Plans for the expenditure of $14,000,000 in a national immigrant education program marks an effort on the part of the United states to take full advantage of the contributions emigrees from European terror can offer this country, Eleanor Roosevelt told 130 state and local education officials, and federal bureau chiefs gathered at the White House this afternoon.
She spoke before educators, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization officials, WPA and U.S. Office of Education chiefs and others attending the conference to develop plans for education of aliens for citizenship requirements.
The first lady deplored the tendency on the part of some Americans to differentiate between native and foreign-born Americans, pointing out that most of the latter could not be considered dangerous to democracy as their experiences in Europe were calculated to make them more keenly aware of the value of freedom.
Mrs. Roosevelt was introduced by Daan William Fletcher Russell, of Columbia University Teachers College, Director of the program, who pointed out that in recent months 1,750,000 aliens applying for citizenship had been told they would need training in English, American History and other subjects to qualify. “The task of providing education for this number of men and women, more than the total enrollment of American colleges, is a staggering one that can only be met by a coordinated national effort,” he said.
Under tentative plans being developed at the conference the MPA will provide funds for instructors, local education units acting as co-sponsors will supply facilities and the Immigration and Natunalisation Service will provide the necessary content with the 1,000,000 immigrants the program is expected to reach.