Inter-american Congress Excludes Racial Discrimination in Post-war Immigration

The Inter-American Demographic Congress called for the purpose of discussing post-war immigration to countries of the Western Hemisphere closed here last night after adopting a decision to exclude racial discrimination in immigration, but leaving a loophole by suggesting that each country on the American continent is entitled to practice selective immigration and admit people with “preferred characteristics.” Seventy delegates from 19 countries, including the United States, participated.

The congress was greatly impressed by the statement made by one of the United States delegates, Howell Reed, who announced that President Roosevelt is determined to outlaw racial discrimination. The delegation from Argentina was the only group which stressed that the immigrants must be chose on a racial basis.

The congress established an interim committee of seven members which will function until an Inter-American Demographic Institute is established. The Institute may possibly set up a branch in Europe to handle the shipping end of the immigration. A study of how post-war immigration to the American continent is to be financed will be prepared by the interim committee which will meet in Mexico on March 1, 1944. The committee has no executive powers and its functions are mainly technical. It was the opinion of all delegates at the congress that post-war mass immigration from Europe to countries in the Western Hemisphere will be possible only if plans for regulating this immigration are drawn up in advance.

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