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Senator Urges Eisenhower Not to Seek Changes in Immigration Law

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President Eisenhower was urged today by Senator Arthur V. Watkins, chairman of the joint Congressional Immigration Committee, to seek no changes in the present immigration law. The efforts of Senator Lehman and others to secure changes in the McCarran-Walter Act were termed by Sen. Watkins “largely political” moves, in a letter the sent to the President.

In April, President Eisenhower asked for a Congressional study of the operations of the McCarran-Walters Act looking toward a “fundamental revision” of the statute, about which he said he had received “a great many complaints.” Sen. Watkins, who heads the Congressional committee undertaking this study, wrote that he believes the special quota immigration act passed at this year’s session to admit 214,000 European refugees and others “takes care of population pressure areas as far as we probably can go in the next three years.”

“It seems to me, Mr. President,” Sen. Watkins wrote, “that the Administration’s position should now be that we have taken care of any emergency matters connected with immigration and that we should follow the program set up by Congress and study the McCarran-Walter Act so that when the present emergency act terminates we will be in a position to suggest revisions in the permanent act if they are required.”

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