An interview with Robert H. Goldsborough

Reflections on Border and Internal Security Battles – An exclusive interview with Robert H. Goldsborough
By Peter Gemma

The Social Contract, Volume 22, Number 2 (Winter 2011-2012); Issue theme: “AAAS – American Association for the Advancement of Silence?”

Summary: For more than 50 years, Robert Goldsborough has been involved in the immigration reform movement, particularly the vital link between protected borders and national security. He was appointed by Congressman Francis Walter (D-PA) as a staff investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities, served as a speech writer for Gov. Louis Nunn (R) of Kentucky, and has headed up national organizations opposing illegal immigration from the mid-1960s until today. TSC Contributing Editor Peter Gemma recently interviewed Mr. Goldsborough.

TSC: Bob, it’s so nice to get re-acquainted with an old friend and veteran activist. In the late 1950s, you worked with Congressman Francis Walter, who co-authored the important McCarran-Walter Immigration Act. Tell me about that legislation and the fight to get it enacted.

RG: Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, chairman of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, and Pennsylvania Congressman Francis Walter, chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, sponsored the legislation. The McCarran-Walter Act moved away from immigration based upon country of origin. Instead it focused on those who were willing and able to assimilate into the U.S. economic, social, and political structures. That changed how immigration law was handled. The 1952 Act set a total quota of about 155,000 persons each year — the figure was based on one sixth of 1 percent of the number of persons in the U.S. in 1920 and who traced their origins to a specific country. Half of each quota was first for certain groups whose skills and services were needed, 20 percent for spouses and children of permanent resident aliens, 30 percent for parents of adult American citizens, brothers, sisters, and adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Other immigrants could come in on unused portions of the required quotas. Non-quota immigrants and refugees increased total annual immigrant numbers to approximately 300,000 per year. The Act established a preference system that determined which ethnic groups were desirable immigrants and placed great importance on labor qualifications. President Harry Truman vetoed the bill, but Congress overrode the President’s veto by large margins in both the House and Senate. Congress did so partly to ensure the enactment of the bill’s domestic security provisions. McCarran-Walter authorized the deportation of any alien who engaged or had purpose to engage in activities prejudicial to the public interest or subversive to national security. We understood then that the solution of the problems of Europe and Asia would not come through a transplanting of those problems en masse to the United States.

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