1931 August 9

Group Criticizes Lack of Asylum for Political Refugees


The National Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born on this day protested the failure of the U.S. government to provide asylum for political refugees. The group specifically criticized the recent report of the Wickersham Commission on deportations for failing to recommend a right to political asylum in the U.S.

The issue of political asylum worsened beginning in 1933 with the advent of Hitler and Nazism in Germany. See the ACLU request to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 10, 1933 that the U.S. admit more refugees from Nazi Germany.

The most important Wickersham Commission achievement was its report on Lawlessness in Law Enforcement, a national survey of police brutality, which was issued on August 10, 1931.

The National Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born later changed its name to the American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, and during the Cold War it was heavily attacked as a pro-communist organization.

Learn more about political asylum today: http://www.politicalasylumusa.com/

Learn more about the government’s asylum policies today: http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum

Read: Christopher Einolf, The Mercy Factory: Refugees and the American Asylum System (2001)

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