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Letter Recommending Emergency Legislation For The Admission Of Refugees - Presidential Paper Historical Series

by President Dwight D. Eisenhower: 1953-1961

52 - Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Recommending Emergency Legislation for the Admission of Refugees
April 22, 1953

Dear Mr.____________:

            We are all aware of the tragic developments of the past several years which have left countless thousands of individuals homeless refugees in the heart of Europe. In recent months, the number of refugees has been increased by the steady flow of escapees who have braved death to escape from behind the Iron Curtain. These refugees and escapees searching desperately for freedom look to the free world for haven.

In addition, the problem of population pressures continues to be a source of urgent concern in several friendly countries in Europe.

It is imperative that we join with the other nations in helping to find a solution to these grave questions. These refugees, escapees, and distressed peoples now constitute an economic and political threat of constantly growing magnitude. They look to 191 traditional American humanitarian concern for the oppressed. International political considerations are also factors which are involved. We should take reasonable steps to help these people to the extent that we share the obligation of the free world.

Therefore, after consideration of all the points of view which have been presented, I recommend, within the framework of the immigration laws, the enactment of emergency immigration legislation for the special admission of 120,000 immigrants per year for the next two years.

In order to help resolve this current immigration and refugee problem in the tradition of our American policy, I urge that the Congress give this recommendation its earliest consideration.



NOTE: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Richard M. Nixon, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Reprinted with permission from John Wolley and Gerhard Peters of the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara at the American Presidency Project.

About The Author

This is part of the presidential paper historical series featuring past presidential public papers related to immigration law. The papers of our past Presidents show the impact of immigration law in American history. We thank the efforts of the American Presidency Project who have gathered these important archival documents.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.