Javits Protests Labelling of Jewish Visa Applicants

Rep. Jacob J. Javits today renewed his protest to the State Department against its consular offices requiring, in practical effect, persons of the Jewish faith to list their religion on visa applications. He made know that he was not satisfied with a visa division explanation that “it will be left to each individual applicant to state what he considers to be his race and ethnic classification.”

In his protest, Rep. Javits pointed out that according to information he had received, it is the practice in consular officers abroad to suggest to persons of Jewish faith that they insert their religious faith in the space provided in the visa application for “race and ethnic classification.” He said that if they do not make such insertion they are refused visas.

“To treat those of the Jewish faith as an ethnic classification could only be construed as discriminatory treatment and is reaching for a definition of the word ‘ethnic’ to accomplish it,” Rep. Javits said. “Expert scientific opinion does not regard those of the Jewish faith as an ethnic group and it should not be so regarded.”

“The State Department cannot avoid responsibility for what goes on in its consular offices by failing to specify or to list races and ethnic classifications which would meet the requirements of the McCarran Immigration Law,” he said. “The law does not go into effect until Dec. 24 and there is ample time to make such listing. Such listing would certainly not include Jews as an ethnic or race classification. The State Department’s insistence on its present position will make the already unfair and discriminatory McCarran Immigration Act even more unfair and discriminatory.”

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