Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Recommending Emergency Legislation for the Admission of Refugees.
We are all aware of the tragic developments of the past several years which have left countless thousands of individuals homeless refugees in the heart of Europe. In recent months, the number of refugees has been increased by the steady flow of escapees who have braved death to escape from behind the Iron Curtain. These refugees and escapees searching desperately for freedom look to the free world for haven.
In addition, the problem of population pressures continues to be a source of urgent concern in several friendly countries in Europe.
It is imperative that we join with the other nations in helping to find a solution to these grave questions. These refugees, escapees, and distressed peoples now constitute an economic and political threat of constantly growing magnitude. They look to 191 traditional American humanitarian concern for the oppressed. International political considerations are also factors which are involved. We should take reasonable steps to help these people to the extent that we share the obligation of the free world.
Therefore, after consideration of all the points of view which have been presented, I recommend, within the framework of the immigration laws, the enactment of emergency immigration legislation for the special admission of 120,000 immigrants per year for the next two years.
In order to help resolve this current immigration and refugee problem in the tradition of our American policy, I urge that the Congress give this recommendation its earliest consideration.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Richard M. Nixon, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Recommending Emergency Legislation for the Admission of Refugees. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231658