Truman Signs Bill Permitting Aliens to Remain in U.S. After Seven Years Residence

President Truman today signed a bill giving the attorney-General authority to suspend deportation proceedings against aliens who have demonstrated during seven years residence in the United States that they can become law-abiding citizens.

The bill would give relief to certain aliens or refugees who may have entered the country illegally and face deportation. If they have American citizen dependents, or if they have resided continuously in the United States for seven years or more, and can prove “good moral character” for five years, the Attorney-General may then recommend to the Congress that their deportation be stayed. Upon passage of a Congressional resolution, the deportation proceedings will be waived and they will be granted the right to remain permanently in this country.

Meanwhile, the Senate Immigration Committee will begin open hearings next week on an investigation of the immigration and naturalization procedures of the U.S. Government. Every phase of the present immigration set-up will be studied, a committee member said today.

Among the 100 to 150 organizations that have been invited to testify before the Committee are the Jewish Welfare Board, B’nai B’rith, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans, Synagogue Council of America, United Synagogue of America, National Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah, American Council for Judaism, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Conference, American Jewish Congress, and the Council of Jewish federations and Welfare Funds.

Also invited to testify were the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, both of which traditionally oppose any liberalization of U.S. immigration laws. The investigation was sanctioned by a Senate resolution passed in July, 1947. It has to be completed by March, 1949.

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