WASHINGTON (Sep. 4)
President Truman today appointed a special seven-man commission, to be headed by former Solicitor General Philip B. Perlman, to study inequities in the McCarran-Walter Omnibus Immigration Act.
Mr. Truman appointed the commission because of his displeasure over the passage of the act over his veto and the failure of Congress to appoint a commission to study immigration problems. He had suggested such a commission in his veto message. “I do not believe the matter should remain where the Congress left it, ” Mr. Truman said today.
Congress failed to act on the President’s request for a commission and today’s move was seen as the President’s reaction to what he considers the urgent need for a review of the immigration situation. Mr. Truman said that present immigration policies present “serious obstacles” to the solution of the world refugee and overpopulation problems.
Informed sources believe that President Truman may have had the State Department Visa Division’s practice of listing Jews as such on visa applications in mind when he said in his statement that “the problems of immigration policy grows more pressing and the inequities fostered by the new law require careful examination.”
The Perlman commission will study immigration policies and report by January 1, 1953 according to the President’s directive. Other members of the commission are: Earl G. Harrison, former U. S. Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, vice-chairman; Msgr. John O’Grady, secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Charities; Rev. Thaddeus F. Gullixon, president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of St. Paul; Clarence E. Pickett, American Friends Service Committee; Adrian S. Fisher, legal adviser to the State Department, and Thomas C. Finucane, chief of the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals.