WASHINGTON (Aug. 5)
Attorney General Robert Jackson today warned against creating a refugee problem in the United States by anti-alien crusades, as he opened the Federal-State Conference on Low Enforcement Problems of National Defense here.
Expressing his conviction that most aliens are loyal and grateful for American hospitality, he said that “in times like these they must conduct themselves so as to merit our trust and confidence.” He added that the Federal Government should handle all alien legislation and there was no need for State and local governments to enter the field.
“There are grave responsibilities,” the Attorney General said, “in handling these 3,500,000 aliens. Hateful treatment or oppression would tend to make sullen enemies of those who wish to be good Americans and would make them a potential fifth column. I want to appeal to you all to see that the legitimate identification, registration and control of aliens does not become a hateful anti-alien crusade. Some employers are wondering if they should discharge all aliens. Our answer is ‘certainly not loyal and faithful ones. We must not create a relief or a refugee problem in America by denial of a chance to earn a living or by unreasoning boycotts or discriminations.”
Jackson said the F.B.I. is keeping under “steady surveillance” individuals and groups within the U.S. who are so sympathetic with the designs of foreign dictators as “to make them a likely source of law violation.” This surveillance does not include watching legitimate business, labor and religious movements, he said.
He warned that an effort was being made in this country, as it was in France, to “soften” the people as a preparation for invasion, “to divide the people in order to conquer them, to create confusion in order to sabotage their morale, to discredit the nation’s leaders and to make it ineffective as a competitor or weak as an enemy.” These efforts are “frequently directed towards persons who are in high places and who wield great influence,” he warned.