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Race Instead of Nationality Suggestion, but Declared Impractical Now

April 11, 1924
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That race instead of political nationality be used as a basis for apportioning the quota was the suggestion made by Senator Sterling of South Dakota, Wednesday, during the Senate debate on the immigration bill now pending before that body. Senator Reed, who is actively in charge of the debate, in reply admitted that some day this new racial classification might be adopted, but that it was “not practicable” at the present time.

This interchange occurred during discussion of the proposed amendment of Senator Reed, calling for the appointment, not later than April 1926, of a Government commission to determine the ethnological origin of all the persons who in 1920 comprised the whole population of the United States, for the purpose of apportioning a maximum immigration of 300,000 annually accordingly.

It is intimated that a peculiar situation might arise with regard to the Jewish immigrants, should the suggestion of Senator Sterling be adopted. In that event, the Jews would, probably, have to come in under one racial quota instead of in the quotas of their countries of origin. That this feature was in the mind of Senator Sterling, although not mentioned by him, is evidenced by the fact that he took as examples for the necessity of differentiating between race and nationality, countries like Russia, Roumania and Poland, the immigrants from which are, to a considerable extent, Jewish.

The immigration bills now before the House and the Senate will be discussed again Friday and a vote on both is looked for on Saturday.

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