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President of B’nai Brith Makes Statement on Mexico Proposition

August 25, 1924
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Adolph Kraus, President of the Independent Order of B’nai Brith, the only Jewish organization now active in Mexico, commented to-day on the statement of the Mexican President, General Calles, concerning the possibilities of Jewish emigration into Mexico.

“For three years past”, said Mr. Kraus, “the B’nai Brith has been in closetouch with the Mexican situation and has taken such steps to ameliorate conditions as the progress of events in that country made necessary or desirable. As a preliminary to any work in Mexico, our First Vice-President, Mr. Archibald Marx of New Orleans, and Rabbi Martin A. Zielonka, of El Paso, Texas, both of whom have visited Mexico many times, went there, investigated conditions, and provided temporary agencies to assist stranded immigrants. Later Rabbi Zielonka and Dr. Leff of El Paso made another survey of conditions there. Many an immigrant who today is prospering in Mexico oes his start to the moral and financial support tendered to him by the Order.

“Representatives of the Order in the Texan border towns have personally interviewed hundreds of Jewish emigrants on the Mexican side of the border, have impressed upon them the folly of any attempt to evade our immigration laws, and have given them financial aid until they could become self-supporting in Mexico. In this work we have had the support and help of the Mexican Government and our own Department of Labor.

“At Vera Cruz, where most of the immigrants to Mexico disembark, a representative of the Order, Mr. J. Weinberger, met every incoming boat, and where an immigrant was without funds, helped him to get into contact with his relatives in America if he had any, and if not, advanced him funds for his immediate assistance. Mr. Weinberger has now been placed in charge of a branch office of the Order which has been opened in Mexico City. At present he is in Jaurez, Mexico, studying the conditions at that point. He will be permanently in Mexico City after September 1st. He is a man who has had almost twenty years of experience is various parts of Mexico. So far, I believe, the B’nai B’rith is the only Jewish organization which has done any work in Mexico.

“There is a point that should not be passed without comment. According to the report, General Cealles speaks of a $2,000,000 fund to establish industries and agriculture colonies. So far as the latter is concerned, investigations of the agricultural possibilities give little promise of the success of such ventures for quite sometime to come. Industries, of the type, suggested, do not exist at present, and their establishment can come only slowly and largely as a result of private initiative. I very much fear, therefore, that thouands of refugees may be induced by the publicity given to the interview to come to Mexico before favorable conditions can be created to take care of them. There is no Jewish problem in Mexico to-day. Let us not, therefore, do anything that might create such a problem tomorrow. Immigration has

thus far been small, and is being gradually absorbed. A too hasty increase in the immigration might very easily create a difficult situation both for those who are arriving and for those who are already established.

“Investigation by American Jewish organizations interested in the Mexican situation will of course be materially assisted now that the sympathetic co-operation of the Mexican Government is assured. It is to be hoped that the results of such an investigation will justfy us all in the belief that a country has been found in which the persecuted among our people can finda haven of safety.”

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