Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

IMMIGRATION

Digests of resolutions adopted by the
Central Conference of American Rabbis
between 1889 and 1974

1. We urge our nation to keep gates of republic open, under reasonable restrictions, to the oppressed of all mankind. We advocate deportation by proper judicial procedure of aliens who advocate or use violence in an attempt to overthrow the government, only after public trial and conviction by courts of law. (1920, p. 89)

2. We deplore action of the U.S. Government in virtually abandoning its policy of keeping America a haven of refuge for the persecuted and downtrodden of the world. The repeal of the present law as inadequate is urged. (1922, p. 69)

3. We urge that the laws be completely revised so that basis is placed not upon the artificial quota qualifications but solely about ability of individual and family to maintain themselves under government of the U.S. and the ability of the U.S. to offer them the opportunity for maintenance. (1934, p. 104)

4. We oppose the Far Eastern exclusion policy as being against the best interests of our country. We see it as an affront to our gallant ally China. We urge that Far Eastern immigration into the U.S. be regulated on the same basis as immigration from all other countries. (1943, p. 124)

5. We hail the repeal by Congress of the Chinese Exclusion Act and urge the repeal of other exclusion laws. We reject the theory implicit in these laws that any race should be judged potentially incapable of participation in American life. (1944, p. 89)

6. We commend the President and the Congress of the United States for their action in liberalizing our policy for the immigration of displaced persons. We fervently hope that the humanitarian ideals which made this act effective may be extended so that our general immigration practices may be reviewed with the intention of making them more consonant with our classical American tradition of providing a haven and refuge for all. (1950, p. 171)

7. This Conference notes with deep concern that the present Displaced Persons Law is about to expire and that many thousands of Displaced Persons for whom the Law made provision to enter this country have not been able to complete the complicated and lengthy screening process in the allotted time.

We are gratified that the House of Representatives has passed a Bill extending the time limitation of the present law to permit the full quota of Displaced Persons allotted by the original law to enter the country.

We strongly urge that the Senate take immediate steps to enact similar legislation so that the intent and provisions of the original Displaced Persons Act may be fully implemented. (1951, p. 106)

8. We condemn the McCarren-Walters Immigration Bill because it is based on racial discrimination and is patently unfair to aliens, who under the provisions of this bill, can be deported for ridiculously minor offenses despite many years of loyal residence in the United States. We urge the President to veto this bill. We urge support of the substitute legislation on immigration proposed by Senators Lehman, Morse, et al. (1952, p. 181)

9. The McCarren-Walters Immigration Act has been widely censured by secular and official agencies dealing with problems of immigration. During the last presidential campaign both major political parties pledged themselves to a complete revision of this bill as passed by Congress over the veto of President Truman. In recent days, some cognizance of that campaign promise was taken by President Eisenhower who recommended that the "serious and inequitable restrictions" of the Act be mitigated and requested the admission of 240,000 newcomers beyond the quota limitations. We deplore the President's failure in making this request to take note of the discriminatory national origins method of selecting immigrants for entrance into America, which is basic to the McCarren-Walters Bill as well as others, of its totally un-American features. We urge its repeal. We further urge that Congress undertake the preparation of a new immigration law which will be in consonance with the cherished American tradition of equality and justice to all. (1953, pp. 124-25)

10. See Individual Rights, Sec. 1e) (1953).

11. We register our shock and dismay at the abrupt dismissal of Edward Corsi, a dismissal made even more flagrant by the completely unsupported suggestion that he was a security risk. We commend Mr. Corsi for his courageous condemnation of the manner in which the Act was being administered. We agree completely with him that the Refugee Act stands in sore need of those who will put their hearts into it as well as their hands upon it. We look to his successor to put into effect these principles. We urge our government to exert a truly sincere and a more powerful effort to open our doors to these victims of tyranny and persecution and thus to fulfill our pledge to those who risked their lives for the promise of freedom which we hold out to them. (1955, p. 66)