WASHINGTON (Jan. 7)
President Truman’s recommendations for liberalization of the immigration laws to provide for admission of more displaced persons and war refugees, as proposed in his message to Congress, has roused little or no enthusiasm in Congressional circles. During the President’s reading of his proposals, the members of Congress in joint session sat in silence.
The majority of Senators and Representatives polled on the recommendations expressed themselves as sharply opposed. Senator Eastland of Mississippi, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which under the Congressional Reorganization Plan, includes the work of the former Immigration Committee, said that he opposed any immigration whatever for five years. Rep. Earl C. Michener, Republican, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which also now includes immigration, believes that the House will be “very reticent” toward any reduction in immigration barriers. Rep. Cox, Democrat, of Georgia, said that not even fifteen percent of Congress would agree to more flexibility in the immigration laws. Senator Pat McCarran, Democrat, of Nevada, ranking Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, is also said to be opposed to immigration law changes.
Senator Kilgore, Democrat, of West Virginia, a member of the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Pepper, Democrat, of Florida, support the President’s immigration proposals, as does Rep. Sol Blocm of N.Y., former chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Rep. Emanuel Celler, Democrat, of New York, has introduced four bills to facilitate admission of displaced persons and war refugees. Rep. Adolph Sabath of Illinois today introduced a bill which would permit the entry of a number of displaced persons equal to the total unused immigration quotas for all nationalities during the fiscal years ending June, 1947 and June, 1948. Rep. Arthur G. Klein is working on two bills to be submitted to the House in the near future.