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Manufacturers Urge Liberal Immigration Laws

February 21, 1923
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Leaders in various American industries today appeared before the Senate Immigration Committee and urged the adoption of more liberal immigration laws, to permit a greater influx of laborers of whom they declared there is at present a shortage.

James A. Emery, general counsel of the National Association of Manufacturers testified before the Committee that the present immigration restrictions were proving a great burden on industry. The present tendency of immigration laws is toward “prohibition” rather than “restriction” he declared.

The Construction industry, R.C. Marshall, Jr. General Manager of the Associated General Contractors testified “will be in need of 300,000 more men than they were going to have this spring.” Representatives of the steel industry testified to a similar shortage of workmen. Representatives of the railroad lines said they would be in need of 300,000 more men also this Spring.

The testimony was given at the hearing of the immigration till introduced by Senator Colt of Rhode Island, which provides that the immigration quota be figured on the net instead of the inflexible 3% and that the Secretary of Labor have power to admit immigrants in excess of the quota when such necessity is made clear to meet certain industral requirements.

Following the hearing Senate leaders, it we said, decided that there would be no change either towards liberizing or making more drastic immigration laws at this session of Congress.

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