NEW YORK (Mar. 20)
The West Coast evacuation orders for “enemy aliens” will not be applied, now or in the near future, to aliens of German and Italian nationalities, Albert Abrahamson, executive director of the National Refugee Service, today told a representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the basis of inquiries made by the NRS with the proper authorities. He added, however, that this policy may be altered by military considerations.
“So far as can be learned,” Mr. Abrahamson stated, “no plan for removal of either of these groups is contemplated at the present time. It is impossible, however, to give assurances that no evacuation of German of Italian “enemy aliens” will take place, as military considerations may alter the present indicated policy, not only on the West Coast but in other parts of the country as well.”
Emphasizing that the National Refugee Service is maintaining close contact with the authorities on the problem, Mr. Abrahamson declared that while the evacuation of Japanese aliens and American citizens of Japanese origin from the West Coast areas already designated will begin soon, there is a definite possibility that special hearing boards there will consider exemptions from the evacuation regulations of Germans and Italians who are classified as aliens of enemy nationality. “Many statements attesting to the loyalty to the United States of the refugees and others falling within these categories were read into the record of the hearings of the Tolan Congressional Committee recently held on the West Coast and have been offered in Washington as possible ground for exemption,” he said.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE TERMED AS ACCEPTABLE
Commenting on the report submitted by the Tolan Committee to Congress yesterday, Mr. Abrahamson stated that the recommendations contained in this report are more or less acceptable. The entire problem of evacuation of “enemy aliens” from military areas in the interest of national security is now less acute than before as far as the refugees from Germany are concerned, but it still requires close watching, he said.
The National Refugee Service was informed by the Department of Justice that refugees accepting government funds for evacuation purposes would not render themselves liable to deportation, since they are not considered as having become a public charge. “Assistance given to persons required to evacuate military areas should not be looked upon in any sense as charity, but as the extension of governmental assistance in carrying out a necessary military project,” the NRS was told.