Washington (Apr. 5)
Both House of Congress are racing to finish the debates on their respective immigration bills, each differing from the other on the matter of the census to he employed as the quota basis. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Johnson, opening the debate on his bill, based upon the 1890 census, stated that the purpose of the bill was to keep “America for Americans.”
“It has become necessary that the United States cease to function as an asylum,” he declared…”This bill will restrict immigration greatly. It will regulate the flow of a limited immigration. It will prevent congestion at Ellis Island. It will decrease the number of deportations. It will protect the United States. This protection is our inherent right and duty.”
At the same time the Senate stated its debate on the bill of Senator Reed, based on the 1910 census, but making no provision for the exemption from the quota of close relatives. There was little headway made on the matter because there were constant interruptions about other matters, particularly general discussion on the political situation.
A new situation, however, was created by Senator Lodge’s support of the amendment to the immigration bill, sponsored by Senator Reed some time ago, proposing to limit immigration to 300,000 per year, beginning with 1926. This would allow a 1% quota based on the number of naturalized immigrants of each nationality in the United States in the year 1920, with a bonus of additional percentage to nationalities exceeding 50% naturalization. The amendment provides for the creation of special board to determine the facts for that purpose.
This plan is entirely different from the one now before the Senate Immigration Committee which provides for a 2% quota on the basis of the 1910 census, irrespective of the proportion of naturalization. In view of the fact that so prominent a Senator as Lodge is supporting Senator’s Reed’s amendment, it is believed, in well-informed circles here, that the amendment may win unexpected backing.
The fact that both House are debating separate bills with so many points of variance creates the possibility that the entire matter will not be acted upon in a final way before the session is over.