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Bill Introduced in Senate to Substitute National Origins by New Quotas

May 21, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A new angle was given to the pending National Origins controversy when Senator Daniel F. Steck, Democrat, of Iowa, introduced a bill to substitute an entirely new quota plan in place of the National Origins clause. The bill would limit the total amount of quota immigration to 100,000 per year and aims chiefly to cut down the quotas to which Great Britain would be entitled under the National Origins clause so as to equalize it in proportion with the quotas of Germany and Ireland and the Norwegian countries, which are vigorously opposing the National Origins plan on the ground of unfair discrimination in favor of England.

At the same time Senator Steck’s bill radically cuts the quotas of East European countries. The Polish quota would be cut from the present 5,982 to 1,200; Russia from 2,248 to 1,000; Lithuania from 344 to 100, Roumania from 603 to 200, Latvia from 140 to 90. In comparison with the proposed National Origins quotas, Senator Steck’s bill cuts the British quota more than half, from 73,039 to 34,050, while that of Germany is increased from 23,428 to 25,000.

Under the National Origins plan the East European countries would fare better than under the Steck plan. Thus the National Origins plan gives Russia 4,781 whereas Steck’s 1,000; Poland 4,978, whereas Steck 1,200. The National Origins plan will allow a much larger number of Jews to enter than Senator Steck’s proposed amendment.

In a statement to the Jewish Daily Bulletin correspondent, Senator Steck explained that while he had consulted both the present 1890 census figures under the existing law and the National Origins figures, his own quotas are purely arbitrary on the basis of trying to reach a better equalization between the countries of so-called older immigration. He admitted he had been motivated in formulating his figures by a desire to give preference to those countries which had sent the bulk of early immigrants, who had laid the foundation of American colonization, the so-called Nordic immigration. He said he was of German origin. (Continued on Page 8)

The Senator said that there is a growing demand to stop immigration altogether and that his bill represents a compromise which might stave off a complete stoppage of immigration. He added that the figures proposed by his amendment are not necessarily final, but are offered to furnish a basis for discussion. Senator Steck also said that he has consulted a number of other Senators and intends to push his amendment as a solution of the pending National Origins controversy.

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