“The Johnson Bill which has passed the House is frankly and modestly intended as an improvement on traditional Americanism,” was the ironic remark of the leading editorial in the New York “Evening World” of yesterday.
The editorial continues: “In his speech in favor of the measure, the author expansively announced as one of its positive improvements on the past: ‘This country will no longer be the asylym of the oppressed of the world.’
“To old-fashioned Americans this promise was more shocking than inspiring. This means, among other things, that any foreigner, inspired by the spirit of liberty, and compromised with the powers that be in his own country by a militant desire for “self-determin
ation’ and threatened with prison or the gallows or the firing squad, shall no longer find an asylum in the land that has boasted for a century that our gates are ajar for the victims of despotism.
“There was a revolution in the Germany of ’48, and the leaders and participants found asylum here, enriching our citizenship with some of the best blood that has ever been shed on American battlefields. After the Irish rebellion of ’98 and ’48 there was a veritable flood of Irish patriots to our shores, and these and their descendants have served us in our wars with all the fervor of a liberty-loving race.
“Now that it is proposed to close our doors to the victims of tyranny and the soldiers of liberty, we enter upon a new phase by the repudiation of an old policy.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.