“ghilly Formalism” in U.S. Immigration Regulations Criticized; Relaxation Urged
Menu JTA Search

“ghilly Formalism” in U.S. Immigration Regulations Criticized; Relaxation Urged

Download PDF for this date

The “chilly formalism” in the immigration regulations of the United States, which tends to hinder the immigration of refugee Jews from Europe, was assailed yesterday by Congressman Emanuel Celler of New York City, addressing an emergency conference called by the United Rumanian Jews of America.

Mr. Celler urged liberalization of our immigration laws and procedures and suggested that “Nansen passports” be revived by the Allied Governments. He also urged that the United Nations secure havens for European Jews in neutral countries, with guarantees to the neutrals that the refugees will be maintained; open the doors of Palestine to more Jews; and arrange for the sailing of mercy ships carrying food to the starving populations of Poland, Rumania and other occupied countries.

Similar proposals were made by the meeting in an appeal sent to President Roosevelt. In addition it was urged that negotiations be opened with the Rumanian Government looking towards the release of the thousands of Jews in Transnistria. The appeal also demanded the enactment of legislation incorporating the principles of the Atlantic Charter, the outlawing of anti-Semitism and a guarantee that individual Jews and Jewish communities will be indemnified after the war for property and loss of life resulting from the actions of the Rumanian Government.

The meeting also adopted a series of resolutions concerning post-war relief and rehabilitation, which pledged Rumanian Jews to assist in the rehabilitation of the Jews remaining in Europe after the war and in securing places of settlement for those desirous of emigrating, and to aid the war victims to become economically self sustaining. Messages were received from President Roosevelt, Director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Herbert Lehman, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Senator James Meade, Charles A. Davila, former Rumanian minister to the United States and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. The conference was presided over by Charles Sonnenreich, president of the organization.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund