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Quota Victims to Be Admitted After All, Assistant Secretary of Labor States

December 12, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

All Russian immigrants now detained at Ellis Island who are able to pass the necessary tests will in all likelihood be admitted into the United States, previous decisions ordering their deportation notwithstanding.

This development arises from an eleventh hour discovery that the quota for November had not actually been exhausted before the arrival of these immigrants who, it now appears, were erroneously ordered deported.

The immigrants directly affected by this latest development are in the first instance over 300 Jewish deportees for whom special permission had been obtained by representatives of the American Jewish Congress and of Canadian Jewry to proceed to Canada pending the re-opening of the Russian quota in the United States next July. Others to benefit by the decision are immigrants admitted under bond as cases for whom deportation would involve extreme hardship as well as the many other deportees who had not indicated their wish to go to Canada and those whose appeals for admission are still pending.

The immediate cause for the review of the deportees’ situation were writs of habeas corpus obtained by Maurice Zuckert and Isaac Siegel, counsel for 12 Jewish immigrants detained at Ellis Island, by a ruling of Federal Judge Knox.

Joseph Barondess informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency late this afternoon, following his conversation on the long distance telephone with Assistant Secretary of Labor Carl white at Washington, that immigrants admitted on parole will undoubtedly be declared permanently admitted without further delay and that all those who were to have been taken on the S.S.Pittsburgh to Canada Thursday will in all probability also at once be admitted.

In the meantime the Pittsburgh with its human cargo has been ordered to remain in port pending the final decision by the Labor Department.

Louis Marshall who had previously appealed to President Coolidge on behalf of the Russian immigrants ordered deported as being in excess of the quota, yesterday telegraphed to the President appealing for their release now it had become clear from Commissioner of Immigration Husband’s account that the figures were “erroneous”. It would appear, Mr. Marshall indicated, that on the first of November when the Russian quota for the month was declared exhausted, there was still room for about a thousand aliens under that quota.

Room for the deportees was found in the opinion of Federal Judge Knox, who said it would be improper to charge against the quota for November the 740 Russian refugees taken from a sinking Pacific liner in July and the 163 Russian immigrants who arrived in San Francisco in July sometime before the Japanese earthquake. As it was impossible to return these refugees they were admitted by special permission of the Department of Labor and charged to the Russian quota.

“This decision held up the Russian immigrants who arrived here after the usual race to this harbor on November 3,” Mr. Zuckert said last night. “The decision of the Commissioner made it necessary to detain them at Ellis Island pending arrangements for their deportation. They were to be sent away on the White Star liner Olympic when the writs were obtainef for those represented by me and Mr. Siegel, which resulted in holding them all until argument could be heard by the Court.

“Judge Knox ordered the admission of the twelve for whom the writs had been obtained, and said that the order affected 876 other who were being detained at Ellis Island. The Court pointed out that an injury would be inflicted upon those Russian immigrants who had left Russian in good faith in October to be shut out because the United States had played the part of a humanitarian in aiding those other Russians who were refugees and those who could not be returned to Japan because of the earthquake there”.

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