Washington (Feb. 5)
Representatives of a number of patriotic organizations yesterday came out in opposition to the six bills of Congressman Dickstein which seek to lessen the hardship of the present immigration laws.
Chairman Albert Johnson of the House Immigration Committee announced yesterday at the hearing of the committee on the bill to establish a quota for countries on the American continent that all those who are opposed to Dickstein’s bills will soon have an opportunity to express their views before the commission.
The chairman then read a resolution which was adopted by twenty patriotic societies and which opposes any law which will “increase immigration into the United States and weaken other points of the law.” This resolution is especially opposed to the Dickstein bills.
When Chairman Johnson finished reading the resolution, Mr. Dickstein declared that he believes that “onehalf of the organizations whose names you have here on the list don’t understand and know nothing about the proposed laws.”
Frank Steele, secretary of the “Sons of the American Revolution,” admitted that he didn’t study the Dickstein bills, but said that his organization is against any law which may harm the 1924 immigration laws. His organization, said Mr. Steele, worked for the law, which it regards as “one of the finest laws ever passed by Congress.” The law is of far-reaching significance for the future of the country, he said, and “we are therefore against any sort of change in the law. If a change is necessary, it should be in the direction of further restriction of immigration.”
Mr. Steele was especially opposed to the bill which would allow immigrants who entered this country illegally before July 1, 1924, to gain legal entry. (The present law grants this privilege only to those immigrants who entered this country illegally before June 3, 1921). This bill, said Mr. Steele, would benefit only those immigrants who knew when they came here that they were entering this country illegally.
As to the bill which proposes to exempt parents of citizens from the quota, Mr. Steele said that they cannot be admitted outside the quota, since when their children came here they knew they would be parted from their parents, but came here nevertheless to better their condition.
Francis H. Kinnicott, president of the Allied Patriotic Societies of New York, declared that his organization is opposed to Dickstein’s bills. With regard to the bill to admit those who hold visas dated before July 1, 1924, Mr. Kinnicott said that if Congress was right in not wishing to help these people when their number reached 25,000, it is right in not wishing to help them when there are only 2,000 of them.
Kinnicott was opposed to a too-liberal law favoring illegal entrants and said that because of such a law a quarter of a million immigrants entered this country illegally between 1921 and 1924.