By January 27, 2018 Read More →

July 1941 The USA Restricts Entry of Jewish Refugees

RooseveltRefugee immigration (e.g. into USA) was cut again, to about 25 percent of the relevant quotas. Behind this decline was the ‘relatives rule,’ a State Department regulation stipulating that any applicant with a parent, child, spouse, or sibling remaining in German, Italian, or Russian territory had to pass an extremely strict security test to obtain a visa. The State Department explained that cases had come to light of Nazi and Soviet agents pressuring refugees to engage in espionage under threat of retaliation against their relatives.

Another innovation in July 1941 required a systematic security review of all immigration applications by special interdepartmental committees. (Each committee included representatives of the Visa Division, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the FBI, Army Intelligence, and Naval Intelligence.)  Applications that received unfavorable recommendations from the special committees were rejected. For favorably recommended cases, the State Department sent ‘advisory approvals’ to its visa-issuing consuls abroad. Normally, the consuls then granted the visas. But they were not required to do so; legally, the final decision was theirs.”

Source: Wyman, David. The Abandonment of the Jews. P 125; Wyman, David. Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis (1968).

Posted in: American Presidents

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