The Secretary of State to the Italian Ambassador (Colonna)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the Royal Italian Ambassador and, with further reference to the latter’s communication of April 14, 1941, with respect to the application of the immigration laws of the United States to the officers and crews of the Italian vessels which have been taken into custody and control by this Government, the following information has been received from the Attorney General:

“Alien seamen arriving from a foreign port and who, upon arrival, are found by the examining immigration officers to be bona fide seamen are granted sixty days from the date of arrival within which to reship foreign. The seamen in question, who, as stated by the Italian Ambassador, were living on board the ships upon which they arrived, gained no rights under the immigration law by reason of the indulgence of this Government in permitting them to remain on board their ships in American waters for a period in excess of sixty days. When it became necessary to remove these men from their ships, they became subject to all of the provisions of the immigration law and were, therefore, properly made the subjects of deportation proceedings.”