BUENOS AIRES (Oct. 30)
Immigration authorities here suddenly clamped down a twenty-four hour guard on the 35 Jewish refugees confined in the “Hotel des Immigrants,” Argentina’s Ellis Island, for fear that they would commit suicide because they face deportation to Europe on November 12. Another 60 Jewish refugees who arrived here yesterday aboard the Cabo de Hornos are not being permitted to land and also face being returned to Europe.
Threats of suicide came from the 35 refugees when they learned that Acting President Ramon Castillo had reiterated his refusal to allow the immigrants to stay in Argentina, despite pleas by Jewish and Christian welfare here and even an appeal by his wife. The authorities faced with the prospect of world-wide disapproval if any group of the refugees, in their desperation succeed in harming themselves, are taking no chances of leaving them unguarded for a single moment.
Meanwhile Jewish leaders here have suggested that Great Britain offer refuge to the immigrants in one of its colonies or dominions, with expenses to be defrayed by the Jewish relief organizations. The Argentine press and public opinion is wrought up at the prospect of these 35 being sent back to almost sure death in concentration camps.
For the refugees their present plight is the climax of a nine months odyssey. They left France for Brazil in January on the steamer Alsina but were halted at Dakar and kept in concentration camps for five months. They finally obtained passage to Brazil, but by the time they arrived there their visas had expired and they were denied admittance. The ship continued onward to Buenos Aires where the refugees were kept on board eight days before being allowed to land. Finally permission was granted for them to stay three months until another place of refuge for them could be found. However, Acting President Castillo’s new order for them to return on November 12 leaves them facing deportation before permission can be secured for them to land elsewhere in America.