The United States Government is severely criticised for its efforts towards further restriction of immigration in a resolution adopted to-day at the annual meeting of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (Hias).
The Commissioner on Ellis Island, Mr. Edward Corsi, who addressed the Conference, appealed for co-operation to help to ease the conditions imposed upon immigrants, and pledged himself to fight for the enactment of a measure by Congress to unite families separated by the operation of the present immigration laws.
Other speakers were Mr. Abraham Herman, the President of the Hias; Dr. Singalovsky, one of the leaders of the O.R.T. World Federation, who has just arrived in America in the interests of his organisation; Mr. B. C. Vladek, Manager of the Jewish daily “Forwards” and Chairman of the American People’s O.F.T. Federation; Mr. James Bernstein, General Manager of the Hias, and Mr. Jacob Massel, member of the Hias Executive.
Representatives of a number of both Jewish and non-Jewish organisations in America appeared last week before the Congress Immigration Committee to oppose the efforts being made to enforce further restriction in immigration to the United States, and to demand a law which would enable families to be re-united. Mr. Read Lewis, Director of the Foreign Language Information Service, said that if further restriction was enacted into law, an amendment should be passed admitting relatives of residents in a preferential category outside the quota. He pointed out that there is already actually in force a 90 per cent. reduction in immigration as a result of the restrictions enforced by Consuls abroad, in accordance with the instructions of the State Department. Under the present regulations, he said, relatives from five countries have to wait for periods between 5 and 20 years before they can be admitted. Miss Elizabeth Eastman, of the National Board of Young Women’s Christian Associations, was another member of the deputation, on which the chief Jewish representative was Mrs. Cecilia Rakovsky Davidson, representing the Council of Jewish Women, who pointed out that in 1931 two emigrants had left America for every immigrant who was admitted.
At the beginning of this month, Rabbi Dr. Stephen S. Wise, ex-Congressman Nathan D. Perlman, Dr. S. Margoshes, the editor of the “Day”, Mr. Maurice D. Rosenberg, representing the B’nai B’rith, and Mr. Isidore Hershfeld, of the Hias, appeared before the Congress Immigration Committee to protest against the efforts of the Government to enact further restriction of immigration. The restrictionists, Rabbi Stephen. Wise said, have taken an almost sadistic satisfaction in gloating over the inability of separated families to achieve their hope of being reunited. It is nothing less than indecent, at the behest of ill-willed fanatics, to make impossible, in the name of further restriction, the reunion of prospective American citizens with their nearest relatives, he declared. Nothing is gained unless it be a certain measure of sadistic satisfaction to these anti-alien fanatics, and this is hardly one of durable satisfactions that gentlemen of the Congress ought to seek to promote.
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.