Reported in the News Letter on January 2, 1948: Fiancées caught up in immigration row at NY airport


Fifteen demonstrating American ex-soldiers nearly caused a riot at La Guardia airport in New York yesterday when the immigration authorities refused to allow them to see their Italian fiancées who had just arrived by air from Rome.

The girls, together with three Austrian girls who arrived from England and whose future husbands were not at the airport to meet them, were taken to Ellis Island to await hearings by a special immigration inquiry board.

The girls’ visas were not in order because of the expiry at midnight on December 31 of a law allowing soldiers’ fiancées and brides to enter the United States.

Protesting excitedly, the men tried to force their way into the office where their fiancées were being questioned. Several had to be forcibly removed. The men then sent a joint telegram to President Truman appealing to his “mercy” for an extension of the girls’ visas.