10 Mental Examination of Aliens.
If an alien is rejected on account of mental disability and if he or she is accompanied by an alien whose care is required by the rejected alien, and the medical officers so certify, the accompanying alien must be excluded also.
A rejected alien may be held for treatment until fit to travel.
The law admits all aliens on probation. At any time within five years after entry they may be deported if found to have been in a deportable class when admitted. Any alien who within five years after entry becomes a public charge from causes not affirmatively shown by himself or friends to have arisen subsequent to landing is also to be deported.
Comment on Imposition of Fines.
If an idiot, imbecile, feeble-minded person, epileptic, chronic alcoholic, or person suffering with constitutional psychopathic inferiority is found who could have been detected by a competent examination at the port of embarkation, the examining officers should attach to the certificate a statement to this effect for the information of the immigration authorities, in order that the proper fine may be imposed.
It is evidently the intention of the law to compel steamship companies to exercise reasonable care to avoid as far as possible bringing into this country mentally unfit immigrants, and in the practical application of this section of the law we should regard the term "a competent medical examination" to mean an examination of substantially the same character and scope as that conducted at the port of arrival. It is proper, however, to make due allowance for the difficulties which of necessity surround the examination of immigrants at the port of departure. It would not be feasible to detain people there for a week or more on mere suspicion for the purpose of giving them mental test, although such detection is allowable at the port of arrival. Cases which are easily and promptly diagnosed here should be put in the class for which fines should be imposed. Idiots and imbeciles will always fall in this class, but, except in the presence of obvious physical anomalies, a fine is seldom justified in cases of mental deficiency above the grade of imbecility.