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Statement By The President In Response To A Report On Immigration

by Lyndon B. Johnson: 1963-1969

January 17, 1964

THE REPORT of the Immigration and Naturalization Service is an example of Government with a heart.

By applying existing immigration laws with humanity, we are demonstrating that compassion and efficient administration go hand in hand.

            America's strength has risen from the diversity of its heritage. Its future has always rested on the hopes of our forebears as they came to seek freedom and abundance.

We can take renewed faith in the eagerness of people throughout the world to become citizens--to share with us in the building of an even stronger country. We can express that faith by passing and implementing legislation already proposed to abolish the discriminatory national origins system.

This bill will eliminate the waste of unused quotas. It will permit families to be reunited.

            I am hopeful of passage as early as possible.

The Attorney General's report makes it clear that the Immigration Service has done its job with understanding, ability, and energy. In executing the new legislation it will continue to perform in that manner.

NOTE: The Attorney General's report, in the form of a letter to the President dated January 13 (5 pp., mimeographed), was released with the President's statement.

The report pointed out that during 1963 U.S. population was increased by 314,000 aliens who entered as immigrants OF as permanent residents. More than half came from Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico.

"One of the Service's most satisfying accomplishments in the year," the Attorney General informed the President, "was to make streamlined new procedures available to Americans who want to adopt alien orphans. Already, I am told, there has been a sharp reduction in the time required to adopt 1,500 of these orphans."

The report also noted that major gains had been made in cutting red-tape in the inspection procedures for visitors from abroad.

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.