George C. Higgins, "The Eastland Bill," The Yardstick, April 5, 1976


Msgr. George C. Higgins
Courtesy of ACUA

Msgr. George Higgins began working for the NCWC in 1944, and remained with the organization for thirty-four years, serving as secretary for various departments and always active in matters concerning economic justice for laborers. In 1945, he took over the authorship of a weekly column of social, economic, and labor problems, which was syndicated in the NCWC's New Service to the Catholic press. In the column reproduced here, Higgins considers a bill introduced in 1976 by Sen. James Eastland (D-Mississippi) that would amend the 1965 Immigration Act.


"The Eastland Bill"


As you read the document, reflect on the following questions:

  • What provision in the bill does Higgins object to?
  • Why did the U.S. Catholic Conference oppose the bill? What kind of law would the USCC favor instead?
  • How does Higgins think the Eastland Bill would affect domestic American workers? What does he think would happen to wages, working conditions, and unemployment rates if the Eastland Bill passed?