by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent
The “Synopsis of the War” as reported in the Oregon Statesman:
Again the great battle in the west seemingly has come to a virtual standstill. There still is fighting in the northern part of France, where the French war office reports the capture of a new trench in the vicinity of Perthes, but apparently the Germans have ceased, for the time being, the impetuous advance which in the last few days gained for them considerable territory.
A late report from Paris says a heavy cannonade has been heard on the Swiss fronts near Basel which probably an indication of heavy fighting in the Alsace province.
A Rotterdam paper estimates the British losses in France and Flanders from January 13, as 190 officers and 6200 men.
The expert of the Berlin Tageblatt estimates the French losses in the three days fighting in the Soissons district total 30,000 men, but the French deny any such casualty list. Berlin says the fighting around Soissons is regarded by German troops as the greatest success they have gained in France for three months.
An editorial in the Oregon Statesman discussed “The Rights of Aliens:”
It is insufficiently realized by the American public that alien residents have definite rights under our constitution and our international treaties. The matter has been forcibly brought to the public’s attention by a federal court decision to the effect that the new Arizona anti-alien employment act is illegal.
Arizona in this law. adopted by popular vote in the November election, had gone to the extreme in discriminating against non-citizen workmen, providing that no employer with five or more men on his payroll might hire more than 20 percent aliens. The measure was apparently directed particularly against cheap Mexican labor. There came protests, however, from Great Britain and Italy, on the ground that the law violated their treaty rights. The court, without emphasizing the treaty aspect of the case, declared that the act deprived alien residents of the right to labor which has recently been interpreted as a property right by the supreme court, and is therefore guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States. It seems reasonable to expect that the supreme court itself will uphold the decision of the lower court.
Such discrimination as that aimed at in Arizona would obviously be mischievous if applied elsewhere, particularly in the great industrial centers. It would mean that most immigrant workmen would be in danger of starving while they waited for their citizenship papers. It remains now to see whether the decision of the court can be carried further, and result in declaring unconstitutional such laws as that of New York forbidding the employment of alien labor on public works.