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Immigration regulations for the island of Porto Rico online

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Division of Customs and Insular Affairs,

June 7, 1899.




War Department,

Washington, June 6, 1899.
In accordance with the provisions of Circular No. 13, Division of
Customs and Insular Affairs, dated April 14, 1899, the following Immi-
gration Eegulations as applied to the Island of Porto Eico are hereby
published for the information and guidance of all concerned.

G. D. Meiklbjohn,

Acting Secretary of War.



War Department,

Washington, June 6, 1899.

Article I.

Collectors of Customs will collect a duty of one dollar for each and
every passenger wlio shall come by steam or sail vessel from any
foreign port to any port of Porto Rico, except citizens of the United
States and residents or natives of said Island of Porto Eico.

Article II.

All such moneys collected must be deposited and accounted for as
prescribed for customs collections in the Customs Regulations for Ports
in Porto Rico.

Article III.

Collectors of Customs are charged, within their respective districts,
with the execution of the laws pertaining to immigration, and all
importation of laborers under contract or agreement to perform labor
in Porto Rico. They will employ all customs, immigration, and other
ofllcers assigned to them for duty in the enforcement of the immigra-
tion acts; and all such officers are hereby designated and authorized
to act as immigration officers.

Article IV.

Whenever it shall be necessary, in making the examination of immi-
grants, to temporarily remove them from the vessel upon which they
arrived to a desirable place provided for the examination, such immi-
grants shall not be regarded as landed so long as they are undergoing
the examination and are in charge of the officers whose duty it is to
make such examination 5 and such removal shall not be considered a
landing during the pendency of any question relating to such exami-
nation, or while awaiting their return as provided by law.

Article V.

The Collectors of Customs shall enter of record the name of every
immigrant found upon examination to be within either of the pro-
hibited classes, with a statement of the decision in each case, and at
the same time give notice in writing to the master, agent, consignee or
owner of the vessel upon which said immigrant arrived, together with
the grounds of refusal to land such immigrant, that said vessel is
required to return such immigrant to the port whence he came.

Article VI.

The regular examination of immigrants under the special inquiry
required by these regulations will be separate from the public, but any
immigrant who is refused permission to land, or pending an appeal in
his case, will be permitted to confer with friends or counsel in such
manner as the Collector of Customs may deem proper.

Article VII.

Any immigrant claiming to be aggrieved by the decision of the in-
spection officers may appeal therefrom, and such appeal shall stay his
deportation until decision be had thereon. Such appeal shall be in
writing and shall specify the grounds of appeal, and shall be presented
to the Collector of Customs, who shall at once forward such appeal to
the Collector of Customs for the Island, with all the evidence in the
case and his views thereon.

Any Inspector dissenting from a decision to admit an immigrant may
appeal therefrom, which appeal shall be in writing and specify the
grounds thereof, and shall be forwarded by the Collector of Customs to
the Collector of Customs for the Island in like manner as in cases of an
appeal by an immigrant.

Article VIII.

Upon a decision of the appeal the immigrant shall be at once landed
or deported in accordance with such decision, and, in case landing is
refused, the master, agent, consignee, or owner of the vessel by which
the immigrant arrived shall be notified of such decision by the Col-
lector of Customs, and that the immigrant will be placed on board said
vessel, to be returned, as aforesaid.

Article IX.

The expenses for keeping and maintenance of such immigrants as
are ordered to be returned pending the decision of their right to land,
and the subsequent expenses for the keeping and maintenance of those
ordered to be returned, and the expense of their return, shall be borne
by the owner or owners of the vessel on which they came.

Article X.

At least twenty-four hours before the sailing of the vessel upon
which the immigrants are ordered to be returned, the master, agent,
consignee, or owner of such vessel shall notify the Collector of Cus-
toms of the proposed hour of sailing, who shall, immediately preceding
the sailing, place on board all immigrants to be returned by said ves-
sel as aforesaid, and in case any master, agent, consignee, or owner
of such vessel shall refuse to receive such immigrants on board, or shall
neglect to retain them thereon, or shall refuse or neglect to return
them to the port from which they came, or to pay the cost of their
maintenance while on land, such master, agent, consignee, or owner
shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a
fine of not less than $300 for each and every offense, and any such
vessel shall not have clearance from any port of Porto Eico while any
such fine is unpaid.

Article XI.

No vessel bringing immigrants in the steerage, or in apartments
other than the first and second cabins, from ports where contagious or
infectious diseases are prevailing, shall be admitted to entry unless it
appear by the certificate of the consular officer at sueh port that the
said immigrants have been detained at the port of embarkation at
least five days under special medical observation in specially designated
barracks or houses set apart for their exclusive use, and that their
clothing, baggage, and personal effects have been disinfected before
being placed on board by one of the following methods :

(1) Boiling in water not less than thirty minutes.

(2) Exposure to steam not less than thirty minutes, the steam to be
of a temperature not less than 100° C. (212° F.), nor greater than 115^
C. (239° F.), and unmixed with air.

(3) Solution of carbolic acid of a 2 per cent strength. This method
(1^0. 3) may be applied only to leather goods, such as trunks, satchels,
boots, shoes; to rubber goods, etc., the articles to be saturated with
the solution,

(4) Articles that would be destroyed or injured when subjected to
any of the above methods may be disinfected by immersion in a
solution of bichloride of mercury, 1 part in 2,000, until all parts are
thoroughly saturated, due precaution being taken against mercurial

The above restrictions will also be applied to vessels bringing immi-
grants from noninfected ports but who come from infected localities.

Article XII.

There shall be delivered to the Collector of Customs at the port of
arrival, by the master or commanding officer of the vessel, lists or

manifests, made at the time and place of embarkation of such immi-
grants, which shall, in answer to questions at the top of said lists or
manifests, state as to each of said passengers:

(1) Full name.

(2) Age.

(3) Sex.

(4) Whether married or single.

(5) Galling or occupation.

(6) Whether able to read or write.

(7) Nationality.

(8) Last residence.

(9) Seaport for landing in Porto Rico.

(10) Final destination in Porto Eico.

(11) Whether having a ticket through to such final destination.

(12) Whether the immigrant has paid his own passage or whether it
has been paid by other persons, or by any corporation, society, munici-
pality, or government.

(13) Whether in possession of money, and if so, whether upward of
130, and how much, if $30 or less.

(14) Whether going to join a relative, and if so, what relative, and

(15) Whether ever before in Porto Rico, and if so, when and where,
his name and address.

(16) Whether ever in prison, or almshouse, or supported by charity.

(17) Whether a i>olygami8t.

(18) Whether under a contract, expressed or implied, to perform
labor in Porto Rico. '

(19) The immigrant's condition of health, mentally and physically,
and whether deformed or crippled, and if so, from what cause.

Article XIII.

Said immigrants shall be listed in convenient groups and no one list
or manifest shall contain more than thirty names. There shall be
delivered to each immigrant or head of a family, prior to or at the time
of embarkation or at some convenient time on the voyage before arrival,
as may be found most convenient, a ticket on which shall be written
his name and a number or letter, designating the list and his number
on the list, for convenience of identification on arrival. Each list or
manifest shall be verified by the signature and the oath or affirmation
of the master or commanding officer, or of the officer, first or second,
below him in command, and of the surgeon of said vessel or other
medical officer, as provided in sections 2 and 3 of the Act of March 3,
1893, United States Statutes ; therefore the above affidavits must be
attached to each list or manifest, which lists or manifests must be kept
separate and not fastened together.


In case tliere is a surgeon sailing with the vessel, that officer must
sign and verify each list or manifest, and the verification by another
surgeon will not be in compliance with the law.

All forms of lists or manifests and affidavits sent out by authority of
this Department are suggestive merely, and will not relieve any person
from the necessity of complying strictly with all the provisions of said
Act of March 3, 1893.

Article XIV.

In case of the failure of said master or commanding officer of said
vessel to deliver to the said Collector of Customs lists or manifests,
verified as aforesaid, containing the information above required as to
all immigrants on board, there shall be paid to the Collector of Cus-
toms at the port of arrival the sum of $10 for each immigrant qualified
to enter Porto Rico, concerning whom the above information is not
contained in any list, as aforesaid, or said immigrant shall not be per-
mitted so to enter Porto Rico, but shall be returned like other excluded


G. D. Meiklejohn,

Acting Secretary of War.


3 0112 042838596


Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Insular AffairsImmigration regulations for the island of Porto Rico → online text (page 1 of 1)