Menu JTA Search

Jewish Immigrants Fate in President’s Hands

Eight hundred Jewish immigrants on Ellis Island and their thousands of relatives in different parts of the country are awaiting with much trepidation the result of the appeal a delegation of the American Jewish Congress is today lodging in Washington with the Department of Labor and President Coolidge against the deportation decree hanging over the refugees’ heads.

The delegation is composed of Dr. Stephen S. Wise, President of the American Jewish Congress. Joseph Barondess, Adolph Stern, Max L. Hollander, Secretary of the Independent Order Brith Abraham, State Senator Benjamin Antin, Morris Weinberg, publisher of the Day, and Bernard G. Richards, Secretary of the Congress. They will be assisted in Washington by Isaac Hershfield, representing the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, who has been instructed by President John L. Bernstein to advise the delegation.

One of the arguments used in favor of the immigrants ordered for deportation as excess quota will be that two years ago hundreds of victims of the quota were permitted to Land by an exceptional ruling based on clemency for the wanderers.

Instances of the cruelty and hardship involved in the proposed deportation are being cited by friends of the immigrants. One of the most pathetic case is that of Louis Zwinitski of Cleveland whose son was wounded in action with the American army in France. Zwinitski’s wife was killed in the pogrom in Kiev. His two older children died shortly after, it is said, of grief over their mother’s death. His two daughters aged 11 and 16 were found by the father only after four years of inquiry and search. He finally succeeded in having them bought on the Majestic, coming from Cleveland to meet them here. The children were found to be in excess of the Russian quota and were ordered deported together with the other quota victims on the Majestic. It is said that there is no one to care for them on the other side whereas their father and two brothers in this country are eager to assume responsibility for their care.

With the fate of the deportees still undecided, Washington press dispatches report President Coolidge approves of the proposed ### restricting immigration to 2% yearly of the number of nationals of the various countries in the United States in 1890, as compared to the present 3% based on the 1910 census. Chairman Johnson of the House Immigration Committee has reported after a talk with President Coolidge the Committee will be called to meet next Monday to begin work on the new immigration bill. Mr. Johnson estimates immigration would be cut to 340,000 annually, as compared

to the 350,000 under the present law.

Immigrants admissable under the proposed bill will be practically limited to the northern and central European countries, to the substantial exclusion of nationals of Eastern and southern European countries whence the Jewish and Italian immigrants have come.

NEXT STORY