Testimony from J. E. Nieman, Educational Director, Regular Veterans Associations, April 1939
Regular Veterans Associations,
Washington D. C., April 19, 1939.
Senate Immigration Committee, Washington D. C.
My Dear Mr. Chairman: In view of the fact that I cannot appear before your committee on hearings to be held on the bill Senate Joint Resolution 64, due to the fact that I will be out of town, I am taking the liberty of enclosing herewith my statement as representative of the Regular Veterans Association and respectfully request that it be included in the records of the hearings on this bill.
Very truly yours,
- E. Nieman, Educational Director
I am J. E. Nieman, educational director, Regular Veterans Association, with national headquarters at 1115 Fifteenth Street NW., Wahington D. C. We are the Regulars of the United States – men who have served their Nation and flag in the Regular Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, taking the service as it came, be it war, peace, peaceful invasions, floods, earthquakes, or whate’er befell.
Le [sic] me quote from a speech made on the Senate floor March 6, 1939, by Senator H. H. Schwartz, in a tribute to Regulars that leaves nothing unsaid. I quote:
“Than the Regulars in the service of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard there are no persons in this Nation more quietly, solidly, completely, and fully American.”
These Regulars, gentlemen, are the ones whom I represent as I appear before you, and I speak of them, for them, and by them.
We are unalterably opposed, we are bitterly opposed, we are solidly, completely, and fully opposed and not quietly opposed, to this bill and to all bills which have for their purpose such a motive as does this and companion bills.
Mr. Chairman, gentlemen, the sooner the United States of America quits permitting foreigners to come into this country – the quicker bills of the nature of the one before us are dropped like a hot brick – the quicker America wakes up to its own responsibilities, then just that much quicker squalor and “isms” foreign to Americanism in the United States will be banished.
I want to present a rather unusual reason why bills such as this would be defeated so decisively that the groups now sponsoring this legislation will never again rear their heads. Other reasons are legion and will likely be touched on by other loyal American representatives.
Bringing foreigners into the United States of America (for permanent residence) is a direct attack on our national-defense program.
The reasons are obvious, and may be multiplied. They follow:
- Teachers of anti-Americanism are coming in by droves, and are going all over the Nation with their teachings. In the schools, in the churches, in the press, in the highways and byways, over the radio, etc., and they are securing followings.
- We, as a Nation, have appropriated and are appropriating billions of dollars for belated adequate defensive equipment, yet we are paying the man behind the gun a wage that is actually a travesty upon the principles of “a floor under wages and a ceiling over hours,” being $9 a month less for the lowest grade than we pay our Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees, and the resident is reported as being opposed to pay increases for these grossly underpaid Government employees being quoted as saying “that Service pay increases would have to go by the board in favor of relief for the unemployed.” [Italics supplied.]
- Persons disabled in the line of duty while in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are now being paid a pension for such disabilities that is far less than one-half what the Congress has established as a just amount for war service disabled, hence their children and wives must starve with them, not only for clothes and food, but for quarters, education for these children, etc. There are no jobs for these disabled men to supplement their miserable pension, nor for their wives or children.
A will quipped, trained, treated, and paid Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard is America’s best guaranty of peace. There is not a man in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, nor is there a Regular in the Nation, but would give every penny he has or could command to care for the ill-fed, ill-clothed, and ill-housed American children, but when he realizes that there are thousands of aliens and tens of thousands of alien children now being maintained by the United States through the relief rolls, the Works Progress Administration, Public Works Administration, Youth Administration, and other governmental units he feels differently about it, for he well knows the discriminations that have been practiced against him. He knows what a task he will have, if and when he leaves the service to even find a job, let alone one that would maintain himself and family. He knows how his disabled Bunkie or shipmat’s [sic] family is starving and that the same thing can happen to him and his family.
I repeat that the bringing of foreigners into the United States is a direct attack against the national-defense program. America does not need the foreigners. We have no room for them and their progeny. We have our own disabled, our own homeless, our own sick and hungry, our own uneducated, our own slums and sharecroppers, our own problems, chief of which is to
KEEP AMERICA FOR AMERICANS
Gentlemen, I know that the over 500,000 Regulars of this Nation join me in urging the defeat of this bill and every other bill that proposes to bring foreigners to this country. We feel for these homeless foreigners, but we cannot and must not forget our own flesh and blood nor our own free – so far, thank God – America and Americans.