TEMPORARY LANDING ARE RECEIVED FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE AUTHORIZED BY THE LAW, UNDER WHICH IT IS PROVIDED THAT THE EXPENSES INVOLVED SHOULD BE PAID BY THE VESSEL OR TRANSPORTATION LINE. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AND IN VIEW OF THE LEGISLATIVE SANCTION OF THE PRACTICE ADMINISTRATIVELY ADOPTED OF CHARGING ALL EXPENSES IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TO THE APPROPRIATION WITH SUBSEQUENT REIMBURSEMENT THERETO BY THE STEAMSHIP LINES, ETC., THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO REASON WHY WHEN COLLECTION IS MADE THE APPROPRIATION SHOULD NOT BE REIMBURSED.

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