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Portuguese Government Grants Legal Status to All Refugees As New Year’s Gift

The Portuguese Government has expressed its sympathy with persecuted Jews by issuing a New Year order under which all refugees who entered the country illegally, whether they are at present in hiding or in prison, are to be given full legal status as transit travelers and will be allowed to live unmolested in the coastal village of Ericeria.

The order is not restricted to any particular race or religion, and comes as great relief to several hundred Jews who escaped – many of them on foot – from-Nazi-held territories and crossed the Portuguese frontier illegally. It has received the full support of the President. The refugees will be maintained in Ericeria with the aid of relief organizations supported by the Joint Distribution Committee.