More Immigration Sought By Ike
President Would Liberalize Law to Double Quota Now
By Merriman Smith (UPI)
President Eisenhower urged Congress today to liberalize immigration laws and double the number of persons now admitted under annual quotas. A key Democrat promptly charged he was playing "election year politics."
Eisenhower sent Congress a special message proposing legislation to admit under annual quotas a number of immigrants equal to one-sixtieth of the U.S. population. This would be more than 300,000 compared to annual quotas as of 154,000 now.
Eisenhower also asked Congress to provide for acceptance of thousands of refugees from oppression and persons forced to flee their homes because of political, racial, or religious persecution.
Rep. Francis E. Walter (D-Pa.) quickly filed a statement in the Congressional Record saying Eisenhower sent up an identical message in the 1956 presidential election year "and we are certainly going to have one like it four years hence."
Walter Against Changes
"It is all a part of seeking political dividends by catering to groups representing special interests," Walter said.
Walter is chairman of the House immigration subcommittee. As such he would exert powerful influence over immigration legislation.
Walter has long been opposed to altering the quota system or otherwise liberalizing the immigration laws. He is co-author of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act which often has come under administration criticism as being too restrictive.
Walter said the problem of whether the U.S. "is capable of absorbing economically and assimilating socially" such an increase is one that should be tackled by economists and sociologists, "rather than to be tossed about by the Republican political advisers of the President."
Two Republican senators promptly endorsed Eisenhower's proposal.
Sen. Leverett Saltonstall, (R-Mass.) called it a "bold and far-sighted" plan to revise "outmoded" immigration laws.
Racial Barriers Removed
Sen. Clifford P. Case (R-N.J.) asserting that "it is disgraceful that the Congress still has to act in this field," said "the President urges changes to do away with much of the patent discrimination of existing quota provisions as well as to permit the absorption of refugees from oppression. "These are a minimum, as the President has indicated."
A key figure of the President's program would be abandonment of racial barriers and the easing of nationality restrictions for entry into this country.''
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
A 'bold and far-sighted plan', circa 1960
This headline story (no link; I transcribed it from an old newspaper) from March 17, 1960 is rather startling, considering the image most of us have Eisenhower the tough President who authorized deportation of many Mexican illegals. It looks like the cheap labor lobby was already long established in the GOP back in the Eisenhower era if not long before.