WASHINGTON (Jan. 14)
The Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization of the Senate today resumed its hearings on proposals to amend the present immigration laws.
Several bills to that effect have been submitted to the Congress, including the which was proposed by the late President John F. Kennedy and which would abolish the present national-origin quota system and increase the total number of immigrants be admitted to this country each year.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee this morning, Senator Chibors Pell (D.-R. I.) stressed the need for drastic revisions of what he described as are judicial and inequitable” immigration laws. He pointed at the aspects of discrimination implicit in the present quota. Senator Pell is co-sponsor of the bill proposed be the late President Kennedy as well as other bills to amend the present law, and he submitted a bill of his own on the subject.
Sen. Philip A. Hart, Michigan Democrat, and the Subcommittee’s official chairman, testified that discriminatory provisions against immigrants from Eastern and Southeast Europe have no place in the public policy of the United States.”
In written testimony sent to the Subcommittee, Rep. Emanuel Celler, New York Democrat, chairman of the House Juidciary Committee, stated that the national origins theory of the existing law amounts to “an expression of gratuitous condescension.
Sen. Kenneth Keating, Republican, of New York, ranking minority member of the Subcommittee, stated that the question of immigration laws was not a partisan matter. “There are many men of good will on both sides of the Aisle who feel that something needs to be done in this area to remove discrimination or injustice from the present immigration laws,” he said.
Chairing the hearings was Sen. Edward Kennedy, who also attended yesterday’s White House conference with President Johnson, and representatives of 36 organizations concerned with immigration and naturalization.
Strong support for the need to change the present immigration Laws appeared to be bipartisan as the hearings continue. Three more Senators testified in favor of the changes: Hiram Fong (R. Hawais), Paul Douglas (D. III.), and Hugh Scott (R.Pa.). The all strongly criticized the present national origins quota system and its implication of “more valuable” and “less valuable immigrants.