United States. President's Commission on Immigrati.

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rest of the Foreign Service. The general retirement provisions are as follows :

FSO's : Voluntary retirement at age 50 with 20 years of service. Involuntary
retirement at 60, except for career ministers at age 65.

FSS's : Voluntary retirement on reduced annuity at 55 with 30 years of service ;
on full annuity at 60 years with .30 years ; on full annuity at 62 years with 15
years. Involuntary retirement at 70 \vith 15 years.

Ansicer to question S of questionnaire of President's Coniniission on Immigration

and Naturalisation

Tlie Visa Division has had very few occasions to i-epriniaud visa officers in
the field. The reason is to be found largely in tlie close supervision exercised
by the Division by means of lOO-percent review of oversea correspondence on
visa cases from consular officers to residents of the United States, and by means
of the advisoiy opinion procedure and inspections. Constant corrective action
keeps the standard of performance high and errors of sufficient gravity to call
for disciplinary action are correspondingly rare.

Although the following is an imposing list of causes for transfer, suspension,
or removal of visa officers, there have been relatively few cases when any action
has been necessary in connection with item 3 througli item 11, inclusive.

1. Change from visa work to some other activity in the Consular Branch or
to a new field of endeavor in the Foreign Service.

2. Completion by young Foreign Service officers of their period of visa training.

3. Decline in effectiveness as a visa officer.

4. Repeated disregard of laws, regulations, and instructions concerning the
issuance of visas.

5. Habitual discourtesy to visa applicants.

6. Continued association with questionable characters or disreputable visa
firms and lawyers.

7. Accepting gifts from visa applicants.

8. Strong convictions which point to corruption but with little or no actual
proof to prosecute.

9. Irregularities concerning the issuance of visas.

10. Having a part in or being connected with a visa scandal.

11. Malfeasance in office.

Answer to question 9 of questionnaire of President's Coiiiniissio7i on Imi)ngration

and 'Naturalization

Visa work is characterized by extraordinary demands on the officer who is
called upon to translate a great body of complex laws and regulations into terms
of success or failure in the lives of the persons who stand before him. The chief
elements in the task may be described thus :

1. Responsibilitu

The officer is obliged to administer laws which, if applied unwisely or unskill-
fully could result in detriment to his country, or in human tragedy. The
decisions he must make are sometimes exceedingly difficult, and the weight
of argument pro and con delicately balanced. To arrive ;it the cori-ect decision
he nuist be genuinely sympathetic to the alien applicant, hut at the same time he
must be alert to attempted fraud on the part of the person he is trying to help.
He must face this situation repeatedly without becoming cynical or insensitive.


2. Pressure

Frequently the visa officer is subjected to entreaty, threats, cajolery, subor-
nation, or at least the continual wear of repeated importunities. Many appli-
cants do not understand ; persons refused on security si'ounds almost always
pretend they do not imderstand, and demands for unlawful preferential treat-
ment are commonplace. The visa ofticer miist stand firmly on the law, resisting
improper pressure and still remaining open to new evidence. This calls for
firmness of character and monumental patience.

3. Complexity

Not the least of the visa officer's worries is the technical job of learning laws and
regulations and keeping abreast of the changes in them, especially in the field
of internal security and the public interest.

(NOTE) : Constant studies are being carried on for the improvement of
techniques, for the removal of backlogs, and for giving increased service to the
public applying for visas. In the EUR posts, for example, there has been an
increase of 26 percent in workload from FY 1951 to FY 1952 in the face of
severe budgetary cuts.

Answer to question J2 of questionnaire of President's Commission on Immigra-
tion and Naturalisation

(a) Visa handbook including manual and regulations (one copy only).

(p) Example of advisory opinion from Department to a field post.

(c) Information sheets.

(d) Report of visa training course.

(p) Hypothetical cases used in training.
(/) Analysis of exclusion clauses (single copy).
({/) OMV correcting error in coiTCspondence.

(/() Visa Circular No. 18, March 8, 1949, methods and standards in appraising
Tisa work.

(0 Performance rating record card.


October 8, 1952.
Mr. S. D. BoYKiN,

Director, Office of Security and Consular Affairs,
Department of State, Washington 25, D. C.

My Dear Mr. Boykin : This Commission desires to obtain such data as may
be obtained without too great difficulty by the end of the current month regard-
ing various grounds of refusals, both formal and informal, of innnigration visas
during the fiscal years 1948 through 1952. I am informed that the Department's
Visa Division has been requested also to supply to the Commission whatever
data of that type it has on hand. We have been informed that it will undertake
to do whatever it can in that respect but that Division has indicated that its
own records do not, in all probability, contain svifficient information.

Consequently, it would be very much appreciated if the larger visa-issuing posts
in our Foreign Service could be requested promptly by circular telegram, charge-
able to the account of this Commission, to supply the following information for
the fiscal years mentioned : Selecting at random 50 refusal cases in each of the
years in question, what number of immigration visas were refused upon such
grounds as medical reasons, security reasons, likelihood of becoming a public
charge, alien contract labor, fraud, criminal activities, and so forth?

It is suggested that such posts as London, Paris, Naples, ^lunich, Ilabana,
Mexico City, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and such others as may come to mind as
affording a fair cross section of the visa function in large-scale operation, be
cii'cularized as indicated.

Mr. M:iim informs me that he has recently discussed with Mr. Merlin E.
Smith of your office a tentative draft of sucli a telegram to be sulimitted for
your approval and clearances by such other areas in the Department of State
41 s are deemed appropriate.


The Commission is very desirous of ohtaiiiing the following additional infor-
mation relating to refusal of immigration visas upon the basis of information
received by consular oflicers and would be grateful to have whatever data
thereon can be supplied :

(1) How many ap])li(aiits finally refused visas have been —

(a) Returning alien residents;
(h) Spouses of Amt>rican citizens?

(2) In what proportion or percentage of cases have such refusals been based
upon derogatory information?

(3) Omitted.

(4) What proportion, or percentage, of visas have been refused because of —

(a) Direct participation in espionage, sabotage, or other activities
directly related to the internal security, military operations, or
external affairs of the United States;

(6) Membership in the American ('oinmunist Party;

(c) Membership in any foreign Cominunist Party:

( d) Membership in any other prosci'ibed organization;

(e) Other factors?

(5) Have visas been refused finally on the basis of past membership in any
of the above organizations? If so, what proportion of cases involve such
past membership?

(6) What standards are applied in refusing visas without advisory opinions
first being sought?

(7) Do visa oflScers rely on confidential information of past or present asso-
ciations because direct evidence is unavailable? To what extent do visa
officers attempt to determine whether alleged memltership was voluntai-y?
How is it determined that a named organization other than the Commu-
nist Party is proscribed under the act of October 16. 1918, as amended by
the Internal Security Act of 1952?

(8) What notice is given to the affected applicant concerning the nature
and basis of tlie charges against him? What opportunity has the applicant
to refute such charges by presenting evidence in his own behalf? What op-
portunity is given for representation by counsel and presentation of written or
oral arguments to the refusing ofiicer? What notice is given to the applicant
concerned concerning an adverse decision and the basis on which it was
rendered ?

In conclusion, I desire to extend to you the Commission's very sincere ap-
preciation for the fine cooperation and assistance given it by you and the Office
of Security and Consular Affairs.
Very truly y(nirs,

Harry N. Rosenfield,

Executive Director.

Department of State,
Washington, November 5, 1952.
Mr. Harry N. Rosenfield,

Executive Director, President's Commission on Immifjration and Naturali-
zation, Washinoton, D. C.

My Dear Mr. Rosenfield : In a(), 1951.

Unclassified — Control 47eitsdienst (Compulsory
National Labor Service) were affiliates of the Party.

(e) Where used in this circular airgram. the term "proscribed party or organi-
zation" means all of the afore-mentioned Communist and other totalitarian par-
ties, their sections, subsidiaries, branches, and subdivisions, their direct prede-
cessor and successor parties or organ'Zitions, and their affiliates. Where affili-
ates are separately treated it is intended to cover only affiliated organizations
which are or were not sections, subsidiaries, branches, or subdivisions of such
proscribed parties.

10. (fl) Service, whether voluntary or not. in the armed forces of any coimtry
shall not be regarded, of itself, as membership in, or affiliation with, any pro-
scribed party or organization, and shall not, of itself, constitute a ground for
exclusion. This, however, in no way affects the pi'ohibition contained in section
13 of the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, as amended, against the issuance of a
visa under that act to any person who has voluntarily borne arms against the
United States on the western front during World War II except that the con-
struction of the word "voluntary" as used in this circular airgram shall be
applied to the construction of the word "voluntarily" appearing in section 13 of
the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, as amended, in relation to bearing arms, but
only other than German nationals.

(&) Voluntary service in a political capacity (such as a political commissar)
with the armed forces of any country shall constitute affiliation with a proscribed
party or organization.

11. Membership or affilation, whether voluntary or not. which ended liefore an
alien reached his sixteenth birthday shall not constitute a ground for exclusion.


If ail alien coiitiiiues or continiuMl lils nicniborship or affiliation beyond his six-
teenth birthday, the question whelher his membership or afliliation after his
sixteenth birthday is or was voluntary shall be determined as in the case of any
other alien. In that eonnection, the faets I'elatins to his activities only after his
sixteenth birtbilay may be considered in determining whether the continuation
of his membershii» or affiliation is or was voluntary.

12. -Alemhership or affiliation solely by operation of law sliall not constitute
a ground for exclusion. 'Phis (iperation-of-law excei)tion includes any case
wherein the alien automatically becomes or became a member of or affiliate of
a proscribetl party or organization by official act, proclamation, order, or decree.

18. The term "voluntary"" when used in relation to membership in, or affiliation
with, a proscribed party or orgaiuzation shall be construed to mean membership
or affiliation which is or was Iviiowingly created by the alien's act of Joininu or
affiliating, upon his own volition, with such proscribed party or organization. It

Online LibraryUnited States. President's Commission on ImmigratiHearings → online text (page 7 of 35)