The Problems of Immigration and the Proposed Remedies of Congress

Authored by Alexander A. LoBianco

The artifact highlighted is a draft of a Statement from the Honorable Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Deputy, U.S. Department of State; an integral component of the hearing: Review of immigration problems.

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).

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A Letter of Welcome: The Plight of the Indochinese Refugees

Authored by Laura Baker

Correspondence from Joshua Eilberg to the Honorable Herbert E. Harris. 3 February, 1977. 241-cms105, Box 3, Folder 24, Item 2. Center for Migration Studies, New York, New York.

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).

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Greater Things: Following Barbara M. Watson’s Political Achievements

Authored by Brooke Leonard

Newspaper article from the Washington Star-News dated September 4, 1974 detailing the attempt to oust Barbara M. Watson from her position.

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.

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A Biased Portrayal of Immigrants to the United States

Authored by Liz O’Malley

Photo is an excerpt from the Consular Officers’ Association’s newsletter, The Consular Packet, dated January 13, 1975. Courtesy of The Center for Migration Studies of New York’s Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection.

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). 

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Central Valley Opportunity Center: Gaining Ground in the War on Poverty

Authored by Anton Sherin

The cover of the Central Valley Opportunity Center's 1984 Annual Report
The cover of this annual report by The Central Valley Opportunity Center exemplifies the organization’s mission to generate labor mobility for low-income migrant farmworkers.

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.). 

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Cold War Détente: Perturbation during a Period Designed for Peace

Authored by Ryan McDonnell

Photo of a primary source document in the Center for Migration Studies of New York’s Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection. Congressional Record – Extension of Remarks: What Price Détente?, submitted by Honorable John R. Rarick of Louisiana in the House of Representatives, December 12, 1974.

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.

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The Complicated Details of Migration and Refugee Law: Primary Source Collections to Educate the Development of Immigration in the United States

Authored by Puanani Luhia

Photo of a primary source document in the Center for Migration Studies of New York’s Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection. Congressional Record – Extension of Remarks: Equitable Relief Asked for Haviv Schieber, submitted by Honorable John M. Ashbrook of Ohio in the House of Representatives, May 13, 1974.

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).

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United States Immigration Policy: A Decades-Old Conundrum

United States Immigration Policy: A Decades-Old Conundrum

Authored by Casey L. Stiller

This scanned excerpt, written by Charles B. Keely and included in Mary M. Kritz’s U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policy, describes the challenges faced in changing United States immigration policy. Keely gives a brief overview of the current immigration climate within the United States in the early 1980’s.

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). 

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More Than Just One Man: Haviv Scheiber’s Case Against Social Injustice

Authored by Jiaqi Chang

This Washington Observer Newsletter article, dated November 15, 1971, prints the affidavit of Haviv Scheiber. Claiming that Scheiber “is a man of courage,” the article depicts Scheiber’s case against deportation and sheds light on his years-long proceedings with the United States courts.

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.

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Father Lydio F. Tomasi’s Contributions to Worldwide Refugees in the 1980s

Authored by Sonia Lau

This letter is written to Father Lydio Tomasi on January 19,1983 from Eugene F. Higgins thanking him for his contributions and insights regarding refugee situations that is happening around the world during the 1980s. It is part of the Directors’ Files of CMS Collection #084A, Box 4, Folder 41.

Immigration has had an enormous role in shaping the United States as a nation. There are many reasons for one to immigrate and such decisions are major and life-changing. Conflicts between nations, as well as economic turmoil, displace millions of people all over the world. What happens when the people are forced to flee their homelands to escape and seek refuge in another nation? Thus, immigration becomes an essential topic for understanding and discussion. With such need, people like Father Lydio F. Tomasi, along with a few of his community of Catholic priests, nuns, and laypeople founded the Center for Migration Studies. Continue reading