United States. President's Commission on Immigrati.

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Given By



82d Congressl
2d Session /







SEPTEMBER 30, OCTOBER 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 14, 15, 17, 27, 28, 29, 1952

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary




2a Session J







SEPTEMBER 30, OCTOBER 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 14, 15, 17, 27, 28, 29, 1952

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary


25356 WASHINGTON : 1952



Philip B. Perlman, Chairman

Earl G. Harrison, Vice Chairman

Msgr. John O'Grady

Rev. Thaddeus P. Gullixson

Clarence E. Pickett

Adrian S. Fisher

Thomas C. Finucane

Harry N. Rosenfield, Executive Director

^^'^S.'-. 15AI5'l


House of Representatwes,

Committee on the Judiciary,
Washington, D. C, Octoher ^3, 1952.

Hon. Philip B. Perlman,

Chairman, President'' 8 C ommission on
Immigration and Naturalization,

Executive Of(lce, Washington, D. G.
Dear Mr. Perlman : I am informed that the President's Commis-
sion on Immigration and Naturalization has held hearings in a
number of cities and has collected a great deal of information con-
cerning the problems of. immigration and naturalization.

Since the subject t>f" immigration and naturalization requires con-
tinuous congressmjfal study, it would be very helpful if this commit-
tee could liaveiKe transcript of your hearings available for its study
and use, and/for distribution to the Members of Congress.

If this i^ord is available, will you please transmit it to me so that
I may^Jgre able to take the necessary steps in order to have it printed
for the use of the committee and Congress.
Sincerely yours,

Emanuel Celler, Chairman.


President's Commission on
Immigration and Naturalization,


Washington, October 27, 1952.

Hon. Emanuel Celler,

House of Representatives,

Washingtoji, D. G.

Dear Congressman Celler : Pursuant to the request in your letter
of October 23, 1952, we shall be happy to make available to you a
copy of the transcript of the hearings held by this Commission. We
shall transmit the record to you as soon as the notes are transcribed.

The Commission held 30 sessions of hearings in 11 cities scattered
across the entire country. These hearings were scheduled as a means
of obtaining some appraisal of representative and responsible views
on this subject. The Commission was amazed, and pleased, at the
enormous and active interest of the American people in the subject of
immigration and naturalization policy.

Every effort was made to obtain the opinions of all people who
might have something to contribute to the Commission's considera-
tion. All shades of opinion and points of views were sought and heard.
The response was very heavy, and the record will include the testimony
and statements of some 600 persons and organizations.

This record, we believe, includes somie very valuable information, a
goodly proportion of which has not hitherto been available in dis-
cussions of immigration and naturalization. It is of great help to
the Commission in performing its duties. We hope that this material
will be useful to your committee, to the Congress, and to the country.
Sincerely yours,

Philip B. Perlman, Chairman.



New York, N. Y.:

First: September 30, 1952, morning session.

Second: September 30, 1952, evening session.

Tliird: October 1, 1952, morning session.

Fourth: October 1, 1952, evening session,
Boston, Mass.:

Fifth: October 2, 1952, morning session.

Sixth: October 2, 1952, evening session.
Cleveland, Ohio:

Seventh: October 6, 1952, morning session.

Eighth: October 6, 1952, evening session.
Detroit, Mich.:

Ninth: October 7, 1952, morning session.

Tenth: October 7, 1952, evening session.
Chicago, 111.:

Eleventh: October 8, 1952, morning session.

Twelfth: October 8, 1952, evening session.

Thirteenth: October 9, 1952, morning session.

Fourteenth: October 9, 1952, evening session.
St. Paul, Minn.:

Fifteenth: October 10, 1952, morning session.

Sixteenth: October 10, 1952, evening session.
St. Louis, Mo.:

Seventeenth: October 11, 1952, morning session.

Eighteenth: October 11, 1952, evening session.
San Francisco, Calif.:

Nineteenth: October 14, 1952, morning session.

Twentieth: October 14, 1952, evening session.
Los Angeles, Calif.:

Twenty-first: October 15, 1952, morning session.

Twenty-second: October 15, 1952, evening session.
Atlanta, Ga.:

Twentj'-third: October 17, 1952, morning ses.-!ion.

Twenty-fourth: October 17, 1952, evening session.
Washington, D. C:

Twenty-fifth: October 27, 1952, morning session.

Twenty-sixth: October 27, 1952, evening session.

Twenty-seventh: October 28, 1952, morning session.

Twenty-eighth: October 28, 1952, evening session.

Thenty-ninth: October 29, 1952, mornings session.

Thirtieth: October 29, 1952, evening session.
Appendix: Special studies.
Indexes :

Persons heard or who submitted statements by session and order of appearance.
Organizations rei)resented by persons heard or bv submitted statements.
Persons heard or who submitted statements by alphabetical arrangement

of names.
Subject matter.

(Page numbers may be obtained from indexes)





fifteeniti session

St. Paul, Minn.

The President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization
met at 9 : 30 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in the auditorium. State
Office Building, St. Paul, Minn., Hon. Philip B. Perlman (chair-
man) presiding.

Present: Chairman Philip B. Perlman, and the following Com-
missioners: Msgr. John O'Grady, Kev. Thaddeus F. Gullixson, Mr.
Thomas G. Finucane.

Also present: Mr. Harry N. Rosenfield, executive director.

The Chairman. The Commission will come to order.

This morning we will have as our first witness Rev. James E.


Reverend Boren. I am Rev. James E. Boren, 1628 Fourth Street
SE., Minneapolis. I am a university pastor at the University of
Mimiesota, and I represent the committee on social education and
action, Minnesota Council of Churches, and committee on social edu-
cation and action, Presbytery of Minneapolis, Presbyterian Church in
the U. S. A.

I have a prepared statement I would like to read, and then make a
few comments.

The Chairman. You may do so.

Reverend Boren. The plight of the world's uprooted peoples creates
for our Nation, as for all nations who hold to the worth and dignity
of the individual, a moral as well as an economic and political problem
of gigantic proportions. Some of these people are displaced by war;
others by a tyranny of government ; and more recently those by mili-
tary hostilities in Korea and elsewhere; as well as those who take their
lives in their own hands in seeking freedom by escaping from behind
the iron curtain. These individuals long for the day when they may
again have the opportunity to establish homes, have the right to sup-



poit themselves throiigli honest work, and have the i-ight to freedom
of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. A further problem are the
surplus peoples of the world w^ho no longer can be supported by the
economy of their respective nations. These constitute a pressure
which threatens the stability and well-being of the entire world.

Our Nation for a long period welcomed the peoples of the world.
You and I probably would not be here today if it had not been the
policy of this Nation to provide opportunity for peoples of other
nations to find justice and freedom under a democratic government.
It is our belief that as a member of the community of nations we should
continue this policy. We believe that the United States for moral
reasons as well as for its own economic and political security should
continue this policy and cooperate with other nations in meeting needs
of displaced persons, refugees, and surplus populations.

There are certain steps we feel should be taken. One, on the na-
tional level, it is desirable for our Congress to adopt such emergency
legislation as will allow the completion of the displaced persons pro-
gram to which our Nation is committed. This legislation should pro-
vide for the admission to the United States of (a) those who were
processed under the Displaced Persons Act but for whom visas were
not available on December 31, 1951; (h) an additional number of
persons for whom inadequate visas were issued; and (c) our fair share
of those who have escaped from behind the iron curtain. We are con-
tinually urging, through our Voice of America program, that indi-
viduals escape; but to wdiat shall they come? Shall they be no better
off when they have escaped or do we have a moral responsibility to aid
them in finding a homeland which they may call their own ?

Two, Congress should make the quota system more flexible. This
quota system should be based on the 1950 census. Further, the quota
system should be made so unused quotas may be shifted to other areas.
Discrimination through the quota system should be abolished as a
principle not acceptable to a democratic nation.

Three, Congress should complete the process of amending immigra-
tion and naturalization so that, within the quota system, all discrimi-
natory provisions based upon considerations of color, race, or sex
would be removed. One of the most devastating attacks on our
democracy was used during my years in Thailand by governments
trying to incite other peoples against us by using as an argument our
feeling that certain races and peoples are inferior, and not worthy of
a democracy.

Four, the Congress should establish a system of fair hearings and
appeals respecting the issuance of visas and deportation proceedings.
There should be precautionary measures as may save our Nation from
hostile action on the part of individuals who are not in harmony with
the Constitution and institutions of the United States. We believe
this may be achieved without imposition of measures which violate
the American conception of justice.

The Chairman. Thank you.

Reverend Boren. Now, I would like to make five comments con-
cerning our present situation in immigration and naturalization laws.

First, I believe that it perpetuates the inequitable features of our
growth by a system where it favors England, Ireland, and Germany
where only about one-half of our visas are used each year.


Second, it continues discrimination between racial and nationality
groups and adds new ones. It adds, for example, a place of ancestry
and not a place of origin for determination of eligibility of admission
to the United States. It further discriminates against those people
who are members of a colony of Great Britain and/or other nations.

Third, it discriminates against those who are from the Philippines.

It further restricts immigration into the country of desirable
would-be citizens. And being in the university field I know that we
have had professors from other nations who have made tremendous
contributions to our Nation.

Fourth, the basis of computation of quotas is out of date. We are
still using a 1920 base which should be 1950.

Fifth, it provides for many new unreasonable and arbitrary bases
for deportation. In one instance, for example, it eliminates the statute
of limitations in many deportation cases and it creates numerous
grounds for deportation not easily susceptible to judicial review. It
has always been a belief in our Nation and we have always felt that
there was a right for judicial revicAv and yet in the new law there are
instances when we believe this would not be possible.

I thank you.

The Chaiemax. Do I understand correctly that you do not favor the
national origins formula in the quota system ?

Reverend Boken. That is right, sir. I would suggest, for example,
at the present time in England our present quota system, as I under-
stand the law, is based largely on northern Europeans or English,
German, and Irish, and that is simply saying to the southern Euro-
peans, "You are an inferior people."

Then, there is the Asiatic situation, I'll use as an illustration a
friend of mine whose father was Siamese and mother was English.
He has no chance of becoming a citizen. I understand that under the
present system he could come under the 100 from Thailand.

The Chairman. If you were to have an over-all ceiling for immi-
grants, would you not have any quotas within that ceiling?

Reverend Boren. I would have a quota system. I approve of a
quota system. I also approve that if the quota system — for example,
if the countries will not use the quotas, then other nations should be
able to use them. At the present time it is cut off and it is not possible
to make a sliift in those. The present quota allows 154,000 people and
President Truman in his message to Congress said that we now receive
less than half of those. So I would make it possible for this quota
system to be shifted so that other peoples could come in.

The Chairman. Within whate^ver number is fixed as the maximum,
w^ould you peraiit any applicant to come in, no matter where he comes
from, provided of course he meets other tests ?

Reverend Boren. Yes, sir. I don't care where he comes from.
Having been all over the world myself, in Asia and Africa, I think
there are persons from all over the world who would make desirable

The Chairman. Thank you very much.

Is Dr. Bernhardt J. Kleven here ?



Dr. Kleven. I am Dr. Bernhardt J. Kleven, professor of social
sciences, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minn.

The Chairman. The Commission will be glad to hear anything you
would like to state.

Dr. KxEVEN. I am speaking f r.om my own point of view and not from
the point of view of any institution, although there may be full agree-
ment and I am still not representing them.

Mr. Chairman and the Commission : The McCarran-Walter bill
seems to have been pushed through Congress with little consideration
of the broader phases of immigration problems which would combine
justice with our administration. That is the way I have felt about it.
Perhaps too much consideration was given to protection from sub-
versive influences, because I have wondered a good deal as to wliy the
bill was pushed so hard when for a bill it seemed apparently dead,
at least for the time being.

The law has many provisions that make for injustice as well as
provisions which may have an adverse effect on our foreign policy
as well as our domestic policies. Now, I do not say that all of the law
is bad, but a modification of the law which will make for greater
justice and reasonableness should be undertaken by the coming Con-

I have selected for consideration some of the sections which need
revision in my opinion. The national origins provision, which bases
the apportionment of the total immigration for any one year on the
census of 1920. is not applicable at the present time. There has been
a change in the proportion of the national origins in our country
since that date which should be given consideration in setting up new
quotas. A more recent census base would do justice to all nationalties.

Provision should also be made whereby perhaps the full quota of
some 154,000 possible immigrants could be admitted each year by
reassigning the unused portions of any coimtry which does not make
use of its full quota to other countries whose quotas have been used up.

Provision should also be made by the next session of the new Con-
gress to provide relief for the displaced persons and refugees of
German ethnic origin who had been cleared by the DP authorities
but who had not been able to complete fully the requirements which
would have made it possible for them to come to the United States
before the termination of the law. Likewise, the law should provide
for immigration of our portion of escapees from behind the iron
curtain, those who have a real desire to live in a society where the
individual is recognized and honored. Emergency measures could
well be made to admit these persons into our country as potential

I would say in general there should be screening. I might say more
on that later on.

The section of the law which places a person who is "attributable
by as much as one-half of his ancestry" to races indigenous to the Asia-
Pacific triangle is not only placing the Asiatics in an inferior class,
according to our view, it is also a discrimination of the other half of
his ancestry, whether it be British, French, or any other nationality.


It causes many hardships on many homes, which is contrary to our

Now, this discriminating classification fails to give due regard to
the Christian principle of equality of all peoples. The discrimination
should be eliminated.

The McCarran law provides for the exclusion of aliens who have
been convicted of two or more offenses other than purely political
offenses, regardless of whether or not the offenses involved "moral
turpitude," if the aggregate possible sentence to confinement was 5
years. This makes it possible for a person to be excluded if he has
been convicted under a Nazi or Communist law which in no way in-
volves moral turpitude. It might, for instance, be a violation of cer-
tain acts, such as antireligious law; that is, the anti-Semitism the
Nazis embodied in their program.

Furthermore, a person found guilty of crimes not involving moral
turpitude may be cleported. It may be questionable whether deporta-
tion is the proper method to deal with such cases. In some cases of
persons found to be deportable it would be difficult to know to which
country he should be deported. Furthermore, if a person has lived
in our country for many years and according to our laws is found
to be deportable, then I say there are questions as to whether he should
be deported, but I feel also that we have responsibilities to take care
of those persons. I am not too sympathetic with them, but the ques-
tion remains nevertheless : what should be done with them in justice
and in fairness — can we just dump them out? The same question
might arise regarding persons who have become public charges or
committed to mental institutions from causes not having arisen after
entry. Now, all of these things work undue hardships on human

A further need for revision is found in the power of final determina-
tion given consuls to gi'ant or refuse to grant applications for admis-
sion into the United States for immigration purposes. Such power is
open to abuse and subject to prejuclicial injustice. There should be
given opportunity for ap})eal to some authority or board composed of
at least two persons for final disposition. This is a basic American
practice. Even the most fair and conscientious consul might make
mistakes, which would be corrected if appeals were made. I don't
want to cast reflection on our consuls, particularly in view of all the
duties they have to perform.

There appears to be no danger that admitting the full annual quota
of immigrants which the law provides for would have any disturbing
influence on our cultural pattern or mores. The total number would
be a small percentage of our total population, and furthermore, the
immigrants would be coming from many different areas and that
would still further reduce any danger to our way of life. I might
add here that perhaps an increase in our poplation to a certain ex-
tent might be beneficial economically also.

However, I believe that it is very important that we protect our-
selves from admitting those immigrants which might cause a disrup-
tion in our way of life, which already has influences which would
destroy our freedoms, and democracy, such as various types of total-
itarianisms. I believe we should maice careful selections all along the
line. I think that is our duty. That is, for instance, in our screening
process we should be very certain that we do not admit persons who


have been convicted or persons who have criminal tendencies. Also,
subversives sliould not be admitted, from my point of view, and also
those who cannot support themselves. Selective immigration is, I
think, our duty. If we can't make ourselves strong and keep our-
selves strong I don't see how we can do much for the world itself.

I think something should be done similar to that done for the DP's
after they came to this country. Various welfare and church or-
ganizations and others kept in touch with them and helped them to
adjust themselves and helped them to get work and they really did
a wonderful service. It gave the DP's a viewpoint of our society
which was favorable. I think if such a thing could be worked out
for all immigrants in the future it would help us a great deal, not
only the immigrants but our society too. Of course, that has been,
done in some cases.

I feel strongly that a general revision of the immigration law should
be made only after more careful consideration of the total problem has
been made than I feel was made in the case of the present revision.
It would appear that we, as a member of the United Nations, should
work toward a solution of the problem of overpopulation in many
countries and develop a program of world-wide resettlement of these
populations in areas where there is need for more people to develop
the resources and thereby to raise the standard of living in those areas
which are now underpopulated.

Primary consideration would necessarily have to be given to the
choice of areas or countries to which immigrants might wish to go.
I wouldn't disregard their wishes.

Regarding resettlement, perhaps we have had some unanticipated
experiences for not a few of the resettled persons in this first resettle-
ment, which was the only resettlement the DP authorities could take
care of, went to regions and countries which do not require a quota for
immigrants wishing to come to the United States and after they had
been there awhile they applied for immigration into the United
States. So tliat was only a temporary phase, the first resettlement,
and many of them, it seems, had planned that to begin with. I don't
know if that type of immigrant was necessarily undesirable — I don't
think so — but it presents a problem.

Now, in the whole picture, of course, we are trying to ameliorate
the whole position of mankind. There may be some consoling for us
in our fumbling in Job's observation : that there will always be trouble
for man as the sparks fly upward. But the problems are innumer-
able and we have to work with them and see what we can do. Perhaps
we can make for more mercy in the world.

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Doctor.

The next witness is Mr. Plubert Schon.


Mr. ScHON. I am Hubert Schon, 162 Bedford SE, Minneapolis,

I have been asked, Mr. Chairman, by the Unitarian Society and
Universal Society to present to you a joint statement of the past^ra


of their churclies in the Twin Cities. I act in this capacity merely as
a inesseiiiLrer and with your ])ermission will pass on this statement.

The Chairman. We will make that statement a part of the record
at this point.

(There follows the prepared joint statement of the Unitarian and
Universalist Churches in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis,

The First Umtakian Society,
Minneapolis, Minn., October 9, 1952.
Mr. Philip B. Perlman,

Chairman, President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization.

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