Deportation of Aliens

July 27, 1931

Report Outline
Delay to Wickersham Report on Deportation
The Post-War Deportation Record
Federal Laws on Deportation of Aliens
Administrative Organization and Procedure
Criticism of System and Proposed Remedies

A drive is under way to rid the United States of undesired aliens. Sanctioned by Congress, in laws energetically enforced by the Department of Labor, annual deportations from the country have risen steadily since the war, reaching a total of 18,142 during the year ended June 30, 1931. Deportations during the current year are expected to number 20,000, an increase of 55 per cent over the last prosperity year—1929.

Several factors have combined to give prominence to deportation at this time as a supposed remedy for some of the country's social and economic ills. Continued depression, anti-red sentiment, the appearance of strikes in various parts of the country, the opposition of organized labor to the undercutting of wages and the strike-breaking activities of foreigners, the revulsion against gangs and gangsters in large municipalities, the overcrowding of jails and prisons, and the President's recommendation that the deportation laws be strengthened “so as to more fully rid ourselves of criminal aliens” are among the factors which have tended to centre public attention upon the deportation process. Another is the forthcoming report of the Wickersham Commission on enforcement of the deportation laws.

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Delay to Wickersham Report on Deportation

The Wickersham report on deportation was prepared by Reuben Oppenheimer of the Baltimore bar at the request of the Commission's Committee on Criminal Justice and the Foreign Born. It was transmitted to the President as the fifth report of the Commission on May 27, 1931. Although several subsequent reports of the Commission have since been released at the White House, President Hoover has not yet made the deportation report public. The report is said to embody severe criticisms of the administration of the deportation laws by the Department of Labor.

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