Efforts to ‘liberalize’ Congressional Immigration Body Fail

Chairman Emanuel Celler of the House Judiciary Committee has failed in an attempt to liberalize his Immigration Subcommittee.

Following the death last month of Chairman Francis E. Walter of the Subcommittee, co author of the discriminatory McCarran Walter Act, Rep. Celler tried to enlarge the Subcommittee. That would have enabled him to add members favoring elimination of biased features in the immigration laws.

Rep. Celler proposed at a caucus of the Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee that the Subcommittee be enlarged from five to seven members. Rep. Michael A. Feighan, Ohio Democrat, would have replaced Rep. Walter under the seniority rule and was known to share Rep. Walter’s narrow views on immigration. Rep. Feighan fought the move to expand the Subcommittee and gained enough support that Rep. Celler concluded that a vote of the full Committee would favor the Feighan position.

The construction of the Subcommittee and its chairmanship is deemed vital to the President’s new immigration bill. There have been reports that Rep. Celler also wanted to make himself chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee. But Rep. Celler stated today he had no intention of trying to assign himself to the Subcommittee.

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