President Johnson Asks Congress to Relax Existing Immigration Laws

Lifting the bars of discrimination among immigrants to this country was strongly urged by President Johnson today in his State of the Union message to Congress. This was a clear indication of his support of legislation to alter the present quota system which is based on national origins.

The President, who devoted most of his speech to domestic affairs and stressed the need for civil rights, tax cut, expanded education legislation and the need for an all-out attack on poverty, devoted a special chapter to problems of immigration. The President said:

“We must also lift by legislation the bars of discrimination against whose who seek entry into our country, particularly those with much needed skills and those joining their families. In establishing preferences, a nation built by the immigrants of all lands can ask those who now seek admission: ‘what can you do for our country?’ But we should not be asking: ‘in what country were you born?’”

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