Jewish Organizations Seek Liberalization of Immigration Policy; Testify in Washington

The liberalization of the U.S. immigration policy in line with “the principles of humanitarianism and equal rights and the tradition of America as a haven for the oppressed and downtrodden of all lands” was urged today by Judge Simon H. Rifkind, of New York, testifying in behalf of a number of major Jewish organizations before a Joint Congressional Subcommittee holding hearings on pending omnibus immigration bills.

Judge Rifkind expressed strong disapproval of the McCarran immigration proposals. The proposed legislation, he said, is in effect, if not in intents, racially discriminatory and destructive of cherished American traditions of civil liberties. He spoke for the Synagogue Council of America, which represents all rabbinic and synagogical organizations in the United States; American Jewish Committee; American Jewish Congress; Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith; Jewish Labor Committee; HIAS; United Service for New Americans; and other Jewish groups.

The provisions of the McCarran Bill, chief piece of legislation before the Joint Congressional Subcommittee, contrast sharply with the principles upon which the Jewish organizations consider that good immigration legislation should be drawn. Outlining these principles, Judge Rifkind said that the McCarran Bill, in its present form “would eliminate by far the greater part, perhaps 75 percent, of our quota immigration.” He expressed opposition particularly to a section which, he said, arbitrarily assigns 30 percent of all quotas exclusively to parents of adult American citizens, 20 percent exclusively to spouses and children of alien residents, and 50 percent to needed scientists and technicians. “Very few immigrants are ordinarily found in those three categories,” he declared.

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