The best of American immigration policy is described in the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, found in New York City harbor. You will find that inscription further down in this post. You will also find a modern revision of that inscription which shows how it applies to the current situation.
The two immigration policies, probably tied for the worst policies in our nation’s history, are:
1. Donald Trump’s policy on Muslim refugees
2. Our nation’s policy regarding Jewish refugees in the 1940s.
However, the policy of the Know Nothing Party (Also known as the American Party), in the 1840s and 1850s, was pretty bad as well.
The Worst Policies
Donald Trump has ordered that:
– No immigrants from any nation may enter this country for 120 days.
– No immigrants from Syria will be allowed in for an indefinite period.
– No immigrants from any of 7 Muslim Majority countries may come here for 90 days.
This puts a lot of innocent refugees at risk of death at he hands of their governments, or radical groups in their countries, or even from just plain starvation. It is a disgraceful policy.
In the 1940s:
Boatloads of Jewish refugees came to the US to escape the Nazis. Many Americans feared there were Nazi spies among them. So our government wouldn’t let the boats land. They were forced to return to Europe where many of the Jews died in Nazi prison camps.
Ann Frank and her family were among those refused admission. She and most of her family died in the Nazi death camps. Only her father survived.
The Know Nothing Party:
In the 1840s and 1850s this party opposed the admission of any Catholic immigrants. They feared these immigrants would take over the country and put it under the control of the Pope. They also complained that Catholic immigrants would take jobs away from “ real Americans”. (Sound familiar?)
The Best Policy
Here is the immigration policy found in the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Here is a modern rendition of this inscription showing how it might apply to today’s realities.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled Syrians yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of Syria’s teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed of Syria to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I hope we can get back to the noble immigration policy expressed by the Statue of Liberty.