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Government Committee to Draw Up Race Lists for Visas

An inter-departmental and inter-agency sub-committee on international migration statistics has been set up by the Bureau of the Budget to study requirements of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act for racial and ethnic data, it was learned today. The sub-committee will draw up the list of races and ethnic classifications required under the act.

Ten government departments and agencies, including the State Department, are represented in the sub-committee which will function under the chairmanship of Miss Helen Jeter, an official of the Office of Statistical Standards of the Bureau of the Budget.

The Bureau of the Budget, a part of the President’s Executive Office, is charged under law with responsibility for reviewing Federal forms. It was this bureau which previously notified the Anti-Defamation League that it could not order removal of questions concerning racial and ethnic data from visa application forms since there were statutory requirements for this data in the McCarran-Walter Act. The ADL has protested inclusion of a question requiring visa applicants of Jewish origin to identify themselves ethnically as Jews.

Edward B. Maney, new chief of the Visa Division of the State Department, notified Rep. Jacob K. Javits today that United States visa application forms “will continue to provide a blank space in which an applicant shall state his race and each visa applicant will also be required to state his ethnic classification in accordance with the provision of Section 22 (A) and (C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.” He said that the Representative’s protest against the labelling of Jews would be referred to the Budget Bureau’s sub-committee.

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