I was taken aback when I saw the results from the JT poll of July 11. When asked how the U.S. should deal with the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have flocked across the country’s southern border the past few months, 60 percent of respondents voted to “deport them quickly.” Amazing how so many of us have forgotten our history.
I remember learning about the MS St. Louis, which was turned away from our shores in 1939, denying 937 Jewish people the chance for a safe haven and a new life away from the atrocities that were taking place in Germany. I am in no way comparing the current situation to what took place during the Holocaust. But these are children, many of whom have parents who, like parents during World War II, sent them to the U.S. in the hope that they would find a safer and better life.
As Jews who should understand what it means to be ignored by the world and cast adrift to certain death, we should know better than to just say to these innocent children: “Deport them quickly.”
I hope we’ll be able to welcome these children and help them to have the life those 937 people were denied.
Editor’s note: The writer is an occasional columnist for the JT.