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Roosevelt Promises to Guard Aliens’ Rights in Shift of Immigration Bureau

President Roosevelt today presented to Congress a reorganization plan to transfer the immigration and naturalization functions from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice.

In presenting the plan, he said: “The startling sequence of international events…has necessitated a review of the measures required for the nation’s safety. I had considered such an interdepartmental transfer for some time but did not include it in the previous reorganization plan since much can be said for the retention of these functions in the Department of Labor during normal times…

“This plan provides for transferring the Immigration and Naturalization Service from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice. While it is designed to afford more effective control over aliens this proposal does not reflect any intention to deprive them of their civil liberties or otherwise to impair their legal status. This reorganization will enable the Government to deal quickly with those aliens who conduct themselves in a manner that conflicts with the public interest…

“I realize that the Congress may adjourn before the termination of the 60-day period provided under the reorganization act, but in that event, and in view of the urgency of this matter, I hope that it will take such action as will permit this plan to go into effect.”