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Common Council Criticizes Pegler’s Anti-naturalization Proposal

July 29, 1941
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Taking issue with the suggestion made by Westbrook Pegler, noted columnist, that the United States cease naturalizing aliens, the Common Council for American Unity addressed a statement to the editors of the newspapers where Pegler’s column is published, terming the suggestion as undemocratic and contrary to 300 years of American tradition

“Let us apply to would-be citizens the most rigid tests of loyalty and character that Mr. Pegler can devise, but why should we exclude men and women from citizenship simply because they were born elsewhere? Arbitrary exclusion regardless of individual merits smacks of group discrimination we condemn when we see it practiced in totalitarian countries,” the statement of the Council, signed by Read Lewis, executive director, reads.

Answering Pegler’s insinuation that the foreign-born constitute a large portion of criminals, the statement of the Common Council says that “the foreign born are more law-abiding than the native born.” The Council refers to F.B.I. statistics which attest this fact.

“Mr. Pegler charges that for a long time many of our naturalized citizens have voted by blocs and have turned important elections by their solidarity under the leadership of political colonizers or padrones. This is simply not true, despite certain superficial appearances to the contrary. For a number of years the Common Council made careful studies of national elections with reference to the so-called ‘foreign vote’ These studies all showed that a ‘foreign born bloc’ is sheer myth, that among foreign born voters there are as sharp divisions of opinion as among the native born,” the statement declares.

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