File No. 22563/2.

The Acting Secretary of State to the French Ambassador.

No. 767.]

Excellency: In further reply to Your Excellency’s note of the 27th ultimo, and with reference also to your note of the 14th instant, in regard to the case of one Charles Roussel, a French citizen, who recently returned to this country but was denied admission, notwithstanding the fact that he had certain interests here,. I have now the honor to advise you of the result of this department’s communication to the Department of Commerce and Labor of Your Excellency’s note of November 27.

It appears that this case came before the Department of Commerce and Labor in connection with an application for admission under bond, on November 24, 1909. A jnedical certificate was rendered showing Mr. Roussel to be afflicted with “chronic inflammation [Page 263] connective tissue neck with suppurtation and sinus, which affects ability to earn a living.” It further appears, from the statement made by the Acting Secretary of Commerce and Labor, that the passage of this alien was paid by the French Government pursuant to a statute calling for such payment when a native of France returns thither for military service. Mr. Roussel was totally destitute of money and, although his father appeared as a witness in his behalf, evidence was not submitted to overcome the presumption of his likelihood to become a public charge. Consequently, the application was denied and the applicant was deported.

I may add that the Third Assistant Secretary of State, in consultation with the Acting Secretary of Commerce and Labor, orally pointed out that this case seemed to be one involving particular hardship. The Acting Secretary of Commerce and Labor could, however, only reiterate the statement made in his correspondence with this department, that under the law an alien returning to this country must be subjected to the same treatment as that attending his initial immigration. The department regrets that, in view of the provisions of law applying in such cases, no other course was open to the Department of Commerce and Labor than to order the deportation of Roussel.

I have also the honor in this relation to refer to Your Excellency’s note of November 29 last, wherein you discussed the general subject of French citizens who have emigrated to the United States and later returned to their homes in France for the purpose of performing military duty, upon the conclusion of which they again emigrated to the United States. Your Excellency is of opinion that, in such event, they should be admitted without question.

Your Excellency’s note was communicated to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, who, with reference to the comments made therein, advises me as follows:

A reference to the act of February 20, 1907, will indicate that the administrative officers of the Immigration Service have no authority to waive the examination of arriving aliens upon discovery of the existence of such a state of facts as set forth in Your Excellency’s note of November 29.

With respect to your contention that the first admission of an alien to the United States is conclusive as to his right to remain in this country and to return hither after an absence abroad without being subject to the immigration laws, the Department of Commerce and Labor points out that this impression is an erroneous one, inasmuch as an alien regularly admitted may be arrested and deported at any time within three years subsequent, if found to have entered in violation of law or to be a public charge from causes existing prior to landing. Moreover, it is added, an alien resident of this country, who goes abroad for any purpose, is subject to the immigration laws upon his return. The fact of previous residence here, while it might be deemed a factor to assist in the determination of his right to land, is by no means conclusive as to the existence of such right. Indeed, it appears that the only persons exempt from the requirements of the immigration laws, are bona fide American citizens and the diplomatic and consular officers of foreign countries, their suites, families, and guests.

Accept, etc.,

Huntington Wilson.