Value of Immigrants to U.S. Stressed; but Legion Head Calls for Tighter Curbs

Attacking what he termed the “falsity” of the charge that the larger the number of immigrants admitted to the United States the smaller the share of jobs and goods for native Americana, Dr. James G. MacDonald tonight told the Town Hall of the Air that “immigrants like other workers, scientists and businessmen add to the total assets of our country by helping to create additional goods, additional wealth through their labor and talent.”

Opposing Dr. MacDonald, Col. Paul H. Griffiths, national commander of the American Legion, reiterated the Legion’s demand for the suspension of all immigration into the U.S. until at least Jan. 1, 1948. He said that “the proposal to admit displaced foreigners to our shores is a proposal to put them into competition with our homeless and jobless veterans for housing and employment.”

Col. Griffiths asserted that too many immigrants had been allowed to enter this country “too fast” in past years and had created an unassimilated group which “we are still trying to melt into good American citizens.” He urged that until the unemployment problem is solved, the foreigners here are assimilated, and we have made certain that those aliens residing here do not peril “our way of life and our national security,” no further immigration should be permitted.

Dr. MacDonald, who was a member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, pointed out that “according to a recent governmental estimate every adult industrial worker coming to this country represents an addition in our national wealth of $5000, On that basis, we can estimate that the United States has gained at least a billion dollars worth of trained workers and professional people in the persons of the 270,000 refugees who have come to this country since 1933. But who can estimate the value to our country of Albert Einstein and those other refugee scientists who played leading roles in developing atomic energy.”

Dr. Frank Kingdon and Rudolph Reimer acted as “interrogators” on behalf of Dr. MacDonald and Col. Griffiths, respectively. The broadcast was heard over the nation-wide facilities of the American Broadcasting System.

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