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New Congress Gets Two Bills Against Mccarran Immigration Act

January 5, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two bills aimed at rewriting or repealing the new Immigration and Naturalization Law which became effective ten days ago, were introduced yesterday at the opening of the new Congress. One, submitted by Rep. William A. Barret, Pennsylvania Democrat, asks for the repeal of the law, known as the McCarran-Walter Act, and for return to the immigration statutes in force before the measure was passed by the last Congress. The other bill, introduced by Rep. Jacob Javits, Republican-Liberal of New York, asks the House to order the rewriting of the law.

No real change in the spirit of the McCarran-Walter Act was foreseen today by sources close to the President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization. These sources predicted that the Republican Administration would seek to modify some adminstrative technicalities so that the Act might be more effectively implemented, but that its racist features and general nature would remain unchanged.

A move for minor revisions in the Act may be suggested by President-Elect Eisenhower in one of his first messages to Congress but those close to the immigration picture fear that no really important change in the Act may be anticipated. Southern Democrats have already indicated that they will side with conservative Republicans in defense of the 1952 Act. Sen. Willis Smith, of North Carolina, openly predicted that Congress would make no “material changes in the law because there is nothing materially wrong with it.”

Throughout the nation an estimated 2,500,000 resident aliens began registering at immigration offices under terms of the Act. The Act requires that non-citizens register by January 31 or risk deportation or imprisonment. It demands also that aliens carry special registration cards with them at all times. Organizations such as HIAS have established offices in major cities to aid aliens in filling out forms.

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