WASHINGTON (Jul. 23)
President Truman will ask Congress to admit 402,000 displaced persons to the United States during the next two years in place of the 202,000 now called for under the Displaced Persons act of 1948, it was announced by the White House this evening.
The President also disclosed other modifications that he will ask the Congress to make in the present law to eliminate racially discriminatory provisions and requirements that will make the law difficult to administer. The chief discrimination “by reason of race or religion” it was pointed out in the White House statement, is the date limitation making only those displaced persons in the western zones of Germany, Austria or in Italy before December 22, 1945 admissible.
“Since most of the Jewish displaced persona took refuge in the western zones of Germany and Austria and in Italy after that date, and since that limitation also bars Catholic refugees from Yugoslavia and elsewhere who escaped after that date, the President proposes a substitute date–one urged by advocates of this legislation originally–April 21, 1947,” the statement said.
Another amendment which will be proposed by the President would eliminate the so-called “mortgaging future quotas” provision This provision, it was pointed out, would penalize “future generations of prospective and desirable immigrants seeking to enter the United States under the regular immigration quotas.”
Other restrictive features which the President would like to see eliminated pertain to the conditions which the applicant must meet before he is issued a visa. Conditions such as one requiring the applicant to have a Job prior to arrival, are “so rigidly framed,” the statement said, as to mate it extremely difficult for the displaced persons to comply with them.
The President “believes that the various social, welfare and religions groups which will handle the problem in the Halted States will be in a position to solve all such questions effectively and that it is both sound and wise to place confidence in the fairness of the religious and welfare groups, and in their ability to do the Job well. The representatives of many of them have indicated that they can solve the difficulties confronting displaced persons on their arrival in this country, but that it will be extremely difficult to proceed under the restrictive provisions unnecessarily introduced into the law at the last session,” the statement read.