Page images

been times of decline. You will see that between 1952 and 1953 there was a slight decline in the number of all criminal cases filed.

In the first half of the current year there was a considerable increase, an increase of nearly 3,000, over the number of criminal cases filed in the corresponding period of last year. However, that is due almost altogether to an increase in the number of cases of illegal immigration, usually referred to as the wetback cases, which occur in the five districts in the Mexican border.

There is no general change in the number of criminal cases throughout the country. For instance, in the first half of 1954 the number of criminal cases other than cases of illegal entry, which were filed was 12,406, as compared with 12,542 in the corresponding period a year ago.


Mr. Bow. Did you give us the figures on the increase in the illegal entry cases?

Mr. CHANDLER. Yes, sir. Those fluctuate, Congressman Bow, principally according to the policy of enforcement. If there are times when stress is laid on apprehending illegal immigrants, you will find the prosecutions go up,

The prosecutions dropped from 13,147 in 1952 to 11,589 in 1953. However, in the first half of the current year there were 8,332 cases compared with 5,111 in the corresponding period a year ago.

Mr. HORAN. What is the reason for that fluctuation?

Mr. CHANDLER. Congressman, I do not know. From all I can learn it relates to the policy in reference to enforcement of the law that is followed at any particular time. I am not familiar with the conditions, not having lived in the South. I have read about the mass movement of laborers from Mexico into the United States. Many more enter than are ever apprehended. I think the number of prosecutions depends, as I have stated, principally upon the policy of the Government with reference to prosecution. Perhaps the extent of the force available for arresting illegal entrants is involved. My impression is that there is no substantial change in the volume of illegal immigration; nothing corresponding with the variations that seem to occur from year to year in the prosecutions.

Mr. Gary. It is just a question of how many are picked up. They are going back and forth all the time across the border. There is a border of over 1,000 miles and it is impossible to patrol it completely. All they have to do is walk across in some places.

Mr. Bow. That situation is pretty well covered in the Justice Department appropriation bill, on the question of immigration across the border.

Mr. Gary. It is reasonably well covered, but it is a situation you cannot cover entirely.

Mr. Bow. I am talking about the testimony before the committee, which gives the story.

Mr. Gary. Yes. I have been down there. I am making these remarks because year before last our committee went down with the Coast Guard and Customs to look over that situation. We were looking over the situation with reference to the smuggling of narcotics, wetbacks, and parakeets.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

There is just no end to the problems that you face in trying to patrol that border. You cannot completely patrol it. All you can do is do the best you can.

Mr. HORAN. Mr. Whitehurst comes from that area. I was wondering if there were any possibility of drawing any conclusion from this so-called wetback situation and our attempts to have more orderly recruiting in the hiring of foreign labor through legislation which would make it a matter of negotiation between governments. It is reasonable to assume that this condition could be bettered by having such a relationship as we do.

Mr. WHITEHURST. Yes, sir.
Mr. HorAn. Have you any reaction on that?

Mr. WHITEHURST. I have thought about it, but I have found it rather difficult to reach any conclusion.

I think an orderly arrangement would, to some degree, lessen the number of these illegal laborers, but on the other hand, of course, some people may find it easier to use their services than it would be to employ those who come in legally.

The responsibilities placed upon those who would hire the legal immigrants have to some degree, I think, made it less feasible for them to use that type of labor, much as they need it. Of course, if the farmer has to put up a bond for their return, and if a laborer finds something else he wants to do and runs away to another section of the country, the farmer finds he is stuck. It is not going to make him anxious to hire that type of laborer. Mr. Horan. There would be no relationship, then, in your opinion? Mr. WHITEHURST. No, sir; there would be no relationship. So far as the courts are concerned, they just take the number that are brought in by the immigration authorities. A large percentage of the illegal immigrants are sent back and delivered immediately over the border without any court process. It is only the repeaters who are brought before the courts.

Usually those who are brought before the courts for the first time are put on probation with the understanding that they will be deported, and they are not sent to the penal institutions. Only the confirmed repeaters are so treated.

It is a very difficult problem. I understand that the Immigration Service at one time started using airplanes to fly them down deep into Mexico, and they found that smoebody had set up an air service to bring them back. It was like the situation with a cat: They got back to the border before the officers did.

Mr. Gary. We spent thousands of dollars building a fence along portions of the border. All you have to do is go to a football game or a baseball game and see the youngsters crawl over the fences, to see how effective that is.

Mr. Horan. Please proceed, Mr. Chandler.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


o the were

Mr. CHANDLER. The last matter I shall present to you, so far as the business of the courts is concerned, is a table showing the number of cases, both civil and criminal, which have been pending in the district courts. That is a significant table. It is one I do not look upon with


any pleasure, because it shows a continuous rise in the backlog of pending cases.

You will notice that there was a steady increase in the number of civil cases pending in the district courts beginning at the end of 1952, going to the end of 1953, and for the first half of 1953, which was December 31, 1952, and the first half of 1954. Between 1952 and December 31, 1953, the number of all civil cases pending went up from 60,362 to 69,230.

Mr. Bow. Can you give us, along with these figures of civil cases pending in the district courts, the manner in which cases are being disposed of? Can we have some comparative figures over a period of time as to the districts and how they are disposing of cases?


Mr. HORAN. Along with that, could you put these charts which show your workload into the record?

Mr. Bow. My suggestion would be, Mr. Chairman, if it is possible to do it, that it might be well to take these same figures of these pending cases over the same period of time—1952, 1953, the first half of 1953 and the first half of 1954-by district and show the dispositions.

(The information is as follows:)

[blocks in formation]

NOTE.-Decrease in price and rent suits from 2,430 in the 1st half of 1953 to 70 in the 1st half of 1954.

[blocks in formation]

NOTE.-More than 33 of the civil cases pending at the end of the 1st half of the current year were private


Criminal cases pending in the district courts

8,794 1st half 1953

9,518 1st half 1954.

1952. 1953.

9, 490 10,629

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

TABLE C1.-Civil cases commenced and terminated in the United States district courte during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1952, by district

[blocks in formation]

TABLE C 1.-Civil cases commenced and terminated in the United States district courts during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1952,

by district-Continued

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »