On December 22, 1974, The New York Times published an exposé on the Central Intelligence Agency. This front-page story reported that the CIA, which was not permitted to report on American citizens, had gathered files on over 10,000 Americans, including political dissidents (Hersh 1974, 1). This was a significant breach of the privacy of American citizens. On January 4, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford established the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States in response to these allegations. This Commission, also known as the Rockefeller Commission, was “to determine whether or not any domestic CIA activities exceeded the Agency’s statutory authority and to make appropriate recommendations” (Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum n.d., under “Introduction”).
The Center for Migration Studies of New York has artifacts from the Collection of The Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Collection. He created or used them during his tenure as counsel for the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law. It consists of primary source material on United States migration and refugee law. The artifact discussed was in box 3, folder 30 of the collection in the center’s archives, housed at St. John’s University (Center for Migration Studies 2015).
On February 3, 1977, Joshua Eilberg sent a letter to Herbert E. Harris welcoming him to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and International Law for the 95th congress. Shortly thereafter, the subcommittee held hearings on May 25th and June 2nd of 1977 regarding H.R. 2051. The legislation, proposed by Representative Hamilton Fish, concerned the first wave of Indochinese refugees who had fled their homelands at the culmination of the Vietnam War (Desbarats 1985, 4; Zucker 1983, 174).
Barbara Mae Watson was the first woman, and the first African American Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. She was first appointed on July 31, 1968, where she served until 1974, and was appointed again on April 7, 1977 (Office of the Historian, n.d.). She served under Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter.
In 1975, immigration in the United States was a prominent topic of political discussion. This was partially due to how “the Immigration Act of 1965…resulted in increased immigration” (Irwin 1972, 23). The media also reported the Senate’s rejection of H.R. 982 in 1973 as a failure (Hohl 1975).
When “The Central Valley Opportunity Center 1984 Annual Report” was published, nearly all farmworker families living in the Central Valley of California lived below the Federal lower-living standard (CVOC, n.d., 8). Seventy five percent of migrant farmworkers spoke little to no English and language barriers combined with their itinerant existence meant that few were educated beyond the sixth grade. CVOC’s report gives a detailed account of the actions the organization took in 1984 to support migrant farmworkers’ struggle for survival. This report is valuable for understanding the foundations and efficacy of CVOC’s current operations.
The Central Valley of California is a temperate, 450 mile stretch of well irrigated, nutrient rich soil (Norton, n.d.). The 350 different crops grown there generate a quarter of the produce consumed in the United States (Perez 2019). This massive agricultural operation attracts a broad array of migrant workers to the region and wage growth is undermined by competition for unskilled positions. CVOC is one of many community-based organizations that emerged in the 1970s to address the needs of low-income migrant farmworkers in California (Tony Silva, pers. comm.).
During the late 1960s period of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union began to share concerns over rising geopolitical tensions in a world ever conscious of the potential for nuclear devastation. Such concerns led to a roughly ten-year period of “détente,” where both nations sought to ease tensions through negotiations pertaining to arms control from 1969 to 1979 (Cahn 1998, 96). Though initially détente was popularly perceived as a step toward a safer and more peaceful world, a growing number of U.S. citizens condemned the program for functioning against the social and economic welfare of the nation (Zanchetta 2013). The 1974 article “What Price Détente,” found in a Congressional Record from the Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection of the Center for Migration Studies, features a strong argument that sought to reveal the economic harm of the détente in order to garner support for the modification or abandonment of this foreign policy initiative.
The Extension of Remarks is part of the Congressional Record which serves as the official transcript for the House and the Senate. The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) also offers works from the Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection to serve as “primary sources of how migration and refugee law is made and how that process might be improved for future generations of immigrants” (CMS 2015, 4).
There have been three major migration periods in the United States in the last century: a largely laissez faire outlook in the 1930s; the Bracero Program, in effect during and after World War II; and, following the elimination of the Bracero Program, passage of major immigration laws in 1965 (Rosenblum and Brick 2011, 1). The Bracero Program was a formal agreement signed between the United States and Mexico in 1942, establishing “a migrant guest worker program,” which had favorable conditions for Mexican immigrants (Rosenblum and Brick 2011, 4). The Bracero Program experienced significant pushback, and upon its expiration in 1964, was followed instead by the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965, which established per-country caps and a tiered preference system for rationing visas within a country (Rosenblum and Brick 2011, 5).
On November 15th, 1971, the Washington Observer Newsletter published an article titled Courageous Jew. Within the Center for Migration Studies of New York’s archives, various court proceedings accompany this article which documents Scheiber’s battle with the United States immigration courts. “The respondent is …last a citizen of Israel. On March 15, 1961 he was found deportable…[and] a warrant for his deportation…was issued November 19, 1964” (United States Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals 1970), one of those court proceedings states. Purely reading these sterile court proceedings, one is inclined to view Scheiber as an individual defiant of laws. However, Courageous Jew provides an opportunity for Scheiber to convey the context for his decades-long battle with the United States courts.