Chile may soon become another large center of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe to South America, like Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, according to the opinion given in the latest reports to the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society of America (Hias) from its representative in Buenos Aires.
In connection with the liberal immigration proposals which have been introduced in the Chilean Parliament, Joseph Lutzky, a member of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Committee in Buenos Aires, has left for Valparaiso, Chile, for the purpose of investigating possibilities for Jewish immigration in that country. A detailed report from Mr. Lutzky on the possibilities of Jewish immigration into Chile is expected soon.
The reports to the Hias about recent Jewish immigration into Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are very encouraging. Many of the newcomers to Argentina, it is stated, have not just remained in the big cities, such as Buenos Aires, but have gone into the interior of the country. The Argentinian government regards with great favor the spreading of the immigrants over the whole country and is giving every possible cooperation. Of special interest, declares the report, is the fact that the new arrivals are going into the Jewish agricultural colonies established by the Baron de Hirsch “Ica” funds.
“Most of the colonies stretching from Bosavilbassa to Clara are well to do,” the report states. “They have not only paid off their indebtedness, but have purchased the most up to date farm equipment, so that the production of the colonists is considerably increased. They own nice homes, have automobiles and radios, and the prospects for the future are very bright. In the smaller cities there is a lack of skilled workmen, such as tailors, house-builders, furniture makers, smiths, etc., and inhabitants in some places have to travel miles in order to get a decent suit.
“In the province of Corrientes there are 150 Jewish families who are economically well off, having established themselves either in trade or as skilled artisans. In the province of Chucka the Jewish settlers are also well to do. Those engaged in trade have big and solid businesses, and none of them engage in peddling or small trading as elsewhere. The Jewish colonists in these provinces, although they have passed through the crisis, are doing well and are very anxious that new immigrants, especially farm-laborers, should come into the district. There is room, however, for house-builders, mechanics, electricians, and similar skilled artisans.”
That Brazil is attracting Jewish immigrants in increasing numbers is shown by a statement in the report that the number of Jewish immigrants arriving in Brazil during the first six months of 1929 was double that of the same period during the previous year, and that since then there has been a steady flow of newcomers. During the first nine months of 1929, 3,240 Jewish immigrants were served by the Hias office in Rio de Janeiro. Employment was found for 1,336 individuals, most of them heads of families.
Jewish immigrants to Uruguay seem to settle now permanently in the country, declares the report. The number of new arrivals who were accustomed to leave in a little while after their arrival there for Argentina has considerably decreased. With regard to Uruguayan Jewish immigration the report says:
“In the first nine months of 1929, 1,275 immigrants were registered with the Hias committee in Montevideo, this being more than double the number of Jewish arrivals during the entire year of 1928. The efforts of the Montevideo committee to induce the Jewish immigrants to settle in the interior of the country are proving successful. The number of such who are establishing themselves in the provinces with the help of the Committee is constantly increasing. In this connection it is noteworthy to state that the government is becoming more and more friendly disposed towards the new arrivals owing to the activities of the Hias committee. Thus recently when the 180 pupils of the Spanish classes were publicly examined, the Minister of Education of Uruguay was present, representing his government. On that occasion he delivered an address in which he declared that the government was convinced that the Jewish immigrants were a desirable element and would be a great contribution in developing the country.”