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I have recently received from the Nicaraguan minister at this court, a
Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 22, 1889. (Received May 22.) Sir: I have the honor to call your attention to the following case :
On the 16th instant seven British subjects who arrived at the port of New York on the steamship Obdam of the Netherlands line were detained on board by the United States authorities as contract laborers. It seems that these men were furnished with letters to some one in Texas who, they were assured by the London agents of the steam-ship company, would endeavor to find them employment. These letters were taken by the United States authorities as contracts for labor, but it does not appear that they can reasonably be regarded as such.
The men are, moreover, respectable and desirable emigrants; they paid their own passage money, they are provided with railroad tickets to take them to their destination, they have some money, and are under obligations to no one.
Her Majesty's consul.general' at New York wrote on the 20th instant to the collector of the port of New York on their behalf, but he was in. formed in reply that they could not be allowed to land.
The steamship Obdam leaves New York early tomorrow (Thursday), and I should esteem it a great favor if you would move the proper authorities to cause instructions to be sent to the collector by telegraph to hold the men until the matter can be investigated. I have, etc.,
Mr. Blaine to Sir Julian Pauncefote.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 22, 1889. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of this date, calling my attention to seven British subjects, passengers on board the steam-ship Obdam of the Netherlands line, who were prevented from landing at the port of New York on the ground that they were under contract to perform labor.
So soon as your note was received I dispatched an officer of the Department to bring the matter to the attention of the Secretary of the Treasury, and to ask that your request that the men referred to might be detained until further investigation should be complied with.
The Secretary of the Treasury at once issued orders by telegraph to the collector of the port to cause the men to be detained pending further examination.
I beg to inclose for your information a circular issued by the Treasury Department on March 24, 1887, which contains the original Act of Congress, and the act amendatory thereof prohibiting the importation
of foreigners and aliens under contract, as I infer that during your residence in the United States questions similar to the one just brought to my attention may frequently arise. I have, etc.,
JAMES G. BLAINE.
Circular prohibiting the importation of foreign laborers under contract.
Washington, D. C., March 24, 1887. To Collectors of Customs, Commissioners of Immigration, and others :
The following is a copy of the original Act of Congress prohibiting the importation of foreign laborers under contract, approved February 26, 1885, to which is appended a copy of the act amendatory thereof, approved February 23, 1887, charging the Secretary of the Treasury with the duty of executing the provisions of both acts.
AN ACT to prohibit the importation and immigration of foreigners and aliens under contract or
agreement to perform labor in the United States, Territories, and the District of Columbia. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act it sball be unlawful for any person, company, partnership, or corporation, in any manner whatsoever, to prepay the transportation, or in any way assist or encourage the importation or migration of any alien or aliens, any foreigner or foreigners, into the United States, its Territories, or the District of Columbia, under contract or agreement, parol or special, express or implied, made previous to the importation or migration of such alien or alieds, foreigner or foreigners, to perform labor or service of any kind in the United States, its Territories, or the District of Columbia.
Sec. 2. That all contracts or agreements, express or implied, parol or special, which may hereafter be made by and between any person, company, partnership, or corporation, and any foreigner or foreigners, alien or aliens, to perform labor or service or having reference to the performance of labor or service by any person in the United States, its Territories, or the District of Columbia, previous to the migration or inportation of the person or persons whose labor or service is contracted for into the United States, shall be uttorly void and of no effect.
Sec. 3. That for every violation of any of the provisions of section one of this act the person, partnership, company, or corporation violating the same, by knowingly assisting, encouraging, or soliciting the migration or importation of any alien or aliens, foreigner or foreigners, into the United States, its Territories, or the District of Columbia, to perform labor or service of any kind under contract or agreement, express or implied, parol or special, with such alien or aliens, foreigner or foreigners, previous to becoming residents or citizens of the United States, shall forfeit and pay for every such offeuse the sun of one thousand dollars, which may be sued for and recovered by the United States or by any person who shall first bring his action therefor, including any such alion or foreigner who may be a party to any such contract or agreement, as debts of like amount are now recovered in the circuit courts of the United States; the proceeds to be paid into the Treasury of the United States; and neparate suits may be bronght for each alien or foreigner being a party to such conract or agreement aforesaid. And it shall be the duty of the district attorney of the proper district to prosecute every such suit at the expense of the United States.
SEC. 4. That the master of any vessel who shall knowingly bring within the United States on any such vessel, and land, or permit to be landed, from any foreign port or place, any alien laborer, mechanic, or artisan who, previous to embarkation on such vessel, had entered into contract or agreement, parol or special, express or implied, to perform labor or service in the United States, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for each and every such alien, laborer, mechanic, or artisan so brought as aforesaid, and may also be imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months.
SEC. 5. That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prevent any citizen or subject of any foreign country temporarily residing in the United States, either in private or official capacity, from engaging, under contract or otherwise, persons not residents or citizens of the United States to act as private secretaries, servants, or domestics for such foreigner temporarily residing in the United States as aforesaid; nor shall this be so construed as to prevent any person or persons, partnership of corporation from engaging, under contract or agreement, skilled workmen in foreign countries to perform labor in the United States in or upon any new industry not at present established in the United States: Provided, That skilled labor for that purpose can not be otherwise obtained; nor shall the provisions of this act apply to professional actors, artists lecturers, or singers, nor to persons employed strictly as personal or domestic servants : Prorided, That nothing in this act suall be construed as prohibiting any individual from assisting any member of his family or any relative or personal friend to migrate from any foreign country to the United States for the purpose of settlement here.
Séc. 6. That all laws or parts of laws conflicting herewith be, and the same are hereby, repealed.
Approved February 26, 1885,
An act to prohibit the importation and immigration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agree.
ment to perform labor in the United States, the Territories, and the District of Columbia. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of Amer. ica in Congre88 assembled, That an act to prohibit the importation and immigration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States, its Territories, and the District of Columbia, approved February twentysixth, eighteen hundred and eighty-five, and to provide for the enforcement thereof, be amended by adding the following:
“SEC. 6. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby charged with the duty of executing the provisions of this act, and for that purpose he shall have power to enter into contracts with such State commission, board, or officers as may be designated for that purpose by the governor of any Stato to take charge of the local affairs of immigration in the ports within said State, under the rules and regulations to be prescribed by said Secretary; and it shall be the duty of such State commission, board, or officers so designated to examine into the condition of passengers arriving at the ports within such State in any sbip or vessel, and for that purpose all or any of such commissioners or officers, or such other person or persons as they shall appoint, shall be authorized to go on board of and through any such ship or vessel; and if in such examination there shall be found among such passengers any person included in the prohibition in this act, they shall report the same in writing to the collector of such port, and such person shall not be permitted to land.
“SEC. 7. That the Secretary of the Treasury shall establish such regulations and rules, and issue from time to time such instructions, not inconsistent with law, as he shall deem best calculated for carrying out the provisions of this act; and he shall prescribe all forms of bonds, entries, and other papers to be used under and in the enforcement of the various provisions of this act.
“SEC. 8. That all persons included in the prohibition in this act, upon arrival, shali be sent back to the nations to which they belong and from whence they came. The Secretary of the Treasury may designate the State board of charities of any State in which such board shall exist by law, or any commission in any State, or any person or persons in any State, whose duty it shall be to execute the provisions of this section and shall be entitled to reasonable compensation therefor, to be fixed by regulation prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe regulations for the return of the aforesaid persons to the countries from whence they came, and shall furnish instructions to the board, commission, or persons charged with the execntion of the provisions of tbis section as to the time of procedure iu respect thereto, and may change such instructions from time to time. The expense of such return of the aforesaid persons not permitted to land shall be borne by the owners of the vessels in which they came. And any vessel refusing to pay such expenses shall not thereafter be permitted to land at or clear from any port of the United States; and such expenses shall be a lien on said vessel. That the necessary expense in the execution of this act for the present fiscal year shall be paid out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
“Sec. 9. That all acts and part of acts inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed.
Sec. 10. That this act shall take effect at the expiration of thirty days after its passage.”
Approved, February 23, 1887.
EXAMINATION. Under the provisions of section 8 of said amendatory act, approved February 23, 1887, the collectors of customs at the ports of the United States shall, on the arrival of vessels from foreign countries, canse them to be examined by residents of the port who may be in the customs service. in order to ascertain what persons are alien immigrants on such vessels, and are forbidden to land within the provisions of sections 4 and 5 of the act approved February 26, 1885.
The persons making this examination shall make ont a tabular statement of the alien immigrants forbidden to land as being under contract to labor before arrival; shall specify in such statement as far as may be possible the following particulars in regard to each person : Tho country and town or city of birth; tho sex, the age, and place of destination in this country; the name or names of the persons or firms by whom as aliens they were engaged to labor, and the State and place of business of persons so engaging such immigrants. This tabular statement (which is also to embrace the name of the vessel and master and date of her arrival) collectors of customs will forward weekly to the Treasury Department, retaining a duplicate thereof; and if no prohibited alien immigrants are found, collectors will returu the tabular statements with the names of the vessels and the masters. Collectors of customs or the persons designated by them for this purpose will exercise the same fidelity of examination now required of them by section 9 of “the passenger act, 1882,” in the examination of passengers for other purposes.
RETURN OF PROHIBITED IMMIGRANTS.
Whenever alien contract immigrants forbidden to land are discovered on board a vessel, collectors will use their discretion and utmost vigilance to prevent the landing of such immigrants and to secure their return to the countries whence they came by the vessel of their arrival.
REPORT OF CONTRACT OFFENDERS AND OFFENDING VESSELS AND MASTERS.
Upon ascertaining the names of the persons or firms instrumental in engaging or introducing into this country contract immigrants prohibited from landing as above described, collectors will report the names of such persons or firms to the United States attorney for the judicial district embracing their respective ports, and, so far as may be, will also report their places of business and residences; and they shall also report the names of the vessels bringing such contract immigrants and the names of their masters, suggesting the instituting of such prosecutions as may be required under sections 3 and 4 or other provisions of the original prohibitory statute. And especially if there be any refusal to return the contract immigrants herein mentioned, collectors will promptly institute the proceedings indicated in section 8 of the act of February 23, 1887.
Commissioners of immigration now acting as such at any port of the United States are requested to aid collectors of customs, and those persons designated by collectors for the service required by the foregoing statutes, so far as may be possible within the scope of their legitimate dnties.
C. S. FAIRCHILD,
Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.
WASHINGTON, June 1, 1889. (Received June 4.) SIR: With reference to my note of the 22d ultimo and to your reply of the same date on the subject of the detention of seven Britishi subjects on board of the steamship Obdam, of the Netherlands line, I bave the bonor to inform you that Her Majesty's consul-general in New York reports that the order for the landing of the men was issued too late by the collector's department, and the ship left on the return voyage with the men still on board. It appears that the agent of the Netherlands line received from the deputy collector a letter, with a copy of the telegram which you had so courteously caused to be sent, too late on Wednesday for any action to be taken, but that the bond for the return of the men, which was required by the Treasury Depart-, ment, was executed in good time on Thursday morning for the order to be issued for their landing.
This order was, however, not received until past 1 o'clock, and the ship, which had been detained half an hour, bau then left dock.
While regretting extremely this unfortunate circumstance, I should be very much obliged if you would be good enough to inform me whether, in the opinion of the United States Government, the case of these men comes within the terms of the acts of Congress prohibiting the importation of foreigners under contract. I venture to hope that it will be held not to come, at all events, within the spirit and intention of that legislation; but if the view of the deputy collector should be supported it will be my duty to report the case without delay to my Government, in order that proper steps be taken to obviate as far as possible a recurrence of so unfortunate an incident. I have, etc.,
Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.
WASHINGTON, June 20, 1859. There is reason to apprehend that in future applications for the ex. tradition of British fugitives from justice grave difficulties of procedure will arise in consequence of a decision recently given by Commissioner Edmunds, at Philadelphia, in the case of one Thomas Barton, whose surrender had been applied for by Her Majesty's Government on charges of forgery. It will be seen on referring to the proceedings in that case, which are no doubt in the hands of the State Department, that the form of certificate of authentication of documents which has been in use since passing of the act of Congress of August, 1882, was held by the Commissioner to be defective. That form was settled between the foreign office in London and the United States minister in 1883.
The undersigned has therefore the honor to draw the attention of the Secretary of State to the decision in Barton's case, in the bope that the difficulty which it has created may receive his early consideration, with a view to the adoption of a new form of certificate, which, if possible, may meet the requirements of section 5 of the act of 1882, and yet may not be inconsistent with the statement of British law contained iư the certificate of authentication now issued by the under secretary of state for the home department in London.
Form of authentication of extradition papers held insufficient under the act of August 3,
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
--, 188 I hereby certify that I believe the signature
on the preceding page, is the handwriting of
under secretary of state for the home department; and that the signature
at the foot of the preceding page, is the handwriting of
under secretary of state for foreign affairs. “And I further certify that the annexed copy of the warrant of arrest and of the depositions upon which it was granted, so certified by a magistrate having jurisdiction in the place where the same was issued and taken, and authenticated by a minister of state