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obligations had been created in very large numbers both in England and in Canada by registrations on the part of prospective quota immigrants who had not hitherto enjoyed any border crossing privileges and who could not be set aside in favor of those who had. Statistics were adduced to show that a six-months period for the production of quota visas could not be considered as meeting the situation in the slightest degree.
Mr. White pointed out that the six-months period was not expected by Labor officials to be an adequate period, but rather to be a period in which the situation would clarify itself; the definition of a period (any period) after which quota visas must be produced being the only actual curtailment in the number of foreign workers enjoying employment in the United States, and, consequently, the only actual benefit accorded to the A. F. of L. He stated that it was also conceived as a period of readjustment—a period during which due notice having been served, non-Canadian border crossing workers would secure employment on the Canadian side of the border.
The Conference adjourned at 12:50 p. m. after agreeing that notices to the press should be limited to the statement that this was a preliminary session only and no announcement of its results could be made.
Tentatively, with the understanding that Mr. White would discuss them with the Secretary of Labor, the following three points were agreed upon as being the lines along which a solution might be reached :
1. Cease, as from the date of General Order No. 86, from the creation of further border-crossing privileges.
2. Continue in effect the privileges hitherto granted until the individuals in each class involved may either bring themselves within the Act of 1924 25 or otherwise adjust their situations.
3. The Departments concerned will report the situation to Congress when it convenes with a view to ascertaining whether it is disposed to grant any further measure of freedom in travel across our land borders than is permitted by the present law.
C. do B
The Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Massey)
WASHINGTON, May 28, 1927. SIR: I have the honor to refer to your notes dated April 23 and April 27, 1927,28 and to a conference at the Department on May 12, in which you so ably presented the difficulties in which certain citizens of Canada will find themselves as a result of General Order Number 86 of the Department of Labor which relates to the daily crossing of the Canadian boundary to employment in the United States. I wish to assure you at the outset of the sincere desire on the part of this Government to continue the traditional freedom of mutual travel between Canada and the United States just as fully and completely as the provisions of the laws of this country relating to immigration will permit.
95 43 Stat. 153. ** Note of April 27 not printed.
While it is realized that the law upon which General Order Number 86 is based, mandatorily modifies a long established practice, I should appreciate it if you would note that every effort was made in drafting that order to afford the most generous treatment possible under the law to all persons who acquired border crossing privileges before the effective date of the present Immigration Act of 1924. Further, every possible opportunity will be given to native-born Canadians to acquire legal status in the United States by the presentation of a non-quota visa and the single payment of the head tax in accordance with provisions of our immigration laws which are mandatory. The border-crossing privileges hitherto accorded such persons will be continued during such period as is necessary for them to obtain non-quota visas.
We are agreed, I think, that the main difficulty lies with the Canadian residents who are not native-born Canadians and who have acquired border-crossing privileges since the quota system became effective. It is appreciated that such persons are none the less the responsibility of your Government even though our immigration law, which, unlike Orders in Council, may not be modified except by act of the Congress, gives them a less favorable status than persons born in Canada. You will doubtless recall that the Immigration Act of 1921 27 placed foreign born persons who had resided in Canada one year upon an equality with natives of Canada with respect to entry into the United States; the same Act as extended and modified by the Act of 1922 28 increased the necessary period of residence to five years; while the Immigration Act of 1924 denied the non-quota privileges to Canadian residents born outside of Canada and made them chargeable to the quotas of the countries in which they were born. It is among the non-Canadian born who are quota aliens that the Order will cause some hardship. The number involved is not yet accurately known and the competent authorities express the belief that it will be found to be comparatively small. It is recognized nevertheless, that many persons within this class, through their inability to obtain quota visas within the prescribed period, will, under the terms of the Order, be
forced to relinquish employment in the United States which in certain cases they have enjoyed for a number of years. This would, I admit, constitute a hardship which I sincerely regret. I am sure you will appreciate that the large number of prior applicants whose desire to emigrate to the United States has been on record for some time at the Consulates in Europe and elsewhere and who must receive visas within the limited national quotas can not be deprived of the priority rights gained by such registration in favor of a particular group in any border city. Apart from the consideration that the law does not permit the creation of preferential classes in the discretion of the executive, fair dealing dictates that the obligations created by prior applications be scrupulously met.
In order to make sure that no unnecessary hardship shall be imposed upon persons in this category, consuls in the border cities have been directed to assist them in every possible way to obtain immigration visas under the provisions of the immigration law. The consuls will at once undertake the classification and listing of such persons in the course of which, if it appears that any individual is inadmissible to the United States or is chargeable to a quota against which the prior recorded demand is exceedingly heavy, he will be informed of his situation in order that he may make his plans accordingly. Those who obviously can not hope to receive immigration visas for some time to come because they are chargeable to small European quotas against which large demands now exist will be clearly informed of their status. In other words, a sincere endeavor will be made to reduce the uncertainties of the situation to the minimum.
The issue of quota visas will begin immediately after July 1 against allotments of quota numbers from the appropriate quotas which will be as large as prior applications against the quotas will permit and will proceed at the maximum rate allowed by the law. Before the expiration of the time limit specified in Order Number 86, within which aliens of this class must present quota visas, it will probably be found that all who have hitherto held border-crossing permits issued to them by the Department of Labor since the quota system became effective, will not, by reason of the numerical restrictions of the quota law, be able to receive immigration visas. Should this
prove to be the case, I shall be glad at once to request the Secretary of Labor to allow further time in which these people may gain a status in conformity with the law and the Secretary has already assured me that any such request will receive the most sympathetic consideration possible.
Meanwhile, I shall be glad to confer with you whenever you desire it, and I am directing the officers of this Department to keep in touch with your Legation and to continue their studies of the sub
ject with a view to clearing away, so far as can be done under existing law, all difficulties and dissatisfaction in regard to border crossing. Should these studies indicate that there are difficulties inherent in the law which tend to affect adversely the traditional friendly relations between Canada and this country, I shall make it a point to have the matter brought to the attention of the Congress when it convenes, and the Secretary of Labor assures me that he will cooperate to this end. Accept [etc.]
FRANK B. KELLOGG
The Canadian Minister (Massey) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, 8 June, 1927. Sir: I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Note dated May 28th. 1927, regarding the operation of General Order Number 86 of the Department of Labor of the United States. In so doing I desire to thank you for the careful and courteous consideration given by you and your officials to this subject at the conference held at the Department of State on May 12th. and on subsequent occasions.
I am instructed to inform you that His Majesty's Canadian Government is pleased to note that the Government of the United States desires to continue the traditional freedom of mutual travel between Canada and the United States. His Majesty's Canadian Government is gratified by your assurance that in the administration of this Order steps will be taken to avoid inflicting hardship on individuals so far as may be possible, and more particularly by your undertaking to ask the Secretary of Labor to extend the time set in the Order during which those who have to secure quota visas must comply with its terms, if it should become evident that these persons will be unable to secure quota visas by December 1st. 1927. The assurance of the Secretary of Labor that he will give to such a request the most sympathetic consideration possible is also noted with gratification. His Majesty's Canadian Government is pleased to learn that you and the Secretary of Labor are prepared to co-operate in bringing to the attention of the Congress any difficulties inherent in the law which may be indicated by a further investigation of this subject.
His Majesty's Canadian Government, however, regrets that the Gov. ernment of the United States has not considered it possible to modify in any respect the terms of the Order at the present time, and that, in consequence, a long-standing and reciprocal arrangement between the two countries has been suddenly terminated. I have the honour to lay before you, for the purpose of record, the views of His Majesty's Canadian Government on the issues involved.
For many years there has been reciprocal free movement over the border between the United States and Canada, a movement freer and involving a larger number of people than that between any other two countries in the world. This freedom of movement has been an outstanding demonstration of the close connection and friendship existing between the people of the two countries. The boundary is of such a character that the communities situated close to it on both sides must have many common interests. In some of these border communities the relationship has been so intimate that residents on one side of the frontier have been in the habit of crossing daily to the other side to engage in employment. This practice, as you are aware, is of many years standing. The Convention known as Jay's Treaty, concluded in 1794,29 provided in Article 3 :
"It is agreed that it shall at all times be free to His Majesty's subjects and to the citizens of the United States and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the boundary line freely to pass and repass by land or inland navigation into the respective territories and countries of the two parties on the Continent of America." The broad principle which underlay this provision is clearly indicated in the statement contained in the concluding paragraph of the same Article:
“This Article is intended to render in a great degree the local advantages of each party common to both and thereby to promote a disposition favourable to friendship and good neighbourhood." The practice rooted in this understanding and in the unique conditions of border intercourse on this Continent has continued to this day. It has been most marked in the area adjacent to Windsor and Detroit and in the Niagara region. Though a large majority of the individuals who so cross the border daily are Canadians entering the United States, the practice is reciprocal, and a considerable number of citizens of the United States come to Canada each working day.
The Canadian authorities have always treated, and continue to treat, citizens of the United States entering Canada in this way as nonimmigrants domiciled in the United States. The Government of the United States has until lately similarly regarded Canadians crossing daily to the United States, and has made regulations to facilitate their crossing the boundary by the issue of identification cards to these persons, whom they describe as "aliens who habitually cross and recross the boundary upon legitimate pursuits."
In the Windsor area, however, particularly during the last few months, the status of Canadians so situated has become increasingly
24 Miller, Treaties, vol. 2, p. 245.