1953 January 5

“Whom Shall We Welcome?” President Truman Endorses Immigration Reform Report


President Harry Truman on this day praised a report on immigration policy, Whom Shall We Welcome, which recommended that “the National Origins quota system should be abolished.” This system, which was established by the notorious 1924 immigration law, passed on May 26, 1924, discriminated against potential immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as other parts of the world. (Immigration from India in the early 1960s, for example, was limited to 100 people a year.) The report was prepared by the President’s Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, established by President Truman.

President Harry Truman’s leadership set in motion a long public debate that culminated in the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, which abolished the restrictive quota system. President Lyndon Johnson signed the immigration law on October 3, 1965, in a ceremony at the Statue of Liberty.

Read the full text of the report: https://archive.org/details/whomweshallwelco00unit

Listen to President Johnson when he signs the 1965 Immigration reform bill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQNP5XKMNls

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