Wednesday, January 14, 2009

La Guardia wants to know who is paying for Boris' visit

January 14, 1925

New York Congressman Fiorello LaGuardia wants to "find out if anyone is paying for the steamship fare" of Grand Duke Boris of Russia, who is currently en route to the United States. The congressman has sent a letter to the Secretary of Labor Davis to determine if the Grand Duke is "an assisted alien" and likely to become a "public charge."
Rep. LaGuardia requests "that this person be carefully inspected upon his arrival to ascertain whether or not he is coming here in violation of our immigration laws." In his letter, the congressman makes reference to recent visits by "members of the same family" to this country."Subsequent to their leaving, it was learned that they were assisted aliens within the meaning of the law, that their passage was paid for by others and that had they remained here they would have been likely to become public charges."
LaGuardia writes that he would like the Grand Duke to be investigated to see if he is an "assisted alien, and what assurances the Government will have that he not become a public charge.
"Moreover, judging from the actions of his relatives who were here recently and the conduct on the part of many impressionistic and plastic-minded citizens, I believe the department would be justified in ascertaining whether these repudiated, unemployed and shiftless dukes and archdukes are not coming here with the intention of overthrowing our republican form of government in the hope of establishing a monarchy. According to newspaper reports, people clamored and paid admission for the purpose of curtseying and kissing the hands of these pretenders in a manner so un-American that it would have been shocking were it not so ridiculously stupid.
"According to press reports, one of these jobless archdukes has even a 'military representative' in New York, one Captain Galokhvastoff, while the Russian royalists are reported to have headquarters at the Russian National Society, 5 Columbus Circle, New York City.
"I believe that the same rigid application of the immigration law that is generally applied to arriving aliens should be applied to these roaming royalists who come here to collect funds to destroy organized governments and to prey upon the credulity of social climbing dupes.

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