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Immigrants from North, South America Continuing; British, French Decline

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Immigration from North and South America has kept pace during the first eight months of this year with last year’s record numbers but immigration from Britain and France is off by about a third, Jewish Agency chairman Louis A. Pincus reported today at a news conference. He said that 9,500 immigrants came from North America in 1970 and arrivals between Jan-Aug. 1971 were in the same proportion. The number of immigrants from Latin America has risen by 20 percent in the same period, he said. Pincus attributed the decline of olim from France to the shortage of housing units for large families. The Jewish community in France was almost doubled by arrivals from North Africa following Algerian independence, most of them families with many children.

Pincus added that the same explanation was not valid for Britain. He said there was simply “a receding of the wave after it reached its crest” and that next year might produce a new record. Immigration from the United Kingdom amounted to 1,300 in 1968 and 1900 last year. The 1970 figure from France was 5200 and from Latin America 4,500. Pincus was particularly jubilant over the immigration rise from the U.S. and Canada. He noted that last year’s figure included several thousand “yordim”–Israelis returning home after having spent seven or more years abroad who were granted new immigrant privileges.

This year the immigrant status has been withdrawn and the number of returning Israelis has decreased so that there is actually an increase of “genuine” olim from North America, Pincus said. The total number of immigrants who arrived up to the end of August was 26,250, almost identical to the number during the corresponding period last year. Last year’s total immigration was 42,000. According to the published findings of a research team, 8.7 percent of all immigrants leave Israel. Jewish Agency officials say one of the reasons is that many newcomers are unmarried and that until last year almost no provisions had been made for housing single persons. Pincus promised a crash program to remedy the situation.

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