A. J. C. Asks Dropping of Term “race” from Immigration Forms
Menu JTA Search

A. J. C. Asks Dropping of Term “race” from Immigration Forms

Download PDF for this date

The elimination of the term “race” from the new immigration application forms was urged by the American Jewish Committee in a statement submitted to the Present’s Special Commission on Immigration which is studying the effects of the McCarran immigration law which went into effect last week, it was reported by the A. J. C. today.

The report said that the American Jewish Committee pointed out that the term “race” is vague and lacks scientific validity, particularly when used of distinguish among the white peoples of Europe. Principal recommendations of the A. J. C. to the President’s Special Commission were:

1. That the section of the act requiring the immigrant to state his race or think group be eliminated by amendment or repeal:

2. That the “Dictionary of Races or Peoples,” drawn up by the Immigration Commission of 1910, and apparently still used by U. S. immigration authorities, be discarded as obsolete.

Modern research has cast great doubt on the existence of distinct European racial types either now or in the past, the A. J. C. said. The classification of European races used by the Visa Division of the State Department is based upon outmoded 19th century concepts, which have been shown to be fallible, the American Jewish Committee declared.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund