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Jjewish Organizations Urge Congress to Eliminate Racism from U.S. Immigration Laws

Elimination of racism from U.S. immigration law was urged upon Congress today by the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation league of B’nai B’rith, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans, and Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and twenty-seven Jewish community councils throughout the country.

Through their coordinating body, the National Community Relations Advisory Council, these organizations, in a letter to Senator Pat McCarran, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed the hope that the Senate would act favorably on the Judd Bill, already passed by the House, cutting out three “discriminatory provisions,” The bill would set up quotas for the first time “for natives of various Asiatic and Pacific Ocean territories hitherto barred from entering this country, and would remove all racial qualifications for naturalization.

In their letter, copies of which went to the majority and minority leaders in Both Houses and to the full membership of both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, the groups commended the Judd Bill as “a long step in the direction of freeing our immigration laws from discrimination on untenable grounds.” However, they declared, “everything in American tradition rebels against one provision of the bill which would classify certain Asiatic peoples by race or ancestry, regardless of their place of birth,” For example, they pointed out, “a person of Siamese ancestry born in a South American country would be charged to the quota for Siam.”

The groups also voiced opposition to a provision reducing immigration from the West Indies to 100 per year. The bill does this by setting up a quota of 100 each for all “colonies,” regardless of size. At present, colonial peoples come under the quotas of their parent countries, and some 80,000 West Indians have immigrated to the U.S. during the past 25 years.

The third provision considered discriminatory by the Jewish organizations is one requiring the wives and minor children of naturalized American citizens, now admitted as non-quota immigrants, to come in as preferential immigrants under the new quotas.

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