Munich (Oct. 7)
Immigration to the United States from the American zone in Germany, which has been proceeding very slowly since it began last April, is now almost at a standstill and there is little prospect that the situation will improve, according to a JTA survey of voluntary agencies and consular officials.
Gen. Joseph McNarney, ETO commander, recently admitted that only 5,000 persons left between April and September, making an average of about one thousand a month, in spite of President Truman’s directive last December providing for the admission of 3,900 a month, with DP’s getting preference.
Those directly connected with immigration work said that the chief obstacle was the shortage of trained personnel in the consulates and in the Army Intelligence Corps, which investigates every applicant.
The consuls pointed out that although the President’s directive provides for above-normal immigration, it does not provide sufficient appropriations. Therefore, there is a constant manpower shortage, and some employees are even being dismissed.
It is known that the consulates are only now processing applications submitted by the relief agencies in May. Even larger numbers of applications were submitted in June and July, which means that a very long period will elapse before the consular employees get around to handling the bulk of the applications.
Some idea of the situation can be obtained from the statistics revealing that only 305 of the German monthly quota of 2,336 departed in August. The Polish quota amounts to 587, but only 351 left, while only nine left out of the Rumanian quota of 34.
It is also learned that large numbers of immigrants are delayed in Bremen because of the many American repatriates waiting to return to the U.S. and the shipping shortage caused by the maritime strikes.
Many of the immigrants have been waiting there since August, causing numerous complications. Since the next boat is not scheduled to sail until Oct. 12, some pregnant women who passed their examinations in August may be refused passage until their children are born, due to a ruling that women whose pregnancy is more than six months advanced are not permitted to sail.