Document 4: Instructional Questions and Answers for Immigration Officials

Executive Files Retrieved from Immigration and Naturalization Service Including Instructions for Chinese Inspectors, compiled by M. C. Faris, 1933. National Archives and Records Administration: Pacific Alaska Region (Seattle).

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Q Has an immigrant inspector authority to arrest a Chinese without warrant or arrest?
A Yes. Customs and Internal Revenue inspectors and U.S. Marshals were authorized to arrest without warrant any Chinese laborer not in possession of a certificate of residence under authority of the Act of May 5, 1892 and as amended. The enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion laws was then under the Treasury Department. The act of February 14, 1903 transferred the enforcement of the Chinese exclusion laws to the Department of Commerce and Labor and by the Act of March 4, 1913 transferred to the Department of Labor, under which immigrant and Chinese inspectors are vested with the same authority as delegated to the various officers under the original act.

Q What classes of Chinese are subject to arrest and deportation proceedings brought before a United States Commissioner or District Court?
A All Chinese residents who claim to be citizens of the United States; all Chinese who had resided continuously in the United States for five years or more, except those admitted through fraud in violation of Section 14 of the Immigration Act of 1924; Chinese citizens of Insular possessions.

Q What is the difference between a judicial hearing and a Departmental hearing?
A A judicial hearing is conducted in accordance with the law of the land and the introduction of evidence is subject to the technical rules as in other cases. A Departmental hearing is more in the nature of an equity proceeding and the technical rules of evidence do not apply.

Q Does the burden of proof differ between persons of Chinese race and other races?
A When a Chinese claims to be a native or citizen of the United States or to have been legally admitted the burden of proof rests on him. Those of other races claiming to be a native of this country force the burden of showing otherwise on the government.

Q What is the general ruling of the courts in habeas corpus proceedings in cases where the Chinese claims arrest and detention prior to issuance of warrant?
A The writ is merely to testify the authority for detention at time the writ is heard. If the warrant is valid the Chinese is legally held and that arrest without warrant does not invalidate deportation proceedings.

Q If a Chinese is apprehended by an inspector in Bellingham, would it be legal or proper to take the Chinese to Tacoma to stand trial?
A Yes, if authorized by the United States Attorney in Seattle. The United States Attorney has the right to designate any United States Commissioner within his district to issue warrant of arrest and try the defendant. The jurisdiction of the United States Attorney at Seattle covers the western half of Washington.

Q A Chinese testifies during his preliminary hearing that he was born in China. He is represented by counsel at the trial and then claims that he is a native born citizen of the United States. What weight is his last testimony entitled to?
A None. The courts have consistently held that the first statement is controlling and some courts have held that it is advisable that the Chinese be questioned before the appearance of his counsel on the theory he is more likely to tell the truth.

Q What classes of Chinese are subject to arrest and deportation under Departmental proceedings?
A Chinese aliens convicted for violation of the Jones-Miller Narcotic Act and sentenced to one year or more; Chinese aliens convicted under the Narcotic Act of February 18, 1931, if not convicted solely as an addict; Chinese aliens admitted but not entitled to admission under the Immigration Act of 1924...; Chinese aliens who have gained admission through fraud and found within five years of last entry; Chinese aliens who have entered surreptitiously and apprehended since July 1, 1924.

Q What is the racial status of a person of half Chinese blood?
A Same as if a full blood Chinese person.

Q Is there any legal authority for the Secretary of Labor to order the deportation of a Chinese who is charged solely with violation of the Chinese Exclusion Laws?
A No. The law provides that the Secretary may order deportation only for violation of the Immigration laws.

Q If a Chinese is apprehended and detained a few days prior to issuance of warrant of arrest has he a right to complain or urge that as a defense?
A No. The original is merely a detention or restraint, and if he is here in violation of law his detention is legal. Warrants of arrest in all cases should be obtained without unnecessary delay.

Q If it is satisfactorily shown that an alien Chinese without a certificate of residence was born since, or first came to the United States after, the passage of the Act of May 5, 1892, and therefore impossible to register under the Act, is he amendable to deportation on the ground that he is not in possession of a certificate of residence, provided he cannot prove a legal admission?
A He is subject to arrest and deportation. The law reads "it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come from any foreign port or place, or having so come to remain within the United States." The law further provides that any Chinese laborer found in the United States without a certificate of residence shall be deported. The burden is on the Chinese to prove he is other than a laborer.

Q If a Chinese enters surreptitiously from Canada and is apprehended within a few hours and within a few miles of the border, or after a long chase, what would be the best method of procedure?
A The best authority is that such a Chinese could be treated as an applicant for admission and taken before a board of special inquiry, and if rejected, could be ordered returned to Canada. If return is refused by Canada, expense of deportation to China could be authorized by the Department.

Q Would there be any advantage to the government to have such a case heard before a board of special inquiry?
A Yes, it would tend to prevent the Chinese from presenting a fraudulent defense and he would not be entitled to representation by counsel at the hearing.

Q Upon what theory are Chinese apprehended while entering or shortly thereafter from Canada surreptitiously considered to be applicants for admission?
A For several years prior to 1907 hundreds of Chinese arrived through Canada to the States of New York and Vermont, crossed the boundary with the expectation of being apprehended and taken before United States Commissions to be made citizens. They seldom, if ever, testified in their own behalf. A Chinese witness was arranged for to testify that the Chinese defendant was born in California, usually a son of his sister, saw defendant shortly after his birth, defendant went to China when two or three years old with his parents and later saw defendant in China. The Chinese was then discharged as a native born citizen of the United States. The system was irregular and was stopped when the court held that such Chinese could be examined by immigration inspectors as applicants for admission.

Q If an inspector enters the house of a Chinese by invitation or without objection signifying invitation and after investigation has good reason to believe that the Chinese is unlawfully in the United States and then advises the Chinese he is under arrest, has the inspector a right to search the premises for papers relating to the residence of the Chinese?
A Right of search follows the arrest.

Q Can a Chinese be compelled to testify concerning his personal history when brought to trial before a United States Commissioner?
A Yes. He can be punished for contempt if he refuses to testify.

Q How should a general investigation be conducted?
A With the services of an interpreter and stenographer. The Chinese should be advised that you are an immigrant inspector authorized to investigate and take testimony concerning the right of aliens to be in or remain in the United States and that any statement he may make may be used against him; that his statement should be entirely voluntary. He should be asked if he is willing to give a sworn statement for the purpose of determining whether he is subject to deportation. If he replied in the affirmative he should be duly sworn prior to questioning. The questions should include: -- Correct name and all names ever used; whether a full blood Chinese person; occupation; place of residence from time of birth; ever before arrested; ever a witness before any immigration officer, ever before investigated by an immigration officer; ever attended school; when he last arrived in the United States; names of parents and their address; whether married and if so where and when; name and address of wife and children; names of brothers and sisters and their addresses; ever brought a child to this country; whether has a certificate showing right to reside in this country, if so possible endorsements should not be overlooked; date and place of birth; names and addresses of any Chinese known to have been born in the United States; if claims birth in the United States names and addresses of any person who knows of his birth in this country or attended his shaving feast; a detailed history of himself during his boyhood days; understood interpreter; anything further to say; complete transcription taken. Absolute fairness is essential to a successful investigation. He should be asked to sign the shorthand notes.

Q What is the usual story of elderly Chinese unlawfully in the United States?
A Born in California, generally San Francisco, and birth certificate or other certificate destroyed by the fire of 1906; father and mother died in California when we has an infant or that they went to China when he was an infant, leaving him in care of an uncle who has since died or went to China; never had a bother or a sister; never attended public school; never out of the United States; speaks little or no English and furnishes no evidence that can be checked.

Q Subject was regularly admitted as a Filipino six months ago direct from Manila. Upon investigation it is found that he was born in the Philippine Islands and that his father is full blood Chinese and his mother is a Filipino woman. Is he subject to deportation?
A Yes.

Q A returning Chinese merchant was ordered deported, escaped and became attache of Chinese Consul at San Francisco with the status of Government Official. Is he amenable to deportation?
A Yes, on the ground he was not admitted as a Government Official.

Q If a Chinese laborer in possession of a certificate of residence departs without a return certificate and is admitted upon presentation of the certificate of residence is he legally here.
A No. When he left the United States he forfeited all rights to return. No laborer can return without a return laborer's certificate.

Q A Chinese merchant was legally admitted in 1890 and immediately became a merchant. In 1891 all his possessions were destroyed by fire, since which time he has been a laundryman. He did not register during the registration period for Chinese. If found now is he subject to deportation?
A No. Chinese admitted prior to July 1, 1924, in the absence of fraud, may remain permanently.

Q Chinese who are citizens of the United States are entitled to a return certificate to make a trip to China or other foreign country. What form is used?
A Form 430.

Q What investigation must be made concerning the citizenship of a Chinese applying for return certificate Form 430?
A When a Chinese makes application for return certificate Form 430 he must deposit with the officer in charge such documentary proofs as he may have of his claim to citizenship, and such officer shall take all necessary steps, such as correspondence with the appropriate Government officials or others, to ascertain whether the document or documents are genuine and relate to the applicant; and such officer shall, at the time and place specified, examine the applicant and such witnesses as he may produce to prove identity or to supplement his parole testimony of his citizenship, and such other witnesses as may be necessary, causing all testimony to be transcribed.

Q Describe the photograph of the applicant to be attached to Form 430.
A To each of the three copies of said application there shall be attached a photograph of applicant, printed from the same negative, not retouched or mounted, representing the subject without hat, full front view, showing both ears, measuring approximately one and one half inches from top of head to point of chin.

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