Jewish Groups Urged to Ask New Congress to Improve Immigration, Naturalization Laws

Jewish organizations were urged today to appeal to the 86th Congress, which opens tomorrow, to enact immigration legislation which would “correct the deficiencies” of the present immigration laws. The call was issued by the National Community Relations Advisory Council, the coordinating body of six national Jewish organizations and a number of local Jewish councils.

“The 85th Congress,” the NCRAC said, “enacted emergency measures to provide for the admission of refugee escapees from Communism and from the Middle East, and to regularize the status of the Hungarian parolees. These laws are commendable as humanitarian measures, but reflect a patchwork approach which is no substitute for the basic overhaul of the immigration code, which President Eisenhower and the platforms of both major parties have called for.

“The McCarran-Walter Law continues the racist national origins quota system for admitting immigrants, contains unnecessarily harsh deportation provisions, unfair distinctions between native-born and naturalized citizens, and inadequate review procedures. It continues to do irreparable harm to the foreign policy and to the domestic welfare of our nation.

“We call upon the members of our community organizations to urge the 86th Congress promptly after it convenes in January 1959, to enact legislation to correct these deficiencies, especially to adopt a substitute non-discriminatory formula, sufficiently flexible to cope with emergency refugee needs as they may arise,” the statement declared.

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