NEW YORK (May. 20)
The passage of legislation which would permit the admission of “a limited number of sick, aged and infirm” refugees to the United States was urged today by Scott McLeod, administrator of the U.S. Refugee Relief Act program and head of the State Department’s Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs. He spoke before a gathering at United Hias Service headquarters marking the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first DP ship in this country.
Some 200 of the 800 persons who arrived aboard the ship–S.S. Marire Flasher–Beard Murray I. Gurfein, president of the United His Service, review the ten-year period of post-war immigration into the United States. He revealed that a survey made by United Hias on the integration of 102 Jewish refugees who came here as adults aboard the Marine Flasher ten years ago has established that they settled in 19 states and that-98 of them had become American citizens; of the remaining four, three had died and one could not take his exams because he had become blind.”
The survey further showed that of the 56 who had arrived unmarried, 48 are now married, and that a total of 88 children has been born to the group of 102 included in the surrey. As for the integration of the first DP’s. Mr. Gurfein stated that the United Hias survey revealed that of the 99 initial DP’s still living a total of 40 are self-employed and the rest are either employees, housewives or dependents. Their average earnings are about $100 per week, and some earn $150 to $200 or more. The group present, all of them former victims of Nazi persecution who were resettled in the United States by the predecessor agencies of United Hias Service, included carpenters, physicians, dentists, teachers, salesmen, merchants, manufacturers, entertainers, musicians, managers, purchasing agents and the like, Mr. Gurfein reported.
Commemoration certificates attesting to the “fine integration and citizenship” of the first DP’s were presented to the celebrants by Abner Bregman, chairman of the United Hias executive committee, who has been active on the immigration and resettlement scene for 21 years. “I have been associated with the refugee and DP immigration programs since their inception and I want to say to you that never, in all that time, have we had the slightest reason to be sorry that the gates of our country have been opened to those who came from the Old World seeking peace and security, “he told the assemblage.
The ceremony was also attended by Ugo Carusi, former U.S. Immigration Commissioner who organized the first shipload of DP’s under the President’s Directive of 1945 to give visa preference to DP’s; George L. Warren, State Department Advisor on Refugees and Displaced Persons; Edward J. Shaughnessy, New York district director for the Immigration Service, who admitted the first DP’s in the U.S., and James P. Rice, acting executive director of United Hias.