February 6, 1957
Subjects Legislative Progress Report No, 1
First Session, 85th Congress
The "key" Committees as far as the JACL is concerned are the Senate and House Judiciary
Committees, which have jurisdiction over immigration, evacuation claims, vested property, and civil
rights legislation and the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, which have jurisdiction over
appropriations for the payment of evacuation claims awards and for the administration of all departments
in which the JACL has a special interest, such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the
Evacuation Claims Section, and the Office of Alien Property of the Department of Justice.
This far, there has been practically no activity in the Congress itself, with the standing
committees completing their organizations into subcommittees and determining their fie ids of jurisdic-
tion On the other harid, more than 6,000 bills have already been introduced thus far in this session
(about a month).
There are only two bi I Is that ha ve any chance to be consider ed and approved this Congress,
the so-cciled Administration Bill and the so-called Walter Bill.
The Administration Bill (1) would provide for larger quotas for Japan (563 to 185 as at
present annually), (2) would facilitate the reuniting of separated family units by arranging for regional
pools for the use of unused quotas within these regional areas and by specifically allocating 4th
Preference alien brothers, sisters, sons or daughters of United States citizens ten per cent of the annual
quota, and (3) would in some cases "liberalize" the provisions for suspension of deportation and
adjustment of status while others would have a "restrictive" effect.
The Walter Bill, while it contains several substantial concessions as far as liberalizations
go, does not specifically affect any of JACL's eight general objectives.
The watching of all developments and trying to secure as many of JACL's objectives as
possible appears to us to be the most appropriate course. As a starter, the Administration Bill should
be supported with suggested amendments along the lines of JACL's objectives.
Necessary appropriations to pay all awards made under the 1956 JACL-COJAEC sponsored
evacuation claims amendment is our primary objective insofar as this claims program is concerned.
Secondary objective is necessary funds to continue the administration of this section in the Department
Our judgment is that this subject be deferred to a more propitious opportunity.
Return of Vested Property
A bill to return all wartime vested property to former Japanese and German owners has
been introduced by Senator Olin D. Johnston, Democrat, South Carolina, chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Subcommittee on the Trading with the Enemy Act,
John Burns of Honolulu, has introduced enabling legislation that will extend Statehood to
the Territory of Hawaii.
The Washington Office will continue its important "watchdog"activities, to examine all
bills and resolutions as they are introduced to determine whether any of them threaten the welfare
of persons of Japanese ancestry in this country or may benefit those of Japanese ancestry in the United
States. In the former case, they will be vigorously opposed, while those in the latter category will
be endorsed and supported.
NATIONAL JACL'S job a continuing one
The Japanese American Citizens League has three stated purposes..
The first of these is to promote and protect the welfare of persons of Japanese ancestry in the United
States consistent with our democracy., This includes working to eliminate all discriminations, legal,
social and economic, which in any way prevent Americans of Japanese ancestry from realizing their
fullest capacities and making their particular contributions to the life of this country,,
Secondly, JACL is concerned that Americans of Japanese ancestry fulfill their citizenship obliga-
tions this country and in their respective communities. JACL serves to train its members for
leadership and participation in the affairs of the larger community in cooperation with their fellow
Americans, and to open up channels whereby such active participation is made possible.
Finally, JACL strives to carry on a co"t*n .sous program of public relations in behalf of Americans of
Japanese ancestry in order that an increasing r>.mbot of o< fellow Americans will be aware of our
rightful place in American life.
Americans of Japanese ancestry have come a long way in their acceptance in America as compared
with pre-war days. This process has been hastened because ail of js have worked together in the
name of the only national organization specifically concerned with the interests and welfare of all
Americans of Japanese ancestry, the Japarese American Citizens League.
Before World War i!, Americans of Japanese ancestry we*e exemplary citizens, but the events
following Pearl Harbor made us realize thct very few people were aware of this, least of all, our
own Government, Today, JACL takes the -ole of ou> collective vote In a democracy, speaking ?n
behalf of the concerns of our group.
Only JACL is organized to refute and answer effectively incidents such as the Lincoln Yamamoto
letter in "News Week"; to fight discrim!nuto<-y or propose favorable legislation; and to receive
national recognition as accoided through tne television program "This Is your Life" ,
Good public relations is not something which is achieved once for all, it is a continuing job.
Through JACL government officials, both at the narional and local levels, not only have been made
aware of the good citizenship of Americans of Japanese ancestry, but they now depend upon the
advice and suggestions of JACL representatives In matters affecting our group,
At the last (14th Biennia!) National JACL Convention,the National Council unanimously approved
a seven-point legislative program for the Washington Office.
1, Liberalization of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, with
special reference to persons of Japanese ancestry..
2, Completion of the Evacuation Claims Program,
3, Return of wartime sequestrated (vested) property of Japanese owners.
4, Statehood for the deserving Territory of Hawaii
5, Civil Rights legislation,
6, Endorsement of legislation that may be introduced which will benefit
persons of Japanese ancestry in the United States.
7, Opposition to any bill that may be introduced that threatens the
welfare of persons of Japanese ancestry in the United States.
The above is possible when Americans of Japanese ancestry are united, organized, and working
together for the common good. $2,00 of your local membership goes for the support of the national
GIVE YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND BECOME AN ACTIVE MEMBER IN OURMILE-HI CHAPTER