Franklin D. Roosevelt

Greeting to the American Committee for Protection of Foreign-born.

January 09, 1940

My dear Dr. Neilson:

On the occasion of its Fourth Annual Conference, I am glad to greet the American Committee for Protection of Foreign born. It has undertaken the task of assuring fair play to the foreign-born within the United States. Every American wishes it success.

Every American takes pride in our tradition of hospitality to men of all races and of all creeds. One of the great achievements of the American commonwealth has been the fact that race groups which were divided abroad are united here. Enmities and antagonisms were forgotten; former opponents met here as friends. Groups which had fought each other overseas here work together; their children intermarry; they have all made contributions to democracy and peace.

Because of the very greatness of this achievement, we must be constantly vigilant against the attacks of intolerance and injustice. We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization. If reason is to prevail against intolerance, we must always be on guard. We welcome therefore the work to maintain the rights of the foreign-born.

Very sincerely yours,


Dr. William Allan Neilson
American Committee for Protection of Foreign-born
New York, N. Y.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Greeting to the American Committee for Protection of Foreign-born. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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