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Eisenhower Asked to Lead in the Fight for a Better Immigration Law

The American Jewish Congress today called upon President Eisenhower to take leadership in the fight for the liberalization of the present immigration laws and “redeem his election pledge for the revision of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act.”

At the sametime, the AJC emphasized that the new emergency immigration law under which 214,000 aliens will be admitted to the United States within three years above the immigration quota is “a tribute to the President’s leadership.” A statement issued by the AJC reads:

“Passage of the emergency refugee bill, though unduly restrictive and falling short of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s original proposal, is nevertheless a tribute to the President’s leadership. It demonstrates what he can achieve, even in the face of determined opposition, when he chooses to exercise forceful leadership. It is our earnest hope that the President will be encouraged, by the successful enactment of this temporary measure which he had sponsored, to redeem his election pledge for the revision of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Law.

“While the emergency refugee measure may help to regain for our country some of the status we lost abroad through the enactment of the McCarran-Walter bill, we shall never fully undo the harm wrought by that legislation until its discriminatory provisions, and particularly the racist national origins system on which it rests, are repealed. President Eisenhower recognized that fact in his promise to undertake such revision.

“The present demonstration that public opinion and the majority in Congress will support forthright presidential leadership should spur Mr. Eisenhower to undertake the fundamental and inescapable task of bringing our immigration law into conformity with American democratic principles and ideals.”