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America Shuts Her Doors to Immigration: 90 Per Cent. Quota Cut Agreed to by House of Representatives

March 4, 1931
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The bill cutting down immigration to the United States for the next two years to ten per cent. of the existing quotas, sponsored by the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Stimson (against which Congressman La Guardia of New York protested at yeaterday’s meeting of the Hias held to commemorate fifty years of Jewish mass immigration to the United States), was passed today by the House of Represontatives by 295 votes against 86.

The bill goes to the Senate to-morrow, where an effort is to be made to rush it through. There may be some opposition there, however, which will hold up its adoption until Wodnesday, when Congress is to adjourn until December, in which case the bill would be shelved for the time being.

In its original form, the bill as submitted to Congress on its reopening last December by Senator Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Immigration Committee, and Congressman Johnson, the Chairman of the Immigration Committee of the House of Representatives, proposed the complete stoppage of all immigration for two years as a means of combating the present unemployment in the country, admitting only near relatives of citizens or of aliens legally resident in the country.

Secretary Stimson declared himself opposed to the Reed and Johnson Bills, on the ground that they would alter the present immigration policy which is based on national origins, because the proportion of immigration from Northern and Western Europe over Southern and Eastern Europe would be materially changed, and he proposed instead the measure which has now been approved by the House, reducing by 90 per cent. the number of aliens admitted under the present quota law.

Jewish Organisations in the United States, including the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Hias, as well as bodies like the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, the Y.M.C.A., and the Immigrants’ Protective League have made representations to Secretary Stimson against immigration legislation that would “raise additional barriers to the admission and reunion of families of citizens or aliens already in the United States”. In a joint letter which these organisations sent to Secretary Stimson they argued that to raise any additional barriers to the reunion of immigrant families would be inhuman and “against our self-interest as a nation”, since “the resident alien who has his family here has a greater stake in the country”.

The Administrative committee of the American Jewish Congress urged all its members to register their opposition to the bill on the ground that this legislation is unnecessary and that the instructions issued by President Hcover to American Consuls abroad have already limited the entrance of new immigrants largely to relatives of persons already in the country.

Miss Celie Razovsky, of the National Council of Jewish Women, said when she appeared as a withess before the Congress Immigration Committee that during 1929 247 million dollars were sent from the United States to relative abroad, and it would be much better to admit the relatives and keep the money in the country.

After the first Quota Law of 1921-22, Jewish emigration to the United States fell from 120,000 in 1921 to about 50,000 annually, the United Jewish Emigration Organisation Hicem stated in a report issued last month. After the U.S. Immigration Law of 1924, the report went on, immigration to the United States amounted for the first two years to no more than 10,000 annually, and in the last three years it has been about 12,000 annually.

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