Brith Sholom and B’nai Brith Representatives Score Linking of Immigrants with Crime

In statements issued here, A. Sigmund Kanengieser, Grand Master of Brith Sholom, and William M. Untermann, president of District Grand Lodge No. 3, B’nai Brith, both of whom reside in this city, severely condemn the recent remarks of Byron Uhl, assistant commissioner of immigration on Ellis Island, in which the latter linked immigrants with crime and racketeering.

“As the head of one of the great Jewish fraternal orders,” said Mr. Kanengieser, “the bulk of whose membership is comprised of men and women born on foreign soil, I feel that Commissioner Uhl’s statements linking our immigrant masses with crime and racketeering are totally without foundation and should be combatted effectively.

“The Wickersham Commission proved that in proportion to their number, aliens commit less crimes than nativeborn whites. This should silence Mr. Uhl. Nor is it necessary for me to cite those manifold accomplishments of our foreign-born to prove that they have been and are, among our finest citizenry.

“We are most familiar, of course, with our Jewish immigrant masses, and we know how hard they toiled and the privations they suffered to develop themselves and their families—not to become the criminals and racketeers of today—but the backbone in business and professionally, of this nation, which up to a short time ago held a beckoning hand to all of them.

“Let Mr. Uhl and others who look down upon our immigrant masses confine themselves to a more liberal interpretation of present-day immigration laws, which frequently work such hardship. I have only to cite the case of the youthful Rabbi Soloweitchik, who was almost barred several days ago when trying to enter this country, to prove my point.”

Mr. Untermann asserted that he regarded such statements from a government official as “a direct slap at millions of decent, law-abiding citizens who found this nation a haven of refuge.” “Why single out the bad when there are so many good?” he asked.

“B’nai Brith, as the oldest of Jewish fraternal groups, certainly resents such provocative statements, especially when without foundation. We have many foreign-born citizens in our ranks, particularly here in the East, and we have no apologies to make for their conduct or loyalties.”

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