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may reject any of said bonds, if in their judgment the security offered is not valid and sufficient. It shall be lawful for any owner or consignee, at any time within twenty-four hours after the landing of such person or passengers from any ship or vessel in the port of New Orleans, except as in the section therein provided, to commute for the bond or bonds so required, by paying to the Commissioners of Immigration, or their appointed agent, the sum of two dollars for each and every passenger reported by him, as by law required; the receipt of such sum by said commissioners or agent shall be deemed a full and sufficient discharge from the requirements of giving bonds as above provided, but no owner or consignee shall be authorized to commute for the bond so required for any passenger arriving in the port of New Orleans, who may have to be sent to the Charity Hospital, on account of illness, or for any passenger who, on examination, shall be found either lunatic or idiotic, or dumb, blind or maimed, or infirm, or above the age of sixty years, or widow, with a child, or children, or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge. The Commissioners of Immigration shall have authority to commute specially for any bond in such cases in such manner as shall appear to them equitable and proper. It shall be the duty of the health officer to report without delay to the Commissioners of Immigration the names of all passengers sent by his order from shipboard to any hospital on account of illness from ship fever, cholera or yellow fever. And in case that any owner or consignee of any vessel arriving at the port of New Orleans shall fail, neglect or refuse to give the bond or bonds required by this act, or pay the commutation money as above set forth within the time prescribed as aforesaid, said owners and consignees shall forfeit and pay unto the said Commissioners of Immigration the penalty of one hundred dollars in the case of each and every person or passengers for whom they shall fail, neglect or refuse to give bond or pay the commutation money as in this act set forth, which sum or sums may be sued for and recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction, with judgment in solido, against such owners and consignees.
How Expenses Paid.
3387. [Sec. 6.] In case any of the persons for whom commutation money has been paid as aforesaid, or for whom a bond has been given as aforesaid, shall at any time within five years
from the payment of such money, or the execution of such bond, become chargeable upon any city, town or parish within this State, it shall be the duty of said commissioners to provide for the payment of any expenses incurred by any such city, town or parish for the maintenance and support of any such person out of the commutation money to be paid as aforesaid, and the money collected on such bonds so far as the same will enable them to do. Surplus Revenues Go to Charity Hospital.
3388. [Sec. 7.] The moneys received by Commissioners of Immigration for commutation or otherwise, and which are not absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the Bureau of Immigration for the payment of its salaried officers and to cover such other expenses as the commissioners, in their judgment, find necessary to make for the bureau, shall be turned over by them to the treasurer of the Charity Hospital at the city of New Orleans, taking his receipt for the same, to be used for the sole and exclusive benefit of the said Charity Hospital, at the discretion of the administration thereof. All moneys received by the Commissioners of Immigration shall be paid out on the warrant of said commissioners or a majority of them.
It is doubtful how much, if any, of this Act of 1874 is still law. We have now a Board of Agriculture and Immigration and a Commissioner of Agriculture and Immigration, whose expenses are paid directly by the State. See Agriculture and Immigration. There is now no such office as "Chief of the Bureau of Immigration."
Receipt from Charity Hospital.
3389. [Sec. 15.] The receipt of the treasurer of the Charity Hospital for moneys turned over to him by the Commissioners of Immigration, for use of said hospital, shall be their full discharge in the premises for all further responsibilities as to use of said moneys.
Duties of Chief of Bureau.
3390. [Sec. 8.] It shall be the duty of the Chief of the Bureau of Immigration to generally supervise the arrival of immigrants at the port of New Orleans; to assist and advise them in order to protect them against imposition or false information; to visit and examine the vessels which have immigrants on board, as also to inspect the general condition of the individual immigrants; to make a register of such immigrants, showing name, ages, places of birth, sex, profession, trade and destina
tion, which register shall be filed in his office; to report to the proper authorities of the United States at Washington city all violations or infractions of the passenger laws of the United States on the part of the ship's masters, owners, consignees or their subordinates and employes respectively. It shall further be the duty of the chief of the bureau to annually report to the General Assembly the number of immigrants and immigrant vessels which have arrived, together with a tabular statement, showing ages, places of birth, sex, trade, profession and destination of all immigrants who may have arrived during the year at the port of New Orleans, together with such recommendations and information as in his opinion may promote the proper supervision and regulation of immigration at the port of New Orleans. It shall further be the duty of the chief of the bureau to assist any and all immigrants who may desire to settle in Louisiana by giving counsel and information and in making contract for public means of transportation, and all impositions practiced upon the inexperienced he shall immediately bring to the knowledge of the proper authorities, and take measures to bring the perpetrators to justice. Wherever in his opinion it appears necessary, the chief of the bureau shall appoint a proper person or persons to board vessels from foreign ports, at the quarantine grounds or elsewhere, at and near the port of New Orleans, having on board immigrant passengers, for the purpose of advising such immigrants and putting them on their guard against fraud and imposition; and the health officer is hereby required to prevent any person or persons from going on board such vessels, which may be subject to examination by him, until after the chief of the bureau or his authorized agent shall have had sufficient opportunity to perform his duty. In general, it shall be the duty of the chief of the bureau to see that all provisions of this law are minutely complied with; that all moneys due the bureau are properly collected, and such amounts thereof as are directed by the commissioners are turned over without delay to the Charity Hospital; that meetings of the commissioners be called, and all and everything be properly done in conformity with the spirit and intent of this act. Any violation of this section on the part of shipmasters, or any refusal on their part to comply with the provisions thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of fifty dollars.
Commissioners Get No Pay.
3391. [Sec. 9.] The Commissioners of Immigration shall serve without pay, and it shall be the duty of the chief of the bureau to annually, or before the first of February in each year, to report to the General Assembly the amount of money received under the provisions of this act during the preceding year, and the manner in which the same has been appropriated.
Suits By and Against Commissioners.
3392. [Sec. 10.] It shall be the duty of the Attorney General of the State to represent the commissioners in all suits instituted by or against them before the courts within the State. If any person for whom a bond shall have been given as aforesaid shall, within five years from the date of such bond, become chargeable upon any city, town or parish of this State or upon the commissioners, the said commissioners may bring an action on such bond in the name of the people of this State, and shall be entitled to recover on such bond from time to time so much money, not in the whole exceeding the penalty of said bond exclusive of costs as shall be sufficient to defray the expenses incurred by any such city, town or parish, or the said commissioners, for the maintenance and support of the person for whom such bond was given as aforesaid.
3393. [Sec. 12.] The penalties and forfeitures prescribed by this act may be sued for and recovered with costs of suit by and in the name of said Commissioners of Immigration in any court having cognizance thereof, and, when recovered, shall be applied to the purposes specified in this act; it shall be lawful for the said commissioners, before or after suit brought, to compound for any of the said penalties or forfeitures upon such terms as they shall think proper.
Commissioners' Duties as to Finding Homes and Lands for Immigrants.
3394. [Sec. 13.] The Commissioners of Immigration shall aid so far as possible both immigrants, and such persons residing in this State as wish to avail themselves of the homestead act, to procure homes in the country thereby; also to assist in the sale and purchase of lands by furnishing blanks to land owners, to be filled with a correct statement as to the location, size, value, title, price, incumbrances, etc., of the tract to be sold, and which,
when sworn to by the seller and attested by the recorder of the parish in which said tract is situated, shall be kept on file at the office of the Commissioners of Immigration, open at all business hours to all parties wishing to inspect or copy the same, free of cost and all charges whatsoever.
Privileges of Immigrants from Other States.
3395. [Sec. 14.] The sphere of the bureau shall be mainly of the State, and immigrants and persons arriving in Louisiana from other States of the Union shall be entitled to the same benefits instituted by the creation of the Bureau of Immigration, without regard to race, color or previous condition; provided, however, that in no such cases bonds shall be exacted or commutation demanded.
IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. Memorial to Legislature.
3396. [R. S. 1738.] Whenever any person shall wish to accuse a public officer before the Legislature, he shall address the House of Representatives a memorial containing a brief exposition of the acts of such public officer which are supposed to be contrary to law; the memorial shall be sworn to and signed by him who presents it; and shall contain a list of the individuals who can give information relative to the facts set forth, with a notice of the several charges which each individual included in the list can substantiate by his testimony.
To be Referred to a Committee.
3397. [R. S. 1739.] Whenever a memorial of the nature of the one mentioned shall be submitted to the House of Representatives, it shall be referred to a committee, who, after having examined the memorial and the accompanying documents, shall cause the public officer accused, as aforesaid, with the witnesses for the prosecution, to be cited to appear at a subsequent period, either during the same session of the Legislature, or any subsequent session thereof, according as said committee may deem expedient, taking into consideration the time that the General Assembly still has to sit.
The accused may also, on his part, apply to the committee to obtain the necessary citations for the witnesses he may wish to summon in his defense.