WASHINGTON (Aug. 22)
The House leadership is expected to arrange for a meeting Friday of the Rules Committee to provide right-of-way to the House floor for a compromise immigration bill which was overwhelmingly approved late Wednesday in the Senate and was tentatively acceptable to the House Judiciary Committee.
The compromise version contains a provision which revives 18,656 visas that were left unused under the Refugee Relief Act. Of these, about 14,000 would be available to refugees from communism and other political persecution in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, including Jewish refugees from Egypt.
The Senate bill is almost identical with a version pending in the House and sponsored by Chairman Francis E. Walter of the House Immigration Subcommittee. In an informal conference Tuesday, Walter agreed to steer the proposal through the House after it cleared the Rules Committee.
The Senate bill would admit about 60,000 persons next year in various categories. It wipes out the “mortgages” on national quotas carried over from the Displaced Persons Act. The Senate bill also permits entry of an unlimited number of orphans for adoption during the next two years; entry of some 30,000 relatives of refugees who came here previously; and tubercular relatives hitherto barred by health requirements. About 15,000 Russian-born immigrants who misrepresented their birth-place for fear of deportation also benefit from the bill, as do 400 specialists in various fields of extraordinary importance to the United States. Illegitimate children would have the same immigration rights as others.
Following passage of the bill in the Senate Wednesday night by a vote of 65-4, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson said he hoped Congress would pass “a more substantial bill next year.”