2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2021 12:33 PM by Legislative Archives

    Seeking verbal deliberation in the House of Representative

    Ritta Yar Newbie

      How do I go about getting the transcripts and any documents involved in my dad's release from Ellis Island? It was submitted on January 29, 1952 by Congressman Rodino of Newark, NJ. I would like a copy of the verbal deliberation in the House of Representatives.


      I hope you can help me. I invested years into trying to locate records of my parents' history before they were married, mainly my dad. I’m writing their memoirs for the family.


      My dad (Laszlo Halasz) came to this country in1949. He was a stowaway on a ship leaving France heading to Halifax, Nova Scotia. He and a couple of friends were stowaways leaving Europe to come to America. They settled for a year in Montreal, Canada. Then again headed to New York as an illegal immigrant.  After a year in New York, someone reported him to the immigration authorities, and he was picked up and detained on Ellis Island. His detention took a year.  I would like to get a copy of his name on record, why he was detained, dates, length of time, complaints, punishments, whatever he has in his records while held on Ellis Island.  Any information on record from Ellis Island.  He was picked up on March 13th, 1951.
      A year of seeking out legal representation, a year of legal action, and support from many lawyers. Many months of little to no results. Ultimately, Congressman Rodino of Newark, N. J. submitted a Bill to Congress on January 29, 1952.  The opposing attorney was Lester Friedman, Council for the Immigration and Nationality. Congressman Rodino wrote a bill and it passed on January 29, 1952. He was released on March 5th, 1952.  Thereafter, he and my mom whom he was engaged to marry on March 11, 1952. I would like to know how I find out about his time on Ellis Island.
      I would like to find out about the process it took for Congressman Rodino of Newark to pass the bill. I have a copy of the Bill. I would like a copy of the transcripts and/or whatever, language they used to tell his story. I am not sure what you call it. Can it be the Congressional Record? I tried to get the records online. However, I was not successful. I am aware there needs to be records on Ellis Island on him. I have tried but my hands are tied, and I don’t know who and where to send my inquisitive questions.
      I have spent months and years researching my dad's records and I cannot seem to find any record of my dad's detention on Ellis Island for the year or so he was there. I researched most search engines for some type of record. Also, some type of record/transcripts of the legal process, etc.… that took part in the transcripts I congress, of the Bill that Congressman Rodino wrote to release my dad.
      My dad and mom Ritta Gaspar (maiden name) were on the front page, or in several newspapers: the NY Daily News, the Daily Mirror, the Newark Sunday News, several times about my dads' case. This was probably between 1950 to 1952. These pictures included my dad (Laszlo Halasz), my mom (Ritta Gaspar) my mom’s cousin Helen Atkinson, and Congressman Rodino.
      I was hoping you can help me or direct me in the correct direction for some positive results. My dad used the name Leslie Halasz when he came to the USA. However, his birth name was Laszlo Halasz. Born in Budapest, Hungary on July 16, 1926. My dad and mom are on the wall that my family honored them.  A plaque with their names on the Ellis Island Wall as Ritta Halasz / Leslie (Laszlo) Halasz. These plaques were purchased.
      Whatever, the direction you could lead me in would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
        • Re: Seeking verbal deliberation in the House of Representative
          atccn Wayfarer

          I can see that the bill (H.R. 6313 of the 82nd Congress) was as you say introduced by Rep. Rodino on January 29, 1952, but I'm not seeing any indication that it was ever debated on the floor or passed. This would explain why you aren't finding any coverage. It's possible that just introducing the bill put enough pressure on the government to release him. Do you have any information that suggests that the bill was passed? As for the Ellis Island records, you might consider writing the National Archives at New York City, which would probably have jurisdiction over the relevant records. Their website is http://archives.gov/nyc. Best of luck in your research!

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          • Re: Seeking verbal deliberation in the House of Representative
            Legislative Archives Scout

            Hi Ritta -- thank you for posting to History Hub!


            I checked the Congressional Record, which is the official record of proceedings and debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The Congressional Record is freely available online via GovInfo, and also through subscription databases like HeinOnline.


            The starting point in the Congressional Record is the 'Index to Proceedings' at the end of Volume 98 (1952). Look under 'Halasz' (pg. 168), this will provide relevant bill numbers. Then you can turn to the 'History of Bills and Resolutions' that follows and track the history of the two bills (pg. 537 and pg. 430).


            In the 82nd Congress, a bill for the relief of Laszlo Halasz was introduced in the House as H.R. 6313 by Mr. Rodino on Jan. 29, 1952 (see pg. 618) and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate as S. 2625 by Mr. Langer on Feb. 7, 1952 (pg. 898) and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Unfortunately, I see no indication that further action was taken on either of these bills in the 82nd Congress.


            I did a quick search in ProQuest Congressional, a subscription database with the full text of the Serial Set, but I didn't find mention of a Laszlo Halasz connected to any subsequent legislation.


            While there was no debate on either bill on the floor of the House or the Senate, it's possible there are bill files on either H.R. 6313 or S. 2625. Records would mostly likely either be with the papers accompanying specific bills relating to private immigration with the House in the 82nd Congress (see National Archives Catalog entry) or with the legislative bill files of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate in the 82nd Congress (see National Archives Catalog entry).


            To follow up on requesting bill files, please contact us at the Center for Legislative Archives by emailing: legislative.archives@nara.gov.



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