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Mexican Government Prepared to Nationalize Synagogue Property

Synagogue as well as church property in Mexico will be nationalized and declared the property of the Mexican nation in accordance with the Mexican constitution, the Minister of the Interior said yesterday in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent here. The government last week took steps to nationalize the properties of the Methodist and other Protestant churches, just as it had done formerly with the property of the Catholic Church.

The Jews of Mexico, comparatively few in number, and most of them recent immigrants, as yet own no synagogue property, conducting their services in rented halls. The government, however, does not intend to permit this in the future. It will give the Jews a few years time in which to build their own synagogues, until which time they will be permitted to conduct services in rented halls. The Sephardic Jews, however, have two synagogues which are worth about 50,000 pesos; after these are nationalized the Jews will be able to pray in them as formerly.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent also asked the Minister about the recent statement made by the Mexican Consul in New York with regard to the curtailment of Jewish and Chinese immigration into Mexico. The impression which the correspondent got from the Minister was that this statement has a foundation in fact, because he said that “this limitation also applies to Syrians and Lebanese.”

At the present moment all immigration into Mexico has been stopped. Two weeks hence there will appear a new immigration law which will make it more difficult for illiterates to enter the country. Only Mexican citizens will be able to bring in close relatives. Permits to bring in relatives and friends, which were issued up to May, 1930, have been annulled, and immigrants possessing such permits will not be allowed to land in Mexican ports.

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