One of the reasons why the Federal Government has not yet announced expected changes in immigration policy to permit refugees from persecution in Germany and other countries to enter the United States under liberal conditions may be found in the recent nation-wide agitation against letting down immigration here.
Some amendments to existing immigration laws are pending in Congress. These are designed to humanize the present immigration laws and make them more flexible in their application to individual cases. This would be done without interfering with the intent of existing laws.
The whole question of immigration legislation is being discussed pro and con. Editorial expression in the press of this country indicates that the only changes that would be generally tolerated would be those designed to relieve hardship in individual cases without any general letting down of the bars.
Because of the delicate situation, the Federal Government probably will take no immediate action toward facilitating entry of refugees into this country. One of the fears is that if such a move were taken, it might be interpreted as an important step toward lifting the bars on immigration. This, it is thought, would kill the chances for favorable Congressional action on pending amendments to immigration laws.
Of course such an interpretation would be a misinterpretation. Nevertheless, great injury would be done. For this reason, easing requirements to facilitate entry of refugees should not be expected before the present session of Congress adjourns.
Among the few buildings for which the late President Coolidge laid the corner stone is the Washington Jewish Community Center. This was back in May, 1925. Now the community center is planning a special “anniversary week” celebration to begin May 30. During the week of this celebration special events have been scheduled fittingly to commemorate an occasion which marked the construction of Washington Jewry’s recreational and cultural center.
Radio station WOL in Washington, received a pointed letter the other day from the office of Representative Herman J. Koppelmann of Connecticut. The letter, written by Miss Dorothy R. Leavitt, secretary to the Connecticut Congressman, protested a recent talk over that station by Representative Louis T. McFadden of Pennsylvania, in which an attack was made on Jews.
Portions of the letter read: “Recently Representative McFadden of Pennsylvania delivered an address over your station, criticizing the present administration, and concentrating his attack on the supposed influence of public spirited citizens who happen to be of the Jewish nationality.
“Disregarding for the moment the questionable basis for Mr. McFadden’s criticism, his address, an invective against the Jews, is amazing to me, in that it was permitted to be broadcast over any radio station in this country.
“Neither Mr. Kopplemann nor myself can understand how a station as prominent as WOL could disregard the libelous character of Mr. McFadden’s address and permit it to be broadcast. I am aware that it is not always possible for station officials to edit programs before they are broadcast, but from my own experience some station official is cognizant of the general import of a program about to be given, and I am therefore surprised that the significance of Mr. McFadden’s talk escaped your refusal to broadcast it.
“You must know that there is considerable agitation to curb the auto-development of radio, even to placing the industry under the control of the government, as is the case in many foreign countries.
“Yet, if attacks like Representative McFadden’s are to be fostered through the connivance of our radio stations, how can we oppose the plans for strict supervision of radio programs?”
In her letter Miss Leavitt requested a reply from WOL officials. Instead of a reply she has received two telephone calls from subordinates, who offered excuses and explanations. Miss Leavitt insists that she must have a written reply from a responsible official. This has been promised her. When she receives it, that letter should make interesting reading.