President Truman Discusses Ill Effects of New Immigrantion Law

President Truman today discussed the discriminatory effects of the McCarran-Walter Omnibus Act with members of the Advisory Committee to the U. S. Displaced Persons Commission, representing the major voluntary Protestant, Catholic, Lutheran and Jewish agencies in the field of immigration and resettlement of displaced persons.

The members of the committee reported that they found the President’s position to be sympathetic and “forward-looking.” They presented to him a joint statement supporting his suggestion for the establishment of a non-partisan committee of outstanding Americans to study the entire immigration situation now that the Displaced Persons Commission is going out of existence in two more days, with a view to recommending measures that “will re-establish the positive leadership of the United States in dealing with the world-wide migration problem.”

Arthur D. Greenleigh, of the United Service for New Americans, acted as spokesman for the committee. He pointed out that the McCarran-Walter Act was being felt by aliens through increasingly rigid action on the part of immigration inspectors. An effect of the Act, Mr. Greenleigh said, “has been to frighten other nations from accepting immigrants because of McCarran-inspired fear of ‘subversives’.” Roland Elliott, of the Church World Service, described the August 31st termination of the D. F. program as “arbitrary” and told how families had been separated when members were cut-off in the process of immigrating.

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