John F. Kennedy

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John F. Kennedy

Typed Letter Signed on Senate Letterhead - 1955

“There is no place for second-class citizenship in America.”
— John F. Kennedy

A particularly timely Typed Letter Signed by then Senator John F. Kennedy to Giosue Campanaro, an Italian immigrant who owned a shoe repair shop in Washington DC and who had been introduced to JFK by Campanaro’s cousin, Oliver R. Sciarappa.
On 8.5″ x 10″ Senate letterhead, dated October 14, 1955, in fine condition with only mild toning mainly at the folds. With letter of provenance from Campanaro family, and accompanying letter by Kennedy’s administrative assistant, T.J. Reardon.

The letter delivers disappointing news to Mr. Campanaro, who had apparently petitioned Kennedy to intercede in getting his nephew and wife legal immigration status from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to the United States. Though Kennedy did make an effort, strict immigration quotas at the time had already been met, and not even a sitting U.S. Senator could effect a change in the law.

Throughout his presidency, John F. Kennedy was passionate about the issue of immigration reform. He believed that America is a nation of people who value both tradition and the exploration of new frontiers, people who deserve the freedom to build better lives for themselves in their adopted homeland. Kennedy’s stance on immigration succeeded him two years after his death with President Johnson’s signing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, abolishing the National Origins Formula that had radically restricted the issuance of visas since the 1920s.

At a time when the issue of immigration and immigrants has again taken center stage in this country, the message of President John F. Kennedy’s classic essay A Nation of Immigrants is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.