SITE_KEY_skipToMainContentText



Descriptive inventory for the Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born records, 1947-1963, bulk 1950-1958

Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born records

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid

Descriptive inventory for the Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born records, 1947-1963, bulk 1950-1958

Prepared by Nancy Webster and Jeanie Child, 1993, ed. by Julie Wroblewski, 2015
  
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Web-site: http://libguides.chicagohistory.org/research
Catalog: http://chsmedia.org
E-mail: research@chicagohistory.org
Instructions for accessing this collection
  

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born records, 1947-1963 (inclusive), 1950-1958 (bulk)
Creator: Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born
Dates: 1947-1963 (inclusive), 1950-1958 (bulk)
Accession numbers: M1973.0073
M1978.0039
M1984.23
Bib number: 00066499
Call number: MSS Lot M
Size: 6.5 linear feet (14 boxes)
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

The records of the Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born were included in the records of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, a gift of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights (accession #: M1973.0073, M1978.0039, M1984.23).

Terms governing use:

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Please cite this collection as:

Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born [manuscript] (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at Chicago History Museum Research Center include the Pearl Hart papers and the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records.

Separated material:

11 audiotapes were separated and returned to the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records

Collection Summary +/-

A large volume of newsletters, bulletins, and similar publications distributed by the American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born describes the deportee defense cases and legislative lobbying efforts at the national level (Series I). Locally, the Midwest Committee issued its own newsletters and an enormous number of press releases which cover post-1950 dates best (Series II, and most deportee defense cases). Also present is a significant amount of correspondence marking interchanges between the Midwest Committee and the American Committee, as well as communication with other regional offices (Series II). More than thirty deportee defense files provide correspondence directed to the deportees themselves and with their legal counsel. These deportee defense files include a variety of press releases, legal memoranda, newsclippings and publicity. Fundraising and publicity materials issued by both the American and Midwest Committees include recruitment brochures, mailings to potential donors, and flyers announcing rallies, speeches, dinners, and other programs.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

The Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born (MCPFB) was established to provide legal defense for non-citizens threatened with deportation and denaturalization by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). It also sought to repeal laws authorizing deportations based on membership in organizations defined by those laws as subversive. Although it defined itself publicly as a separate organization, the MCPFB functioned as a regional branch of the American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born (1933-1982) and shared its objectives.

The MCPFB was founded in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois by civil rights lawyer Pearl M. Hart (1890-1975). Hart chaired the organization until ca.1953 and served as its general counsel beginning in 1951. During most of the organization’s existence, it functioned under the executive directorship of Nathan E. Caldwell, Jr.

The American Committee provided continual policy guidelines and strategy advice to regional committees like the MCPFB, as well as conducting extensive fundraising and deportee defense activities. During the years documented by these records, the American Committee's executive director Abner Green exerted guidance and control over the MCPFB’s activities, and the MCPFB in turn oversaw Chicago area chapters, including South Bend, Gary, and East St. Louis.

In conjunction with the American Committee and other regional committees, the MCPFB arranged legal defense and public support for those facing deportation and raised public awareness of the deportation issue. The organization also lobbied for the repeal of the Smith Alien Registration Act of 1940, the Walter-McCarran Internal Security Acts of 1950-1952, the House Un-American Activities Committee (the Dies Committee), the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB), and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS). The MCPFB took many deportation cases as far as the United States Supreme Court; one significant victory was the 1957 George Witkovic case, in which the Court prohibited the INS from questioning alien residents about matters unrelated to their availability for deportation. Other issues addressed in the legal cases involved the denial of bail and imposing of supervisory parole on deportees with no alternative citizenship.

Although the MCPFB and related organizations were considered Communist organizations by politicians and the press, there is no evidence that the organization encountered the anticommunist purges and internal tensions that affected many other civil liberties organizations. The organization kept the Bill of Rights central to its positions and efforts and defended former Communist Party members. By 1960 a new national organization, the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation, was created to extend the work begun by the American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born. In Chicago, this organizational change created the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights. These successor organizations widened their scope beyond deportations to focus on the protection of Bill of Rights civil liberties.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Subjects:
Citizenship, loss of--United States
Civil rights--United States
Communism--United States
Croatian Americans
Czech and Slovak Americans
Deportation--United States
Emigration and immigration law--United States
Hungarian Americans--United States
Immigrants--United States
Japanese Americans--United States
Jews--United States
Lithuanian Americans--United States
Mexican Americans--United States
Political persecution--United States
Puerto Ricans--United States
Ukrainian Americans--United States
Persons:
Barron, Harriet
Binford, Jessie
Caldwell, Nathan
Criley, Richard
Goodman, Lillian
Green, Abner
Hart, Pearl M.
Hoffman, Julius J.
Hyndman, Katherine
Katzen, Leon
Rodgers, Tillie Carl
Rosen, Rachel
Smith, Louise Pettibone
Tandaric, Steven
Treffman, Mildred
Organizations:
American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born
Civil Rights Congress
International Workers' Order
Japanese Gardeners' Association of Southern California
Midwest Committee for the Protection of Foreign Born
Morning Freiheit Association
National Committee on Immigration and Censorship
National Lawyers Guild
Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers
Progressive Party
United Electrical Workers
United Farm Equipment Workers
Genre/Form:
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Conference proceedings
Correspondence
Legal memoranda
Minutes
Newsletters
Pamphlet
Press releases
Reports
Geographic:
Chicago (Ill.)
United States--Constitution--1st-10th Amendments

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged two series. Folders are arranged alphabetically within each series. While some folder contents are in chronological order, most folders contain the original assemblage of materials preserved intact.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born (ACPFB) records, 1947-1959 (box 1-3)
Series 2. Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born (MCPFB) records, 1947-1963 (box 4-12)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Julie Wroblewski using Oxygen editor, 2015
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to Explore Chicago Collections portal.
Processing Note:Originial inventory created support from the U.S. Dept. of Education, Title II-C Program.
you wish to report:


...
Select the collections to add or remove from your search
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
 
OK