150.01 Commuters/433

The Secretary of State to the Canadian Chargé ( Wrong )

Sir: Reference is made to the Legation’s note No. 256, of December 26, 1930, and to the Department’s reply of December 30, 1930,7 in regard to the Canadian border commuter situation.

Upon receipt of the Legation’s note the question of the present status of Canadian commuters in the light of the understanding reached in 1927, was immediately taken up with the appropriate branch of the Government.

The Department has been advised that the following instructions prepared with a view to according “to commuters who have been admitted to the United States as immigrants the same consideration that would be accorded to them if they were actually residents in the United States and departed to Canada or any other foreign country” have been issued for the guidance of immigration officials on the border and officers charged with the consideration of cases in which an appeal might be taken.

  • “1. Aliens of the immigrant commuter class who were lawfully admitted, but have abandoned the status gained thereby, and who seek to reenter, shall be regarded as new immigrants.
  • “2. Aliens of the immigrant commuter class who have been out of employment in the United States for six months shall be presumed to have abandoned their status notwithstanding temporary entries in the interim for other than employment purposes.
  • “3. Aliens of the immigrant commuter class who go to a country other than those specifically mentioned in Executive Order No. 5426, approved August 20, 1930, without obtaining a reentry permit, shall be required to present a nonquota immigration visa when they seek to resume their immigrant commuter status. In other words, aliens residing in Canada and granted the immigrant commuter privilege must comply with the same requirements that aliens residing in the United States would be compelled to comply with should they go abroad.
  • “4. Aliens of the immigrant commuter class shall not be refused entry merely because subsequent to their admission and in advance of the present check-up they have changed their employment in the United States, unless it is developed that there was an abandonment of the status gained at the time of admission.
  • “5. Where it is developed that aliens secured their immigrant border crossing cards under the provisions of General Order 86 through misrepresentations or frauds, or by reason of facts not being disclosed or developed at the time of such adjustment which, had they been disclosed or developed, would have operated against such adjustment, shall be refused the commuting privilege until they have complied with the requirements pertaining to new immigrants.”

With a view to obviating any misunderstanding the Department requested certain additional information regarding the status of commuters. The following information has been received in reply to the Department’s inquiry.

“Canadian border commuters who have been denied admission to the United States by boards of special inquiry, or on appeal to the Secretary of Labor, may apply through the usual channels for permission to reapply for admission within one year from the date of their rejection and if such permission is granted, they are at liberty to make application for admission at a port of entry, whether or not they are in possession of appropriate immigration visas. In other words, the fact that an alien does not possess an immigration visa would not prevent him from applying for admission, although lack of such a visa is frequently a cause of rejection, especially in land border cases.

“Commuters whose border crossing cards have been lifted, but whose cases were not considered by a board of special inquiry, may apply for a return of their cards, and if denied they may, without previous consent, appear before a board of special inquiry and, if excluded, appeal their cases to the Secretary.

“The question of whether a commuter has abandoned that status does depend upon the circumstances in each individual case, and in such cases the alien’s intention frequently plays an important part.”

It may be added that the immigration officials on the border are understood to have been authorized to accord the privilege of applying [Page 898] for temporary entry as non-immigrants at any time to persons who may have been found to have abandoned commuter status.

Accept [etc.]

Henry L. Stimson
  1. Latter not printed.