Mental Examination of Aliens. 11
In the case of the insanities due allowance should be made for the sudden development of manic or depressive symptoms in person who might have appeared entirely normal when the vessel sailed. The time of development as shown by the history should determine the course of action in cases of this kind. Likewise it is to be remembered that many delusional cases show nothing in their faces and very little in their conduct or conversation which would make them easily detected. With a few exceptions, fines for bringing in insane persons will be justified only in those cases showing deterioration, mannerisms, and peculiarities of facies or abnormal conduct, and whose type of psychosis is such that it could not have arisen after embarkation.
With the accumulated data obtained after several weeks' observation on shipboard and at the immigration station, it is often possible to diagnose cases of constitutional psychopathic inferiority and chronic alcoholism which could not have been earlier detected, and the occasions where a fine can be imposed for these conditions are rare. This is especially true of the former.
In general, caution should be observed in applying this section of the law in its relation to the mentally abnormal immigrant, and due allowance made for the variations in the conduct of many of these patients which make them conspicuously abnormal at one time and apparently normal at another.