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51 Witnesses Heard by President’s Immigration Unit in New York

A total of 51 witnesses were heard by the President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization during the two days it held public hearings here. Of that total only two favored retention of the current immigration policy and the McCarran Act while the remaining 49 called for basic changes in the national origins quota policy and in the McCarran Act. The Commission proceeded today to Boston to take further testimony.

Rep. Jacob K. Javits of New York, one of the witnesses at the concluding session yesterday, called for repeal of the McCarran Act, which was passed over President Truman’s veto last June. He also urged enactment of legislation to permit the unused portion of one foreign nation’s quota to be applied to over-subscribed quotas of other countries, and legislation to admit 100,000 immigrants a year for the next five years above the current quota totals.

A statement submitted by a Committee of Editors of American Foreign Language Newspapers attacked the McCarran Act for mortgaging future quotas of countries of origin of DP’S admitted to the U.S. since 1948, for establishing distinctions between the rights and responsibilities of naturalized and native-born citizens, for “outraging” public opinion in countries of the “free world” and for “playing into the hands” of Communist propagandists. Urging liberalization of the immigration laws, the committee said that if the quota law must remain on the statute books, a new basis for allocation of quotas should be established. Solomon Dingol, managing editor of the Day, represented the Yiddish language press on the committee.

In an editorial comment on the commission’s hearings, the New York Times today urged Congressional action “to remedy the outrageous wrongs that, already existing in the old law, were perpetuated and intensified in the McCarran Act.”

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