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Eisenhower Lauded for Efforts to Amend Bill on Refugee Immigration

President Eisenhower was praised today by Senator Arthur V. Watkins, Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for his efforts to amend the Refugee Relief Act of 1953. The Senator said that the President has done everything he could to obtain Congressional action to amend the Refugee Act.

Sen. Watkin’s statement came in reply to a charge voiced earlier by Senator Harley Kilgore, a Democrat, that the Eisenhower Administration had failed to present any positive recommendations on basic immigration policy to the Congress and the people. Sen. Kilgore ruled out President Eisenhower’s recommendations to amend the Refugee Relief Act and concentrated solely on the more fundamental McCarran-Walter Act.

In lauding Republican efforts, Sen. Watkins, at the same time, criticized the Democrats for failure to report out of committee a bill to speed immigration under the Refugee Act. The Senator said that the Democratic Party had control of the committee handling immigration matters and “undertook half-heartedly” to bring the bill out.

In answer to Sen. Kilgore’s charge more directly, Sen. Watkins explained that after Mr. Eisenhower had been sworn in as President, he suggested that a study be made of the McCarran-Walter Act in an effort to improve it. But, Senator Watkins said President Eisenhower’s suggestion could not be carried out because of the opposition of the late Senator McCarran who would not allow funds for the committee or a staff to study the operation of the act.

Senator Watkins did not indicate why the Eisenhower Administration had not presented positive recommendations on the McCarran-Walter Act to the Congress during the most recent session, which adjourned earlier this week.

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