Mr. Hay to Mr. Wu.
December 5, 1900.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note, No. 199, of the 30th ultimo, calling attention to the case of Yip Wah, a Chinese subject, claiming to be a student, whose right to remain in the United States is denied by the collector of customs at San Francisco.
The case having been appealed to the Treasury Department, the action of the collector has been sustained by that Department.
You state that the case seems to you to be another effort on the part of the subordinate officials of the Treasury Department of the United States to distort the language and defeat the plain intent of the solemn treaty stipulations entered into between the United States and China, and you suggest that the present case is of such a character as to demand the attention of the President of the United States and the exercise of his supreme authority to bring about a proper observance of these international stipulations.
In reply I beg to say that in the Department’s view the immigration acts do not confer upon the President any power to interpose in the matter. The act of August 18, 1894, provides that “in every case where an alien is excluded from admission into the United States under any law or treaty now existing or hereafter made, the decision of the appropriate immigration or customs officers, if adverse to the admission of such alien, shall be final, unless reversed on appeal to the Secretary of the Treasury.”
The substance of your note has been communicated to the Secretary of the Treasury for his consideration.