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Davis Refuses to Amit Execess Quota Immigrants

November 21, 1923
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The delegation of the American Jewish Congress failed to obtain a definite assurance from the Secretary of Labor Davis regarding the several hundred Jewish immigrants detained on Ellis Island since the beginning of the month in excess of the Russian quota. The only promise made by Mr. Davis was that special consideration would be given the cases involving extreme hardship. No information could be obtained as to the number of such cases or the factors necessary to be included within this definition. The sentiment of the delegation was pessimistic when seen following the interview with Secretary Davis. They felt that hardly more than 10 percent, can be saved from deportation under the Secretary’s promise to have regard to the hardships involved.

Friends of the immigrants cling to the hope that the expected visit of Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee, to President Coolidge and Secretary Davis may improve the situation. There is still that other proposal of Joseph Barondess, a member of the delegation, who urges that the Jewish Congress send representatives to Canada to arrange for the admission of the immigrants with the Canadian Government, in the meantime requesting the United States immigration authorities to postpone the return of the deportees until the arrangements are completed.

Dr. Stephen S. Wise, who was to have been spokesman for the delegation, found it impossible to go to Washington. In the conference with Secretary Davis, Joseph Barondess, Congressman Perlman. Congressman Dickstein and Morris Weinberg, publisher of the DAY, appealed in behalf of the detained immigrants. Mr. Weinberg presented a special communication from the Foreign Language Newspapers Association. Representative Perlman emphasized the legal aspect of the plea, that the alien having been given a visa has an absolute right to expect to be admitted, the admission being an act of good faith since the immigrant relied on the American consular officers issuing the visas.

Other members of the delegation were Adolph Stern and Max L. Hollander, Acting Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the I.O.B.A. respectively, State Senator Benjamin Antin, and Bernard G. Richards, Secretary of the American Jewish Congress. Present during the interview were also Isador Hershfield, Washington representative of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and S.S. Gottlieb, Chairman of the Selective Immigrant Association.

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