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New Argentine Constitution to Provide Punishment for Racial Persecution, Peron Says


The new draft constitution for Argentina will include a clause providing for punishment for racial persecution as a grave offense “similar to high treason,” President Juan Peron today told a delegation from the pro-Peronist Jewish group, “Organizacion Israelita Argentina.”

The deputation later reported that Peron asked that all Jews wishing to be admitted to Argentina file their visa applications through the O.I.A.

Following his conference with the O.I.A. deputation, Gen. Peron ordered the immediate release of all Jews detained for entering Argentina illegally. At the same time, he instructed the Immigration Department to make available to them the necessary identification papers. The same order applies to all Jews who entered Argentina illegally and were not apprehended by the police.

In issuing a ruling recently that entering Argentina illegally is not a punishable offense, Judge Oscar Palma Betran declared that he based his decision on an act passed Oct. 14, which states that all persons residing in Argentina without the necessary documents have three months in which to legalize their status.

The judge interpreted this law to mean that although the government may rightfully prevent the illegal entry of persons into Argentina, and may arrest these migrants once they have crossed the frontier into Argentina, these illegal entrants have until Jan. 14, 1949 in which to legalize their status. In any case, the judge stated, an illegal entrant has not committed a criminal offense by eluding the frontier patrols.

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