United Hias Holds 80th Anniversary Meeting; Pleads for Quota Changes
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United Hias Holds 80th Anniversary Meeting; Pleads for Quota Changes

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A resolution urging both houses of the U. S Congress to enact the pending bills on changes in the national origins immigration quota system was adopted here today at the 80th Anniversary Meeting of the United Hias Service held at Hotel Roosevelt and attended by more than 1, 000 representatives of fraternal, community, religious and labor organizations.

President Johnson, in a message to the meeting, said that “United Hias Service is not only a staunch friend of oppressed and persecuted people, but a valiant champion of the principle of human freedom, fair play, and brotherhood. ” He emphasized that “in its unswerving effort to make this a better world for the unfortunate, United Hias Service has made the world better for all peoples everywhere. “

Congressman Emanuel Celler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, told the meeting that “the abolition of the national origins quota system from the basic immigration laws of the United States is as inevitable as the passage of the Civil Rights bill now before the Senate, and just as inevitable as was the Supreme Court decision of 1954 in the desegregation of schools.” He emphasized that President Kennedy has presented the proposal to abolish the national origins system and President Johnson has endorsed the proposal and urged its adoption at an urgent meeting of congressional leaders and voluntary agency personnel which he called.

The resolution adopted unanimously at today’s conference, pointed out that the proposed changes in the quota allocations system, in addition to removing injustices, will be of practical help to many thousands of our co-religionists who are waiting in various countries to join their relatives in the United States.”


Murray I Gurfein, president of United Hias Service, said in his 80th anniversary report that United Hias Service represents the consolidation in 1954 of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the United Service for New Americans (USNA) and the overseas migration services of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

With respect to the agency’s rescue services for migrants resettled in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia and other Western countries during the past 10 years. Mr. Gurfein stated. “After the terrible loss of the six million Jewish martyrs, we had the right to deal only with ‘normal’ peacetime Jewish emigration, and that no new emergencies would occur. You know that Just the opposite was true.

“The Suez crisis of 1956 generated the second exodus from Egypt. Simultaneously, the Hungarian uprising made 200,000 homeless overnight, of whom 32,000 were Jewish. The independence movements in three countries of North Africa led to the dissolution of the 2, 000-year-old Jewish communities in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The Cuban revolution of 1959 created a new refugee problem in a country only 90 miles away from our own, and now waves of immigrants come from Eastern Europe. We have to continue to be on the alert, vigilant and flexible, to meet any emergency at any point on the globe, ” Mr. Gurfein warned.

James P. Rice, executive director of United Hias Service, said that since 1954 when the agency was created as a merged body, close to 70, 000 Jewish men, women and children have been resettled by it in free lands. During 1964, he said, “United Hias Service estimates it will provide migration assistance to approximately 6, 000 persons from trouble spots throughout the world. At the same time, we are fully aware that these estimates may be drastically increased by the disruptive tide of events, as has happened to often in the past. ” He expressed confidence that the agency will continue to have the support of Jewish communities in the United States,

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