The Acting Secretary of State to the Consul General at Berlin ( Messersmith )
Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s circular instruction of July 18, 1931, entitled “Changes in Consular Regulations and Notes No. 73,”6 and to the Department’s circular instruction of July 18, 1931, entitled “Application of the Act of October 16, 1918, as Amended by the Act of June 5, 1920.”7
As indicated in the instructions in question, visas are to be refused all aliens who are excluded from the United States by the terms of the Act of October 16, 1918,8 as amended by the Act of June 5, 1920,9 and those provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act of 191710 regarding the exclusion of politically undesirable aliens. The Department, however, recognizes that there will be cases in which the entry to the United States of particular aliens who are found to be inadmissible under the provisions of law mentioned would not be a menace to the public safety, but would, on the contrary, be to the advantage of the public and economic interests of the United States. Such cases would, as a rule, involve for example persons coming from Russia whose visit to the United States is solely in the interest of the carrying on of trade and commerce between the United States and Russia.
In such cases, that is, cases in which you are of the opinion that the temporary admission to the United States of a particular alien who is found to be inadmissible under the provisions of law mentioned, would be to the advantage of the public or economic interests of the United States, a full report, including the basis for your opinion and recommendation should be submitted to the Department confidentially by telegraph and final action on the case suspended pending the receipt of the Department’s instructions. Upon the receipt of such a recommendation the Department will forward it, together with such other [Page 978] information as may be in its possession regarding the purpose of the alien’s visit to the United States, to the Secretary of Labor for possible action under the 9th Proviso to Section 3 of the Immigration Act of 1917, which reads as follows:
“The Commissioner General of Immigration, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, shall issue rules and prescribe conditions, including exaction of such bonds as may be necessary, to control and regulate the admission and return of otherwise inadmissible aliens applying for temporary admission.”
Upon the receipt of the Secretary of Labor’s decision it will be transmitted by the Department to you for appropriate action.
The foregoing procedure is not to be followed and visas are to be refused by you without reference to the Department in the case of any alien, irrespective of the purpose of his proposed visit to the United States, whose inadmissibility arises (1) through affiliation with any of the organizations mentioned in III (2) of the Department’s instruction of July 18, 1931, or (2) by reason of his implication in any action directed specifically against the Government of the United States.
The procedure just outlined is, of course, applicable only to applicants for passport visas since under Section 2 (f) of the Immigration Act of 1924 a consular officer must refuse to issue an immigration visa to an alien inadmissible under the immigration laws and the discretion contained in the 9th Proviso of Section 3 of the Act of 1917 can only be exercised in the case of a non-immigrant.
The procedure outlined in this instruction is to be disclosed only to those officers who are engaged in the issuance of visas at your office. Similar instructions are being sent only to the American Minister at Riga, the Consuls General at London and Paris, and the Consul at Riga.
Very truly yours,