Bill to Liberalize Immigration Introduced in House and Senate
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Bill to Liberalize Immigration Introduced in House and Senate

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Opponents of the McCarran-Walter Act today introduced a sweeping new immigration program in Congress to wipe out the “cruelty and inequity” of the existing law. The new legislation would implement the recommendations of the Perlman Commission which was appointed by former President Harry S. Truman to recommend changes in the controversial act which was forced through Congress despite a Presidential veto.

Sen. Herbert H. Lehman introduced the bill today along with Senators Hubert H. Humphrey, Wayne Morese, Tom Pastore, Theodore F. Green, James E. Murray, John F. Kennedy, and Warren Magnuson. In the House of Representatives, 24 members joined simultaneously in a similar move.

The bill envisions a basic new approach to immigration problems. It would do away with the so-called ” national origins quota system.” It would admit, without regard to race, religion, or national origin, all those who would make desirable citizens.

Sponsors of the Omnibus Immigration Bill issued a statement describing eight months of intensive drafting work which want into the measure. They said it carries out the pledges made last year by the spokesmen of both major political parties, to remove the inequities and discriminations from our basic immigration and naturalization laws.


The major defects in the McCarran-Walter Act which would be corrected by the new law include the national origins quota system with its discriminatory and racist features; the confused and overlapping administrative procedures which assign the Departments of Justice and State virtually duplicate jurisdiction over immigration; lack of adequate appeals and review procedures, and harsh, inconsistent and ambiguous standards of eligibility for admission.

Correction is sought also in the contradictory and inequitable standards of justice for aliens residing in the United States; absence of statutes of limitation on deportation; “blunderbuss” security provisions; “entrapment” provisions contained in the McCarran-Walter Act to trick persons into jeopardy of denaturalization and deportation proceedings; discrimination between native born and naturalized citizens, and manifold grounds not only for revocation of citizenship acquired by naturalization, but for deprivation of citizenship acquired by birth.

Its sponsors stated that the new law contains safeguards against abuses “either by aliens or by over-zealous bureaucrats.” The new law, they said, would abolish features of the McCarran-Walter Act “which have earned us so much ill-will from our friends and allies.”

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