NEW YORK (Feb. 19)
Passage of the McCarran-Walter omnibus immigration bills now pending before Congress would draw an iron curtain around the United States, make a mockery of much of our humanitarian tradition and gravely impair our effort to give moral leadership to the freedom-seeking people of the world, Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, warned today at a meeting of the national executive committee of the organization.
Defeat of the McCarran-Walter bills, Dr. Goldstein told 75 members of the policy-making body, “is as inescapable an obligation as is resistance to aggression or to the threat of totalitarianism.” The measures provide more than a dozen new grounds for excluding future immigrants, more than 20 new grounds for deporting persons already legally admitted and innumerable grounds for depriving naturalized Americans of their citizenship, he pointed out.
“These proposals, if enacted, will draw an iron curtain around our boundaries,” Dr. Goldstein warned. “In effect, our doors will be virtually sealed to all but very narrow categories of immigrants. A legislative seal of inferiority will be placed on all persons of other than Anglo-Saxon origin. Millions of naturalized Americans will live in permanent fear of deportation or loss of citizenship for the most trivial and frivolous of reasons. No country can enact such legislation and hope that its voice will ever be heeded with respect or its declarations of noble intent regarded with anything but scepticism.”
REPORT ON PHILADELPHIA VANDALISM PRESENTED TO MEETING
The acts of vandalism and terror which have broken out in several sections of Philadelphia are part of a national pattern, Nathan L. Edelstein, a member of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations which is investigating these acts, declared in his report on the situation to the A.J.C. executive group.
“Whatever the specific conditions which have produced the Philadelphia incidents may be, we cannot blind ourselves to the fact that a pattern of resort to violence and intimidation is now developing throughout the country, “Mr. Edelstein, who is national secretary of the A.J.C., declared. “The incidents are no longer limited to any single region. They have occurred in the north and the south, the east and the west. Their victims have been youths and adults, white and colored, Jews and Christians.
“Whether there has been any communication between these groups is less important than the fact that private groups are resorting to the use of terror to intimidate those who are the object of their prejudices and hatreds. A spirit is abroad in the land which can lead to dangerous consequences. There must be both short term and long range action. Law enforcement officers must act with dispatch and efficiency to apprehend and severely punish the guilty persons. Long range educational and community programs must become more realistic and less vague.”