The “national origins plan” was attacked at a meeting Tuesday night in Mecca Temple, held under the auspices of the State Council of the Stenben Society. About 1,000 Germans and Scandinavians attended the meeting.
The principal speaker was United States Senator Henrik Shipstead of Minnesota. He spoke of the unreliability of the figures used to determine the national origins quotas which was now admitted by the majority of the Immigration Committees of the Senate and House, as well as by the Cabinet officials.
Senator Shipstead made it plain, however, that because of the situation in Congress, there was a real danger, the Senate having passed a bill to postpone the proclamation by the President, which the amended law requires, and the House having substituted for this measure one carrying a clause repealing the national origin clause. Between the two, the Senator warned, there was danger of nothing being passed by either House in the seventeen days remaining of the session, in which case it would be incumbent on the President to issue the proclamation, and the national origins provision may become effective.
T. Langlan Thompson, a Norwegian, declared that all that those present asked was fair play and justice, and that they asked it, not as aliens,but as citizens of this country demanding their rights.
Maurice Deiches asserted that the clause had no bearing on the number of immigrants to be admitted, and denounced it as plainly discriminatory, asking whether the Declaration of Independence meant what it said or not, and how such a clause could be made to square with the traditions and precedents in United States history.
“To my dying day,” he said, “I will protest against insidious propaganda that would turn this country into a British principality and put a British viceroy in power in the United States.”
Resolutions were adopted urging Congress to see to it that the objectionable provisions were repealed. Theodore H. Hoffman presided. Judge Charles A. Oberwager also spoke.
Extension of the quota law to apply to immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America and revision of the “non quota” provisions to make it easier for mothers, fathers and other relatives of immigrants to enter this country, was advocated by Benjamin M. Day, Commissioner of Immigration of the Port of New York at a joint meeting of the Board of Directors and the Boards of Governors of the League for American Citizenship in the Town Hall Club.
“While recent immigration legislation has materially lessened the volume of aliens arriving at our ports,” he said, “it has increased in complexity the administration of the law.
“My first recommendation is one on which Congress has already taken action. It concerns the repeal of the National Origin Clause in the present law, which was postponed within the past week by Congress for another year. Such action is desirable since it gives a longer time for determining the proper basis for quotas.
“Second, I would favor the extension of the quota system to include Mexico and the Central and South American Republics. I see no reason why these countries should not have quotas as have the countries of Europe.
“Third, I would recommend the extension of the non-quota status to include mothers, fathers, husbands and minor children of citizens resident in the United States. Such non-quota status now applies only to wives and children under 18 years of age of said citizens. I also favor the legislation now pending, providing for the admission as ‘non-quota’ of certain relatives of certain resident aliens.
“Fourth, I would favor legislation giving the Commissioner power to issue warrants of arrest in certain cases.”