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Secretary of Commerce Harriman Calls on Congress for Legislation to Admit Refugees

November 28, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman today called Congress to authorize the admission into the United States of an “adequate” number of displaced persons, pointing out that most of them were persons with varied ##ills which could be of benefit to the United States.

Speaking at a Thanksgiving Dinner arranged by the United Service for New Americans for 200 refugees who recently arrived in this country as immigrants, Secretary Harriman stressed that he was not suggesting any change in our basic immigration policy, but rather emergency handling of the refugee problem. He emphasized that that was needed was “prompt” action since the situation of the refugees was acute, adding that it would be both humane and profitable to admit displaced persons. The commerce Secretary paid tribute to the USNA and other groups which have facilitated the adjustment of newcomers.

Former Gov. Herbert H. Lehman told the diners that immigrants have played a large part in building this country. “With few exceptions, those who have come to ## from other shores have made noble use of the liberty which they have found here,” ##e said. “They have done their full share in promoting the material welfare of the country. They have done their part in preserving the spirit of America and in maintaining its ideals. They have enriched its cultural life by merging into the life of America what was best in the culture of the lands where they were born.”

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