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Canadian Jews Confer with Minister on Admission of Immigrants

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A delegation of representatives of the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society have met with Walter E. Harris, Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and told him that the Jewish community is willing to undertake full responsibility for reception, housing and employment of Jewish immigrants admitted under a Canadian entry program for skilled workers.

The JIAS pledges the facilities of its social services in receiving and providing temporary quarters for immigrants, teaching them languages and elements of citizenship and offering them professional social welfare guidance, the Minister was told. In addition, the delegation said, the services of the Jewish community at large–such as the “Y’s” and the vocational services–will also be available for the newcomers. Finally, the delegation said that if Canadian Consular offices overseas consider it desirable, the Joint Distribution Committee, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and JIAS will recommend and individually endorse such cases.

In a memorandum outlining this position, the Jewish delegation also raised a number of other points in reference to the immigration law and procedures which had worked adversely for some Jewish immigrants or prospective immigrants. Among these was a provision that required that a prospective immigrant must have dwelled at least two years in the country from which he was accepted for immigration. A number of prospective immigrants, notified of their eligibility under the Canadian law, left Israel where there were no facilities for undergoing Canadian civil examination and have gone to other countries where such facilities exist. This automatically excluded them for two more years.

The delegation reiterated the willingness of the Jewish community to accept responsibility for the welfare of 100 families of “hard-core cases” if the Dominion Government would admit them. On this matter and the two-year clause. Minister Harris discussed with the delegation various steps that might be taken to give relief.

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