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