The New Republic comments as follows on the bill introduced in Congress this week asking that immigration restrictions be waived for German-Jewish refugees:
Introduction of a bill in Congress to reestablish asylum in this country for political, racial and religious refugees serves sharply to remind us of a heritage that America has lost. The mere fact that such a bill should be necessary seems strange in a country in whose founding and colonization dissenters of every kind played so large a part; but stranger still is the fact that the bill has slight chance to get through Congress or to be welcomed by the country if it did. The measure, introduced by Vito Marcantonio, alert young successor to the congressional seat of Mayor LaGuardia of New York, provides for the waiving of quota restrictions in the case of bonafide refugees, and authorizes United States Consuls abroad to grant special visas.
The refugees thus admitted would be required to register with the Department of Labor and report at stated intervals for a period of five years, after which, if conditions still made it dangerous for them to return to the country of origin, they would be permitted to remain here permanently. Genuinely undesirable aliens, mental and physical defectives, vagrants, prostitutes and criminals would be barred, but no shade of political or religious conviction would keep any person out. The American Civil Liberties Union and many other organizations are advocating the measure, and will surely have the support of all who like to look back to America’s traditional position as a place of refuge for the oppressed of the earth.
THE MAN WHO SELLS OUT-OF-TOWN PAPERS
The Christian Science Monitor, in an article devoted to the sale of out-of-town newspapers in New York, writes about Robert Bruckner, news vendor on Forty-seventh Street, as follows:
A man who knew only how to sell newspapers for pennies would be no good at the Out-of-Town newsstand in the heart of the theatrical district, at Forty-seventh Street in New York, between Seventh Avenue and Broadway. For the compass of what the world is interested in swings perpetually over the stand, and the man who is any good at the job of selling home-town papers to people who are lonesome for Tasmania and County Cork, for Delhi and Mandalay and the deep South and West-of-the-Water-Tower towns in Nebraska and Ontario and British Columbia must be able to box it expertly.
Robert Bruckner was born in the Middle West. His people were Galician Jews, who scorned to think a man can be persecuted into failure. His mother had a common sense that many a mother with a college degree could wish to have. Bruckner Sr. told his only son: “Whatever life may hold for you, tend to your education.”
Part of the education lay in being the observer in a Martin bomber over St. Mihiel. The rest, such schooling as came his way, reading in libraries in spare moments, and reading, too, from the endless continuous story of life itself.
Aside from business interest, there are the people who come to the stand in response to some more intimate emotion. Some of them come time after time; they become friendly with Bruckner and his associate (neither of whom owns the stand, though a casual observer would detect a courtesy and intelligence not always to be found in employes these days, and in which their employer, one Schultz, has a gold mine), and confide little bits about themselves as they wait for change, or tell about good news from home or a happy turn of personal affairs.