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Alien Quota Bill Attacked at Brooklyn Mass Meeting

March 3, 1924
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The Johnson Immigration Bill was denounced as discriminatory and the theory of a Nordic superiority was derided at a crowded mass meeting Sunday afternoon at the Brooklyn Jewish Centre.

Representative Samuel Dickstein of New York, member of the House of Immigration Committee, led the attack. Other speakers were Representatives Loring M. Black, Jr. and Emanuel Celler of Brooklyn, Fiorello H. La Guardia of New York, Father John L. Belford of Brooklyn and Jacob A. Livingston, Republican leader of Kings County. Jacob L. Holtzman presided.

“It is proper that you are here to protest against a measure that if it came up in Congress tomorrow would pass by an overwhelming vote”, said Mr. La Guardia. “T he mathematics of the bill disclose the intentional discrimination against the Jews and the Italians. By going back to the figures of the census of 1890, Jewish immigration would be cut from about 80,000 under the present law to less than 4,000. The Italian immigration would be reduced from 45,000 to 3,000.”

Father Belford said that the country is now passing through a period of persecution, that most of the agitation is coming out of the West and the South, and that in those sections “they are playing politics in such a way as to cause the most trouble and the most noise”. He declared that the labor leaders of the country were behind the move to restrict immigration. “They want to restrict the labor market. That is why the people have no houses to live in”.

At the close of the meeting a resolution of protest against the Johnson bill was adopted.

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