United States. President's Commission on Immigrati.

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or children of Belgian nationality — are entitled to obtain the necessary per-
mission to work. This provision, which does not give the refugees complete
freedom of access to the profession or employment of their choice, will, never-
theless, greatly assist in the integration of those who are now in Belgium.

There are in Belgium some s special treatment on an ad hoc basis by administrative procedure
rather than by special legislation. The practice in the United Kingdom is
typical. Under the Aliens Bestriction Act of 1919, an order in council (the
Aliens Order, 1920) gave the Home Secretary complete power to make all reg-
ulations necessary for immigration. The order excluded certain categories of
inunigrants from entry, such as lunatics, but even in such cases the Home Sec-
retary was given power to exempt any person or class unconditionally. "There
are no formal rules governing the admission of foreigners," the Home Secre-
tary told the House of Commons on June 20, 1951, "and applications are dealt
with on their merits. * * *" With these powers, the Home Secretary has ad-
mitted large groups of Jews, Czechs, Poles, and others, as well as individuals;
but the Home Depai'tment in its procedures does not recognize political refu-
gees as a distinct class. Persons seeking asylum, however, are being subjected
to intensified security checks. As cases involving political refugees often have
considerable political content, the Home Secretary usually passes on them him-
self; and group cases and the more important cases of individuals may be de-
cided by the Cabinet. There is no appeal other than by further representations
to the Home Office or through M. P.'s.

In Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, departmental miiusters
have similar wide discretionary powers to admit political refugees along with
other groups. Political refugees are not distinguished from other groups ex-
cept by the usual administrative practice of giving them special consideration
on an ad hoc basis as a matter of compassion. In Canada political refugees
not admissible under ordinary immigration regulations can be admitted by a
special order in council. Howe^•er, such refugees are generally admitted by


administrative expediencies such as permitting' their entry as temporary visitors
and then, after they are in the country, adjusting their status to that of per-
manent residents. As all tliese countries liave parliamentary governments with
ministerial and cabinet responsiltility to Parliament, administrative action on
immigration problems is highly llexible and not usually subject to detailed laws.


United States Department of Justice,
ImmiyratioH and Naturalisation Service,

Washinytou, D. C, November 3, 1952.
Mr. Harry N. Rosenfibxd,

Executive Director, President, Commission on Immiyration and Naturaliza-
tion, Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Rosenfield : This refers to your letter of October 13, 1952, requesting
certain information concerning the education, background, and other qualifica-
tions of hearing officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service for use
in connection with the Commission's consideration of tlie administrative processes
of the Service.

The attached questionnaire has been completed on the basis of the best infor-
mation available within the time limit fixed by you for its submission. The
information contained therein is based on the laws and regulations now in eftect.
Some changes will take place on December 24, 1052, the effective date of the
Innnigration and Nationality Act of 1952. At the present time hearings on the
admissibility of aliens are conducted by itoards of special inquiry while hearings
on the deportability of aliens are conducted by officers classified as deportation
examiners. Beginning December 24, 1952, we plan to establish one position, the
duties of which would include the conducting of both types of hearing, the
incumbent to be known as a special inquiry officer.

In accordance with telephone instructions from Mr. Charles Gordon of your
staff, item 11 (a), (b), (c), and (d) of the questionnaire has been construed
to call for information regarding types of work performed by hearing officers
immediately prior to their becoming hearing officers.

Benjamin G. Habberton,

Act ing Com m issioner.

President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization Questionnaire —
Information Concerning Hearing Officers of the Immigration and Natural-
ization Service

Note.— By the term "hearing officers" the Commission has reference only to
those officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service who are engaged in
conducting hearings on the admissibility or deportability of aliens.

1. How many full-time hearing officers were engaged exclusively on their duties,
as such, on October 1, 1952 V (If this date is not practicable, please state, and use
as recent a date as possible.)

Date, October 1, 1952; number 119. (Deportation examiner, chairman (board
of special inquiry), and second member (board of special inquiry).)

(Note. — All percentages requested, unless otherwise indicated, relate to the
number in answer to No. 1.)

1 (a). How many hearing officers who work only part time, as such, were en-
gaged on the date under No. 1?

(A) Of the 119 given in item 1, above, only 1 officer, a second member (board
of special inquiry), abso performed other duties (primary inspection).

(B) One deportation examiner worked part time assisting in Adjudications
Division on fine adjudications, bond breaches, etc. Several hundred officers were
assigned part time to assist in conducting hearings on admissibility as chairman
or second member (board of special inquiry). No accurate figure available as
assignments made on rotating basis from available officers, usually immigrant


inspiH-tors. Time spent on such Jissi.i;iHnt'nt varies from several lioui-s i)er month
to 7)0 percent of one otilcer's time. Six districts reported no i)art-time oflicers.

1(6). Specify what other priiicijjal duties, fmictioiis, or .services were performed
by the ollicers uiidc^r 1 [a) in addition to their work as heariiij? oflicers. (L'.se
date under No. 1 as base.)

Witli but few exceptions, the princii)al duties were tlio.se of imniifrrant inspector,
other duties were those of investigator, naturalization examiner, otticer in charge,
ad.iudications, processiiifi' administrative tine cas(>s.

2. Please state tlie numl)er of hearinji' officers on duty as of the above date
(under No. 1) in each of the following district offices :

Number of hearing
District office: (full time)

New York, N. Y 28

Boston, Mass 5

1 )etroit, Mich 6

Chicago, 111 5

San Francisco, Calif 11

Miami, Fla 1 5

'A. Do the totals given in item 2 constitute the full authorized totals under
current applicable appropriations? No. (If "No," please give the authorized
totals, with explanation.)

Authorizetl total, ()9. (The difference of nine results from vacancies and
temporary assignments to other duties.)

4. Please list the standard or basic qualitications established for hearing offi-
cers (include basic job description).

At the present time, hearings on the admissibility of aliens are conducted by a
board of special inquiry consisting of a chairman, a second member, and a secre-
tary. The duties of the bcjard are shown in the attached position description
(exhibit 1) headed "Hearing Examiner (BSI Chaii'man)." Hearings on the
deportability of aliens are conducted by officei's with the classification title "De-
portation Examiner." Their duties are shown in the enclosed exhibit 2 headed
"Deportation Examiner."

The duties of the position of chairman (BSI) have been performed by inuni-
grant insijectors who were selected on the basis of years of expei'ience and
demonstrated satisfactory performance. The qualifications required for the
position of deportation examiner follow closely the requirements of the Civil
Service Commission for the position of hearing examiner. Please see enclosed
exhibit 3 for statement of qualification standard.

The Service is planning to incorporate the duties of these two positions into
one j)osition to be known l»eginning December 24, 19.j2, as special iiupiiry officer.
New qualifications standards will be established which are expecteil to be no
less than those required by the Civil Service Commission for the position of
hearing examiner.

5. What range of grades, with corresponding salaries, is there under civil
service for hearing officers and what are the principal differences in duty be-
tween those in the lowest grade and those in the middle and highest grades?

Chairman (board of special inquiry), GS-9, $r),000-$r),81(), per annum; immi-
grant inspector (acting as board member), GS-7, .$4,2()5-$4,)).'")ri per annum; de-
])ort;ition examiner. (JS-ll. $."i.!»40^$(j,l)40 per annum. Exhibits 1 and 2. it is
believed, will show these differences.

( Please see remarks under question 4, above, relating to incorporation of the
duties of these positions into one position on December 24, l!»nL». )

.") in). What promotion or other opportunities are there within the Immigration
and Naturalization Service to encourage other employees and officers to become
hearing officers?

Vacancies in the position of hearing examiner (RSl chairman) are made after
careful consideration of the relative qualifications of employees meeting the job
requirements. Original appointments in vacancies in the positicm of deportation
examiner are filled on the basis of a noncompetitiv(> Immigi-ation and Naturali-
zation Service examination.

5 (h). What opportunities are offered by the Immigration and Naturalization
Service to persons in other Goveriunent agencies and among the general public
to apply for the position of hearing officer?

This service fills hearing-officer vacancies l)y pi-omotion from within the
Service. Appointm(>nfs to the i)osition of innnigrant inspector are made by
selection from registers established by the Civil Service ('ommission as a result of


a competitive examination for immigrarrt inspector. This was a Nation-wide
examination, and appointees from tliis register, wlien they obtain the necessary
qualifying experience, are eligible to apply for the examination for deportation
examiner and are considered for promotion to hearing examiner (BSI chairman)
along with Service employees of many years' experience.

5 (c). What promotion opportunities are offered in the Immigration and
Naturalization Service to hearing officers?

In lining vacancies in higher-graded positions all employees in lower grades
are considered for promotion. Hearing officers receive the same consideration
as given to other Service employees who meet the requirements.

5 (^). What Immigration and Naturalization Service officers exercise admin-
istrative supervision over hearing officers? (Please give details of the type and
extent of such supervision. )

The Assistant Commissioner, Inspections and Examinations Division, in the
central office and, under his general direction, the Chief of the In(iuiry Branch of
that Division exercise administrative supervision over hearing officers throughout
the Service. In the individual districts, no supervision is exercised over the
hearing officers in any manner which would interfere with the conduct of the
hearings, the decisions reached by the hearing officers, or the preparation of their
decisions. In those matters the hearing officers must use their complete inde-
pendent judgment. The district directors do, however, supervise the scheduling
and assignment of cases, determination of workloads, work reports, leave, etc.

5 (e). What Immigration and Naturalization Service officers are authorized to
review or revise the determinations of hearing officers? Please explain.

Under the present regulation a hearing officer's decision in an expulsion case
is (1) that the alien be deported, or (2) that the proceedings be terminated, or
(3) that the alien's deportation be suspended, or (4) that the alien be granted
voluntary departure at his own expense in lieu of deportation with the further
order that if he fails to depart within the time granted or any extension thereof
he be deported, or (5) that the alien be permitted to depart voluntarily at his
own expense in lieu of deportation with the additional privilege of preexamina-
tion, witli the further oi'der that if he fails to depart within the time granted or
any extension thereof he be deported, or (6) that such other action be taken in
the proceedings as may be required for the appropriate determination of the
same [8 CFR 151.5 (c)]. The hearing officers' decisions descril)ed above be-
come final under the present regulation except (1) when the alien or his counsel
or representative takes exception to any specific finding of fact or conclusion of
law as to the deportability, or (2) when the alien or his counsel or representa-
tive takes exception to a denial of an application for suspension of deportation,
or (3) when the alien or his counsel or representative takes exception to a find-
ing that the alien has failed to establish statutory eligibility for voluntary de-
parture, or (4) when the alien or his counsel or his representative takes ex-
ception to a denial of an application for voluntary departure, with or without
the additional privilege of preexamination, in a case in which the alien had
been in the United States for a period of 5 years or more at the time the war-
rant of arrest in deportation proceedings was served on him, or (5) when the
alien or his counsel or representative takes exception to a denial of an applica-
tion for the exercise of the discretion contained in the 7th proviso to section
3 of the Immigration Act of February 5, 1917 [8 CFR 151.5 (e)]. When an
exception is taken in one or more of the manners provided above, it is regarded
as an appeal and the case goes directly to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Notwithstanding the /oregoing statements, the regulation permits the Com-
missioner of Immigration and Naturalization, on his own motion, to direct that
any case or class of cases be submitted to him for review and consideration as
to certification to the Board of Immigration Appeals for decision by the Board
[8 CFR 151.5 (g) ]. When such a case reaches the Commissioner, he can do one
of two things, namely, approve the decision of the hearing officer, or certify the
case to the Board of "immigration Appeals for decision. Under no circumstances
can a decision of a hearing officer be revised in the central office of the Immi-
gration and Naturalization Service.

The foregoing regulations have been construed to permit a district director to
submit a report to the Commissioner concerning any decision which appears to
him to require certification. Such a case is called up for review and consid-
eration bv the Commissionei", but, as indicated above, he cannot change the
hearing officer's decision but, if he disagrees with it, must certify it to the Board
of Immigration Appeals for decision.


These comments coucern tlie activities of hearing officers relating; to the con
dnct of hearings on the deportahility of aliens. Until the rej;ulatIons have heen
])Ublished with respect to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, it is
not possible to state specitically what Inunigration and Natnralizatlou Service
officers will be anthoriziHl to review or revise the determinations of the hearing

6. What is the average nnmher of years hearing officers (under No. 1) have
worked for or been employed by the Inunigration and Naturalization' Service in
any and all (•ai)acitiesV Average number years, 19. Solely in the capacity of
hearing officer? Average number years, 7.

7. What is the average beginning age of a hearing officer? 38 years.

8. Please list the principal legal and administrative causes for reprimand,
suspension, transfer, or removal, of hearing officers :

The principal legal and administrative causes for reprimand, suspension,
transfer, or removal of hearing officers are the same as those for any other
civil-.service employee. Title 5, chapter I of the Code of Federal Kegalations
sets forth some of the Civil Service Commission's requirements on this subject.
I'art 9 thereof, section 9.101, directs that the empk)ying agency shall remove,
demote, or reassign to another position any employee in the conii:etitive service
whose conduct or capacity is .such that his removal, demotion, or reassignment
will promote the efficiency of the service. It provides that the grounds for dis-
qualiticaiion of an applicant for examination given in part 2, section 2.104 (a)
(2) through (S) . shall be included among those constituting sufficient cause for
removal of an employee.

Chapter C2 of the Civil Service Commission's Fedei-al Personnel Manual
(p. C2-27) sets forth certain (ffenses for which, under express provisions of
law and regnlafion, employees may he punished by removal or even by fine or

In addition to the above, supervisory personnel of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service are requii'ed to report promptly, through channels, to
the district director allegations of misconduct or dereliction of duty which are
believed to warrant formal admonition, suspension, disciplinary action, demotion,
or dismissal. A list of types of offenses which are required to be reported is con-
tained in outstanding administrative instructions ( Sl-SS of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service Supplements to the Federal Personnel Manual). A copy
of this list is included as exhibit 4.

9. Please explain briefly the main difficulties and problems confronting hear-
ing officers, with which they must contend in tlie regular course of their duties :

P>i'arimr in mind that, without exception, the liearing must be fair and im-
liartial, a hearing officer may encounter difficulty in limiting testimony to ma-
terial questions, ruling on objec-tions and motions which in some cases are ob-
viously for the purpose of confusing the issue and delaying the proceedings un-
necessarily. Requests for adjournments also present a problem since it is often
difficult to determine which requests are bona fide and which are frivolous.

10. How many hearing officers^ — •

(a) I'ossess baccalaureate degrees? Number, 32; percent, 2G.8.
(h) Possess law degrees but are not admitted to the bar? Number, .5; per-
cent, 4.3.

(c) Are admitted to the bar? Number, 16 ; percent, 13.4.

11. How many hearing officers —

(a) Were practicing attorneys before they became hearing officers? None.
(h) Were engaged in wcirk (other than that of hearing officer) with, or were
employed by, the Immigration and Naturalization Service before they became
hearing officers? Number, 119.

I'lease specify the principal type of iwsitions or work in which these under
11 (6) were previously engaged :

Niiiiihcr xo
Types of work : cngayvd

Immigrant insi)ector 74

Investigator 18

Misc(>llantous positions such as naturalization examiner, patrol inspector,
officer in charge, etc 27

(c) Held positions in, or worked for, other (than the Inunigration and Natural-
ization Service) agencies of the Federal (or State) government? None.

(d) Held positions or did work not enumerated or included under 11 (a), {b),
and (c) ? None.

25356—52 123


12. What was the average percent rate of turn-over anvonn hearing officers in
the last O-year period ( 1948-r»2 ) "-' Average percent rate ttirn-over, 13.8.

13. Please give below any additional information, particularly concerning in-
service training, if any, or comments (and/or .submit any printed or other
material) which, in your opinion, will assist the Commission in ascertiiining the
education and background of hen ring officers of your service :

Hearing officers are furnished with the following instructional material :

1. Immigration and nationality manuals, which summarize .idministrative
and .indicial interpretations of the laws and regulations.

2. Service operations instructions, which instruct officers as to the methods
of enforcing the laws and regulations.

3. Copies of the volumes Administrative Decisions Under the Immigration
and Nationality Laws, nnd of loose-leaf releases Interim Decisions, wliich set
forth administrative policies in exclusion and deportation cases.

4. General counsel opinions, which resolve le.gal questions not previously
clarified by court decisions.

In addition, those officers have, since 1046, been offered a correspondence train-
ing program which contains studies on subjects related to their work. The
salient feature of any such study is its drill on hypothetical situations. The stu-
dents are given problems containing situations such as they would meet in their
work, and are required to solve the problems involved. Central office reviewers
criticize those solutions.

An intensive 2 weeks' training was given, between April and September 1951,
to every deportation examiner of the service. All classes were held in the central
office in Washington. They coincided with the period during which most of our
present deportation examiners were being appointed. Insofar as possible, an
employee who had just been appointed as deportation examiner was sent to the
school before he assumed his new duties. Every effort was made to provide
deportation examiners with training commensurate with the importance of their
duties and responsibilities. Classes were held on the following topics :

1. Hearing procedures.

2. Specialized instruction on grounds for deportation.

3. Principles of administrative evidence.

4. Sources and procuri^nent of documentary evidence.
."). Discretionary relief from deportation.

6. Preparation of hearing officer's findings and order.

7. Administrative review of hearing officer's findings.

8. Judicial review of administrative findings.

!). Precedent cases governing administrative policy.

10. Si>ecial procedures required in subversive cases.

11. Background drills in procedures of inspections and examinations and in

grounds for exclusion and deportation.

12. Regulations governing detention, parole, and expulsion of aliens.

Additional training is planned in connection with the Immigration and Natu-
ralization Act of 1!*."')2 and periodically thereafter to the extent pei-mitted by
funds available for ti'aining purposes.


Hearing ExA^rI^EU (P>SI Chairman), GS-U

Under general supervision the incumbent acts as chairmnn of a board of .special
inquiry, a quasi-judicial body created by the immigration and naturalization
statutes for the purpose of determining the admissibility of aliens who have
applied for admission to the United States, either as immigrants, or nonimmi-
grants, and who have failed to establish on primary inspection, their right to
admission to the I'nited States. The chairman, who is also a member, presides
over tlie l)oard, which consists of three meml)ers.

The board considers the evidence l)earing on the application for admission to
tlie Uniteil States, including formal interrogation of the applicant and his
witnesses luider oath, and the presentation of Government evidence and ((uestion-
ing (»f (iov(>rnment witnesses. Incumbent is I'esponsible for verbatim recording
and transcribing of the hearing by the secretary-member. The majority vote
of the board for the admission or exclusion of the alien prevails, unless appeal

Online LibraryUnited States. President's Commission on ImmigratiHearings → online text (page 18 of 35)