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America's shameful history regarding Jewish refugees prior to WWII. It's a similar story today.
By Curt_Anderson
January 15, 2023 11:35 am
Category: Opinion

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Americans rarely agree as overwhelmingly as they did in November 1938. Just two weeks after Nazi Germany coordinated a brutal nationwide attack against Jews within its own borders -- an event known as "Kristallnacht" -- Gallup asked Americans: "Do you approve or disapprove of the Nazi treatment of Jews in Germany?" Nearly everyone who responded -- 94% -- indicated that they disapproved.

Yet, even though nearly all Americans condemned the Nazi regime's terror against Jews in November 1938, that very same week, 72% of Americans said "No" when Gallup asked: "Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live?" Just 21% said "Yes." --Gallup

In 1921 and 1924, the US Congress passed immigration laws that severely limited the number and “national origin” of new immigrants. These laws did not change in the 1930s, as desperate Jewish refugees attempted to immigrate from Nazi Germany.

In May 1939, the German liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, to Havana, Cuba. The 937 passengers were almost all Jewish refugees. Cuba's government refused to allow the ship to land. The United States and Canada were unwilling to admit the passengers. The St. Louis passengers were finally permitted to land in western European countries rather than return to Nazi Germany. 254 St. Louis passengers were killed in the Holocaust.

Fast forward to today
Haiti has no elected government officials as it spirals towards anarchy. Gangs control much of capital. Haiti has suffered from a disastrous economy, a struggling police force, a malnutrition crisis and a cholera outbreak.

With its socialist regime public corruption in Venezuela contributed substantially to the country’s deteriorating infrastructure, rampant inflation and high rates of hunger and starvation.

I suspect that the vast majority of Americans would tell pollsters that they condemn the government (or lack of) and deplorable situations in Haiti and Venezuela.

Like Americans 85 years ago, today's Americans in the abstract may be sympathetic of the victims of dysfunctional and corrupt nations--but not to the point where they would allow those immigrants seeking a better life into our country.

In July 2022, in answer to the pollsters' question; "Thinking now about immigrants -- that is, people who come from other countries to live here in the United States, in your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?"
31% responded "Present level", 27% said "Increased", 38% said "Decreased" and 4% offered no opinion.

Much like the antisemitic American politicians of the 1930's, we have politicians today who bash today's would-be immigrants.

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Comments on "America's shameful history regarding Jewish refugees prior to WWII. It's a similar story today.":

  1. by Donna on January 16, 2023 7:18 am

    When Pew Research asked Americans last August to fill in the blank for the statement Taking in civilian refugees from countries where people are trying to escape violence and war should be a _____ goal for immigration policy in the U.S., 73% of adults answered that it should be an important goal, with 28% answering "very important" and 45% answering "somewhat important".

    From the survey:

    Group / Somewhat Important / Very Important

    Women 44 32
    Men 45 24
    Democrat 44 41
    Republican 45 13

  2. by Donna on January 16, 2023 7:29 am

    Btw Curt, how could 31% respond "Present level", 27% "Increased", 38% "Decreased" and 45% "no opinion"? That adds up to 141%. I think you meant "4% no opinion".

  3. by oldedude on January 16, 2023 8:54 am
    I agree with you on the pre-, during- and post- WWII regarding the Jews. Our own president turned away MS St Louis in 1939. So their status was set by dim policy.

    Some questions since you're drawing a comparison.
    Inside the Jewish community...
    1. Were there known organized crime attempting to emigrate
    2. Was this an integral part of human trafficking rings attempting to enter the country
    3. Were there known terrorist cells infiltrating into the US for the purpose of dismantling the government of the US
    4. in comparison, were the Jews attempting evade being found out by the US without, the burden of registering as immigrants.

    I know you'll make the point that isn't "all" or even "many" that fall into most of the criminal or terrorist categories. Which is fair, and I agree with "most." The issue I have are the unknowns. The ONLY thing you and I differ on is that I believe we're still a sovereign nation and we need to know who is crossing our borders. We, as a nation, have that obligation to the citizens.

    I also think the immigration laws are completely broke and only serve lawyers. We need to have a process that works FOR those wishing for a better lifestyle and become viable citizens. My niece is Peruvian who was brought over by her mother to take care of her grandmother when she was 11. She's never had so much as a speeding ticket her entire life. Why can't she become a citizen? Why does it take several hundred thousand dollars to get that done? This is wrong on so many different levels. I will also add that she and my nephew are both avowed anarchists, so not people that I would "like" to have as a citizen. But she's earned that right to have an express line. And there are many others like her.

  4. by Curt_Anderson on January 16, 2023 9:11 am
    “Some questions since you're drawing a comparison.
    Inside the Jewish community...
    1. Were there known organized crime attempting to emigrate.” —OD

    I guess you’ve never heard of Meyer Lansky, Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik, Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Cohen, Lepke Buchalter, Arnold Rothstein, Dutch Schultz or Detroit’s Purple Gang.

  5. by oldedude on January 17, 2023 2:13 pm
    So you named seven, nationwide. Most cities have more than that in a single township. In Portland, gangs were responsible for "101 people killed in Portland in 2022, making it the deadliest year in the city’s history.

    It surpassed the record of 92 homicides set only the year before. Both 2022 and 2021 far exceeded the previous peak of 70 people who died in homicides in Portland in 1987."

    Did any of your "gangs" have a nation-wide effect? How many did they kill? Was it in the thousands per year? Did they account for 13% of all homicides in the US are attributed to gangs. Did their crimes comprise a whopping 48.9% of all violent crimes in the US? Did they account for 49.1% of human trafficking victims were connected to a gang one way or another. 96.4% of the victims were female. As the US Attorney General stated, gangs learned that trafficking people was much cheaper and less risky than smuggling guns or drugs.

    According to the latest data available, the FBI quoted 33,000 gangs and 1.4 million gang members active in the US. The public is less familiar with these crime stats related to gangs, which ought to be known better.

    I know that in your "world," you don't consider gangs an issue. That lily-white bubble you live in won't allow you to consider that gangs exist and they're not dangerous.

    Just for giggles, I thought I'd look at some other stats... I know you really don't care, because they knew the job was dangerous when they took it, but..The Las Vegas Valley is home to more than 300 street gangs, a number law enforcement officials say is growing as members ditch loyalties and create new groups.

    Roughly 20,000 gang members — or 6 for every 1,000 Nevada residents — live in the valley, according to the FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. Only five other states have as high a rate: California, Idaho, New Mexico and Illinois.

    Local gang members average from 14 to 21 years old, with recruitment typically starting in middle school, Metro Police said.

    Many of the city’s more established gangs are subsets of larger, California-based organizations. But there also are “hybrid gangs,” more loosely organized groups that are harder for police to contain.

    Hybrid gangs typically are younger, more scattered and more violent. Members can belong to several gangs at once. They don’t answer to a clear leader, and they don’t adhere to explicit rules of conduct. Identifying their rivals can be a struggle for police.

    Over the past decade, the valley has seen an increase in gang activity. As of this year there are: 630 criminal street gangs and 18,184 gang members. Of those members, more than 15,000 are known members, while 2,888 are affiliate members, according to Metro Police.

  6. by Curt_Anderson on January 17, 2023 2:37 pm
    "Local gang members average from 14 to 21 years old, with recruitment typically starting in middle school, Metro Police said." --OD

    You undermined your own anti-immigration argument. You seem to be more worried about adolescents than their parents immigrating. Anyway, the Metro Police (like the rest of your gang statistics) didn't say what percent of these recruited middle schoolers were immigrants.

    Immigrants, including illegal immigrants, to the United States are less likely to engage in crime than native-born Americans. Moreover, areas with the highest rates of immigration tend to have lower crime rates than other parts of the country. These claims are supported by the [Trump administration's] U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) own numbers.

    That makes sense, the possible penalties of convicted of a crime--even a petty one--are more severe for an immigrant than a native-born person. The immigrant faces deportation besides any fines or jail time.

  7. by Curt_Anderson on January 17, 2023 3:02 pm
    You will notice that this demographic study doesn't indicate what percent of the Hispanic gangs in Portland are immigrants.

  8. by oldedude on January 17, 2023 7:21 pm
    I agree with you about the "more." what you refuse to cover is that you are denying a multi billion dollar illegal enterprise is very lucrative on our southern border. They are there with impunity. "Alissa Parraz and 10-month old Nycholas Parraz were among six people killed in the small farming community of Goshen overnight Monday in what Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said was either a gang or cartel-related shooting."

    There are at least 13 U.S. cities that are used as distribution hubs by the Mexican drug cartels. Click to skip ahead and see the list of top 5 cities that are crowded by Mexican drug cartels.

    According to the DEA, Mexican drug cartels continue to expand their presence and forge partnerships with other transnational gangs, U.S. street gangs, prison gangs, and Chinese money laundering organizations. The DEA "assesses that the following six Mexican TCOs as having the greatest drug trafficking impact on the United States: Sinaloa Cartel, CJNG, Beltran Leyva Organization, Juarez Cartel, Gulf Cartel, and Los Zetas Cartel".

    Sinaloa Cartel is one of the oldest and most successful drug cartels in Mexico. It is also the most significant drug trafficking organization in the United States.

    Like I said in my first post (and several before that), I have NEVER said we need to stop immigration. The only difference is that you believe the murders on the border are worth not knowing who is in the country. You're using 19th century reasoning in the 21st century. Those rules do not apply now. Nor do you think the women and girls kidnapped and sold into prostitution aren't human enough to be counted in crimes. THAT is the reality of your racist attitude.

    All I want is to know who is in the country.

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