Washington (Apr. 3)
The Senate began yesterday its consideration of the immigration bill as reported by the Immigration Committee last week. The bill was read and Senator Colt, Chairman of the Senate Immigration Committee, made an extended speech explaining it and urging the adoption on the basis of the 1910 census. He dwelt on three points principally, the visa certificates, quotas and exempted classes outside of the quotas. He stressed the plan of the issue of consular visa certificates abroad as the important constructive feature of the measure.
He said that he did not oppose the 1890 basis for the reason that there are people in southern and eastern Europe who want to come here, but for the reason that there are 6,000,000 people here from southern and eastern Europe who want to become good American citizens. He sharply opposed any discrimination which would tend to brand 6,000,000 people as undesirables, which would raise racial prejudice and racial antagonism “that has wrecked more than half of Europe.” He said that to put the quota basis on naturalization would have the same results as to use the 1890 census basis. He opposed the plan of basing quotas on racial groups, terming it impractical.
Several amendments to the bill were considered and discussion on them will be continued today. It is not yet certain when a vote may be expected.
It is expected that the Johson Bill will come up for discussion in the House today or tomorrow, unless intervening legislation causes a delay. This would bring about the unique situation of two different bills on the same matter being simultaneously considered in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
A bill to legalize the admission of more than five thousand immigrants the majority of whom are Jews, who were admitted in excess of the quota, on humanitarian grounds, by the Department of Labor, during the past quota year, has been introduced by Congressman Dickstein of New York. Congressman Dickstein proposes that this bill be incorporated as an amendment to the general immigration bill. The passage of this amendment would permit all immigrants who were admitted into the United States for six months, or other temporary periods, on bond
to remain her permanently.