New Immigration Law Abolishing National Origins Quota System Enters into Effect

United States admission policies for refugees from Communist or Arab countries, some of whom are Jews, will remain unchanged although that category of immigrant is the last among the preference lists established by the Immigration Act of 1965 which went into effect today. The new immigration act abolished the quota system which had long favored migrants from Anglo-Saxon and northern European countries in favor of an elaborate order of preferences based on professional qualifications and work skills, with the highest priority going to immediate relatives of United States citizens or alien residents of the United States. It also established a maximum of 170,000 immigrants a year from countries outside of the Western hemisphere with no more than 20,000 numbers allowed to any country.

But the new act does not alter the refugee provisions of the law under which a majority of the Jewish immigrants have come to the U.S. during recent years, according to Gaynor I. Jacobson, executive director of the United Hias Service, the agency aiding Jewish immigrants to this country. Mr. Jacobson noted, in an article written earlier this year for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, that the refugee provision allows persons who have fled from Communist or Middle East countries to transit countries such as France or Italy to be admitted to the United States as conditional entrants. They may obtain permanent residence after two years, Mr. Jacobson said. He added that Hias is assisting clients in filing petitions for their relatives in the Eastern hemisphere and in finding jobs for applicants who can immigrate only under the Labor Certification Program. In order to qualify, applicants must obtain certification from the U.S. Department of Labor showing that there are insufficient American workers “able, willing, qualified and available” to fill the job openings sought by the would-be immigrants.

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