Bolivia Halts Entry for 6 Months; to Draft Selective Policy; Housing Shortage Cited

The authoritarian Government of President German Busch has issued a decree prohibiting immigration from Europe for six months.

The measure does not mark a change in Bolivia’s open door policy toward immigrants, the Government stated to the J.T.A., but is intended to provide a breathing spell for privation of adequate housing, marking out areas for colonization and drafting selective immigration laws.

La Nacion, new Government organ, has proposed that the visas of some 1,200 immigrants expected to leave Europe early in May for Bolivia be annulled. The paper also demanded that some 700 immigrants already en route for Bolivia be barred, but it was believed that President Busch would not take such action.

(The Jewish Immigrants Committee in La Paz is seeking to obtain admission for those immigrants on the high seas, Maurice Hochschild, Bolivian Jewish industrialist and head of the committee, cabled to the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association in Paris, according to a Paris dispatch. However, Mr. Hochschild asked that no more immigrants embark for Bolivia, and the HIAS-ICA advised affiliated committees steamship companies accordingly.)

It is held here that the temporary ban on immigration is not anti-Semitic measure and it is recalled the President Busch, in his April proclamation after assuming dictatorial powers, condemned racial hatred. “We note with sorrow,” he said at that time, “the appearance in the country of racist tendencies which are inadmissible in a country which now more than ever stands in need of strong and mighty unity in order to save itself from the disaster which threatens it.”

“This measure does not indicate a change in the Government’s open door policy of immigration, which has already brought into the country valuable foreign technicians and workers who are helping to fill the gap in many trades in our country. Nevertheless, we were obliged to halt immigration temporarily so that during the interim houses and living quarters can be built for the newcomers.

“During this period there will be prepared, in areas near the capital, adequate colonization centers, and a law will be drafted to facilitate the entry and protection of desirable immigrants technicians, capitalists and industrialists and to close the borders to another category whose admission into the country is not satisfactory to us.

The stopping of immigration for six months aims at bringing about that the new contingents which enter later will find places ready for them in the first series of housing projects.

“On the other hand, it must be emphasized that previous attempts at establishment of colonies based on immigrants have not brought the desired results. Before we can consider new immigrants, the Ministries of Immigration. Colonization and Agriculture will work out a plan whereby those who come to settle in our country should not remain in the cities as consumers but should go to those districts where they can become productive elements and assist agricultural progress of the country.”

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