Closing of U.S. Consulates Traps Thousands with American Kin

One effect of the closing of United States consulates in Germany, Italy and occupied countries is to create a final barrier to the escape of thousands of relatives of American citizens, who are no longer able to obtain visas.

About 1,000 persons who already possess visas and are awaiting transportation will be the last to be rescued from Europe, according to a survey made by refugee-aid organizations here. It is considered improbable that the consulates, which must be liquidated by July 15, will be able to handle the hundreds of pending cases in which visas have been accorded but not yet issued. There will be no possibility, consequently, of these unlucky people receiving visas to joint their families in America.

This does not mean complete stoppage of emigration of refugees from Europe since limited outlets still exist in other overseas countries, to which a few hundred monthly may emigrate, but it means thousands will be deprived of their last chance to join their families, which must now remain broken up for years, at least until after the war.

Emigration of refugees now in unoccupied trance, and a small number in neutral countries, may still continue, if they are able to comply with Washington’s new regulations barring entry of aliens with close relatives remaining in German territory. Refugee groups here have been inundated in the last few days by pleas, from the world over for aid to relatives in Europe while this is still possible.

The 1,000 already holding visas include 400 in Germany, 100 in Vienna, 200 booked for early July sailing but not yet supplied with transit visas and 300 scheduled to sail today from Barcelona on the steamship Villa de Madrid.

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