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Jewish Federations Ask Congress for More Equitable Immigration Laws

March 13, 1963
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds today called upon the 88th Congress to remove “the discriminatory national origins quota system” from our national immigration policy and to enact legislation which is equitable and non-discriminatory.

In similar messages, Louis Stern, president of the Council, transmitted to the members of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives and the Committee on Immigration of the House a resolution to this effect adopted by the General Assembly of the CJFWF.

The resolution calls upon Congress: 1. To enact an equitable, non-discriminatory formula for the admission of those seeking to enter the United States as immigrants; 2. To assure that deportation shall not be the punishment for crimes committed by an alien after lawful entry to this country; 3. To provide that, except in case of fraud committed at the time of entry or naturalization, there shall be no distinction between naturalized and native-born citizens.

Mr. Stern commended as “an important forward step” the enactment by Congress in 1962 of P.L. 87-510 which, for the first time, permitted admission of certain categories of refugees outside of quota restrictions. However, he expressed his regret that the country’s fundamental immigration policy continues to retain “the discriminatory national origins quota system, with its implications that some nations and races are superior to others.”

“Aside from its essential unfairness, the principle of immigration based upon national quotas has proven unworkable and Congress has repeatedly felt compelled to enact special short-term immigration and refugee legislation,” Mr. Stern stated. He said, too, that the current immigration policy presents an “unfortunate picture” of this country to the world in that it “contrasts sharply with our ideal of equal opportunity for all.” We look to the President and the leadership of the 88th Congress to take effective action to secure an immigration program that is appropriate to the needs, our democratic philosophy and our leading position in the world,” the CJFWF leader stressed.

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