State Dept. Drafting Report on Visa Regulations Labeling Jews

The Department of State is drafting a report on the practice of its Visa Division to list Jews as such on applications for American visas, it was learned here today. The report is being prepared in response to a protest and demand for information by Rep. Frances P. Bolton, of Ohio, a Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Mrs. Bolton said her attention had been called to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency report that the State Department’s Visa Division was labelling alien Jews seeking entry to the United States. The Congresswoman said that section 222-A of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act calling upon alien applicants for visas to state their “race and ethnic classification” was not intended by Congress “to be in any way applicable to Jews who, as a people, are considered indentifiable only on a religious basis.”

“It has been my understanding for many years that scientists have long since accepted the fact to be established many years ago that there is no Jewish ‘race’,” Mrs. Bolton stated in her letter to Secretary of State Dean Acheson. She emphasized that required designation of Jews as a race or as a special ethnic group would be a misinterpretation of section 222-A of the McCarran Immi ration Act.

The Washington Post said today that the “indicated gist of the State Department’s reply is that while there has been some discussion of the requirement against which Mrs. Bolton has protested, no decision has been made, and none will be made without clearing it first with Capitol Hill.” The paper quoted a State Department official as saying that “the Hebrew race” had to be identified under “existing” law. The newspaper reported also that regulations covering the classification of Jews and others under the McCarran-Walter Act “are now being drafted by officials of the State and Justice Departments, and the Budget Bureau.”

NEXT STORY