Menu JTA Search

Green Recommends That Federation Support Complete Immigration Bars

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Support for a bill introduced into Congress on March 4, 1927, by Representative Albert Johnson, Chairman of the Immigration Committee, aiming at almost complete restriction of immigration was recommended by William Green, President of the American Federation of Labor at its 47th annual convention which opened here today.

The report of the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor on the subject of immigration reads as follows:

“More than 100 bills, most of them having for their purpose the breaking down of the immigration law, were introduced in both houses of Congress. Those who seek to increase the number of aliens coming into this country under the non-quota class openly admit that they are opposed to any restriction at all of immigration. It is therefore natural to presume that they believe by appealing to the sentiment of the people of the United States for impractical legislation in the interest of the wives and children of aliens that it will be a stepping stone to changing the whole policy of the United States regarding immigration.

“An amendment to S. J. Res. 82 providing for the admission of 35,000 wives or unmarried children under eighteen years of age of aliens legally admitted to the United States prior to July 1, 1924, for permanent residence and who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, was adopted in the Senate. When the amendment reached the Immigration Committee of the House it was stricken out and a new clause inserted which provided that preference up to sixty per cent, should be given in the quotas to the wives and unmarried children under twenty-one years of age of aliens lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. It also provided that the President might declare ineffective by proclamation the section of the immigration law giving preference in any year to skilled agriculturists and their wives and children, thus permitting 90 per cent, of the quota for any nationality to be used by the wives and unmarried children under twenty-one years of age of such aliens. The amended bill passed the House, March 26. 1926, and was considered by the Senate, March 4, 1927. The Senate refused to accept the amendments and the bill went to conference where it died by the adjournment of Congress the same day.

“S. J. Res. 152, to postpone for one year the enforcement of the national origin provision of the immigration law, became a law (Public Res. No. 69). Much criticism has developed toward the national origin proposal and it is doubtful it will ever be enforced. It provides that the annual quota of any nationality shall be a number which bears the same ratio to 150,000 as the number of inhabitants in continental United States in 1920 having that national origin bears to the number of inhabitants in the Continental United States in 1920.

“S. J. Res. 128, restoring to citizenship 69 Hindus whom the Supreme Court has decided were not eligible, failed to pass. This bill was opposed on the ground that if enacted into law it would be a recognition of the claims of other Asiatics who had been deprived of citizenship. The California State Federation of Labor contended that if the Hindus were restored to citizenship the same privilege would have to be extended to 400 other Asiaties in that state.

“March 4, 1927, Representative Johnson of Washington, Chairman of the Immigration Committee of the House, introduced a bill having for its object almost complete restriction of immigration. It provides that after July 1. 1928, until June 30, 1933, the immigration quota shall be reduced 10 per cent, per annum, and that after that period the annual quota of any nationality shall be 1 per cent, instead of 2 per cent as at present of the number of foreign-born of such nationality resident in the continental United States as determined by the United States census of 1890. The minimum quota of any nationality would be reduced from 100 to 50. During the fiscal years of 1929 and 1930 quota numbers equal to one-half of the reduction authorized for such fiscal years would be set aside for the unmarried children under 21 years of age and wives of aliens lawfully admitted to the United States, married prior to July 1, 1924; that after July 1. 1928, the maximum quota for any country shall be 25,000. Chairman Johnson in statements on the floor of the House and in public addresses declared that he will press this bill for passage. The Executive Council believes the American Federation of Labor should approve the bill as it is a long step in advance in restricting immigration and at the same time would solve the problem of reuniting families.”