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9. Case 98628/312 — Rivka Niedicz, 18, f. Russian-Hebrew. Feebleminded. P. C. bond to depart within one year, meanwhile to be treated in an institution. Bond should be forfeited. Girl not placed in an institution, nor has she received any medical attention. She is of marriageable age and therefore a menace to the welfare of the State of New York. Bond should be not renewed and she should be segregated pending deportation.
10. Case 98628/332 — Martha Kunigoniute, 20, f. Feeble-minded. P. C. to depart within one year, meanwhile to be placed in an institution. Terms of bond have been violated. Immigrant has not been placed in an institution. Bond should be forfeited and she should be segregated pending deportation. She is of marriageable age and a menace to the welfare of the community.
11. Case 98628/430 — Eva Stypanovitz, 18, f. Russian-Hebrew. Feebleminded. P. C. to depart within one year. Receiving no treatment and case diagnosed by relatives. Is of marriageable age and a menace to the community. Bond should be forfeited and she should be segregated pending deportation.
12. Case 98628/384 — Grossi, Concetta, 17, f. Italian. Feeble-minded. P. C. to depart within one year. Address given was a mail address only and no way of tracing immigrant could be discovered. Bond should be forfeited as this immigrant is a menace to the community.
13. Case 98628/548 — Abraham Ali, 16, m. Turk-Syrian. Feeble-minded. P. C. to depart within one year and placed meanwhile in an institution. Bond has been violated. Immigrant has left this State so this Bureau is not further concerned.
14. Case 98628/153 Di Rito, Concettina, 15, f. Feeble-minded. P. C. bond to depart within one year, September 6, 1914, to Domenico Di Rito, 132 Warren street, Yonkers, N. Y. Has been deported.
15. Di Pasquale, Francesca, 13, f. Feeble-minded. Italian. P. C. bond to depart within one year, in meantime to be treated in institution. Has been deported.
From the foregoing, it would appear that the practice of admitting insane, feeble-minded and imbecile aliens into the State of New York should be unconditionally condemned. The records of the departments of charities, correction and hospitals in this State are a vigorous protest in themselves against the ever-increasing burden of responsibility for the care of such aliens and their progeny, and this burden is yearly increasing as a result of the action of the Federal government in admitting aliens, who, upon release, immediately violate every provision of the ineffectual bonds upon which such admission is often fraudulently and surreptitiously obtained.
The Bureau of Industries and Immigration hereby recommends:
1. That all of the insane, feeble-minded, epileptic and imbecile aliens, now released under bond within the State of New York shall be recalled, maintained at the expense of the steamship companies, or by the Federal government, segregated, and deported.
2. That the Secretary of Labor shall in future protect the State of New York against the admission of the insane, feeble-minded, epileptic, imbecile or any aliens afflicted with any loathsome or contagious disease, by absolutely refusing admission under bond or otherwise to any of these prohibited classes to destinations within this State.
ACCIDENTS All complaints concerning industrial accident cases in New York State are now referred to the Workmen's Compensation Commission by this Bureau; complaints are taken in the language of the complainant, are then translated and application blanks filled out for non-English speaking aliens applying for this assistance.
Many complaints in accident cases have been received from nonresident aliens particularly from the mines of Pennsylvania. These complainants have endured much hardship to secure the means to come to this city, in order to file complaints at this Bureau, and the majority of their cases are extremely pitiful and heart-rending.
The utmost that this Bureau can accomplish for these unfortunate people is to take the complaint and refer it to a bonded attorney in the nearest town to their place of residence. In the majority of cases the fact develops that this bonded attorney is counsel for the defendant company, and therefore cannot take the
New York City Employment agencies in New York City were formerly inspected by this Bureau once a year. By agreement with the Commissioner of Licenses, the records as required by section 155 of chapter 514 of the Laws of 1910, are now added to his inspection reports and any violations are reported to this Bureau by him.
It is hereby recommended that section 155 of chapter 514 of the Laws of 1910, as amended, providing for the keeping of cer
tain records be repealed. Chapter 700 of the Laws of 1910, as amended, gives full jurisdiction to the Department of Licenses in New York City, to obtain all information necessary for statistical purposes.
The extraordinary co-operation which has been accorded to this Bureau by the Department of Licenses has resulted in speedy hearings being arranged on all complaints referred to it and fines, revocation of licenses or refunds being ordered on conviction. Cases against employment agencies in the past year number 33 violations and 172 complaints covering non-return of fee, misrepresentation and other miscellaneous abuses. A letter of the Commissioner of Licenses of December 11, 1914, states that:
An inspection of employment agencies just completed shows but a few of the agents who are not keeping the alien records provided by your Department. The entries are now being made in the registers used for applications for employment, and inspectors have been requested to report in writing every time they visit any agency whether or not these records are being kept. We hope by this means to keep the records up-to-date.
Improvement of the employment agency situation in Buffalo may also be reported. Through the co-operation of the Mayor's Commissioner of Licenses and the activity of the Bureau investigations the law is now being observed by every employment agency in that city.
Complaints against employment agencies in Buffalo during the year 1914 numbered 26 violations and 134 cases and have covered every form of exploitation. Violations by several contract labor agents were particularly flagrant, involving in one complaint misrepresentation to 86 alien laborers who were shipped to an out-of-town destination, abandoned and left without food or means of return transportation. This case was tried by the Commissioner of Licenses and the district attorney of Buffalo, on its presentation by the Bureau of Industries and Immigration, and the respondent is now complying with the law.
The employment agency law of the State of New York has certain provisions for the protection of its foreign born population. It requires that licensed agents shall post in their places of business certain sections of the law in the English language, and the language“ best understood by the majority of applicants” doing business in such places. It provides that agents shall issue such receipts to applicants, which contain certain sections of said law in a similar manner as the said posters. The contract forms for out-of-town positions must likewise do justice to immigrant applicants for employment, by being printed in a language which the holder of such contract will understand. While enforcing the Labor Law with reference to employment agents the practice was followed to report violations of the employment agency law, if any of the above parts of said law were involved, to the Commissioner of Licenses of Buffalo. This procedure secured, comparatively speaking, a certain degree of success.
Rochester The city charter exempts Rochester from the employment agency law, section 635 of said charter reading:
Certain acts not to apply. The provisions of Article 5 relating to pawnbrokers, Article 6 relating to junk dealers, and Article 11 relating to employment agencies of Chapter 25 of the Laws of 1909, known as the General Business Law, etc., etc.,
and all acts amendatory thereof, and supplementary thereto, heretofore and hereafter enacted, do not apply to the City of Rochester, which is governed, controlled and regulated in respect to several matters by the provisions of its charter. Chapter 575 of the Laws of 1907 and amendments thereto now or hereafter enacted.
Under section 86 of said charter the common council has the power to adopt ordinances for the regulation of employment agencies. On December 10, 1907, an ordinance was passed, which went in force on January 1, 1908, regulating such agencies. It was introduced and adopted and is very similar to the State law.
Rochester, with a population of about 220,000, having industrial activities that employ a large number of immigrants, needs a rigorous supervision of employment agents. There are at present seven licensed agents, but in the Italian section a number of Italian saloonkeepers furnish railroads, highway contractors and canal contractors with unskilled Italian laborers. There is also a permanent Polish colony in Rochester from which laborers are furnished to contractors.
On receipts from two agents is printed chapter 700 of the Laws
of 1910, a law which has no force in Rochester, while on another receipt the ordinance is printed in part without mentioning the fact that this is a copy of an ordinance of the city of Rochester. Ignorant foreigners will not readily understand their rights against employment agents with such inadequate information about the city ordinance, which contains important provisions for their protection. None of the agents inspected have copies of this ordinance posted in their offices, nor have they contract forms, such as are required.
The organization of the State Employment Bureau will no doubt create a considerable deficiency in the business of employment and contract labor agents, particularly in such cities as Buffalo and Rochester.
The 1914 report of the Commissioner General of Immigration contains the following:
Many complaints reach the Bureau regarding the perpetration of injustice and fraud by private employment agencies engaged in interstate business. In order to protect applicants for employment from such injustice and fraud and guard the public welfare, public and private employment agencies doing business in more than one State should by Federal laws be placed under the supervision of the Department of Labor.
This recommendation is hereby endorsed by this Bureau, as many cases on file in this office disclose all of the abuses entailing loss of money, physical suffering and privation quoted in the report of the Commissioner General under date of June 9, 1914.
During the year 1914, there were 365 violations registered against employment agents, 55 of which were interstate cases involving men who were shipped to places in every section of the United States, and who were stranded and obliged to endure all the hardships described in Mr. Powderly's report. Cases against two agents alone involved 137 men, and it is reasonable to suppose that many men were shipped whose complaints never reached this Bureau. Men were shipped to Columbus, Ohio, Boston, Mass., Wheelerville, Pa., Baltic, Conn., Franklin, Va., New London, Conn., Chambersburg, Pa., South Norwalk, Conn., Calumet, Mich., Monroe Bridge, Mass., Asbury Park, N. J., and points in North Carolina, Indiana, South Carolina, Colorado and Michigan.