WASHINGTON (Jul. 4)
A bill which would permit the entrance into the United States over a two-year period of 140,000 to 150,000 regular immigrants and refugees who would otherwise be excluded–including Jewish refugees from Egypt–has quietly gained the backing of key Democrats here, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Senate leader from Texas.
Democratic strategists are now seeking Republican support for the bill, introduced last week by Senator John F. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. It is hoped that bipartisan cooperation will help steer the bill through Congress toward the end of the session without public hearings.
Major provisions of the Kennedy bill include the following: The approximately 60,000 quota numbers that go unused each year would be pooled and redistributed among countries where the demand exceeds available quotas; non-quota visas authorized by the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 that were not used when the act expired Dec. 31 would be made available to “refugee-escapees” from Communist-dominated countries and from the Middle East. The bill also would admit spouses, parents and minor children of recent immigrants without regard to quotas.
Kennedy’s bill represents a compromise plan. While it includes features of President Eisenhower’s immigration program, it stops short of making some basic changes the President had proposed in the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act