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Syrian Refugees Now; Jewish Refugees Then: Is There a Comparison? Pt 1 Roger Algase

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Update: November 20, 10:09 pm: Huffington Post reported on November 20, that on November 18, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum issued the following statement, which I reproduce here in its entirety:

"Acutely unaware of the consequences to Jews who were unable to flee Nazism, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum looks with concern upon the current refugee crisis. While recognizing that security concerns must be fully addressed, we should not turn our backs on the thousands of legitimate refugees.
The Museum calls upon public figures and citizens to avoid condemning today's refugees as a group. It is important to remember that many are fleeing because they have been targeted by the Assad regime and ISIS for persecution and in some cases elimination on the basis of their identity."

For a full report, see:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b0d4093a573793

My original post appears below:

The rhetoric over the issue of admitting Syrian refugees into the US in the wake of the Paris attacks (which none of them had anything to do with based on available evidence to date) has now heated up to a point where a certain distinguished retired physician is now comparing them to rabid dogs, a statement that could raise some questions about his own stability. See POLITICO: Ben Carson compares Syrian refugees to dogs, November 19.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/1...ee-dogs-216064

Not to be outdone, an even more well known businessman who is also running for president is now advocating closing some or all mosques in the US (but, to be sure, not destroying them - admittedly a very important distinction between his views and what happened to the synagogues in Germany on Kristallnacht in 1938). See POLITICO: Trump: 'Absolutely no choice' but to close mosques ​(November 18)

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/1...mosques-216008

In addition, more than half the governors in the United States have announced that they intend to shred the Constitutional provisions for federal supremacy in immigration matters and freedom of religion, and to violate US refugee law by barring Muslim refugees from their states, as discussed in more detail my November 17 Immigration Daily post.

Not to be outdone, the House of Representatives has just passed a bill that would effectively shut down the entire Syrian refugee program in the name of security.

http://nytimes.com/2015/11/20/us/pol...ria-iraq.html?

Meanwhile, the mayor of Roanoke Virginia, a Democrat, is calling for Muslim refugees in the US to be interned, just as Japanese-Americans were during WW2 in one of the most shameful of all periods in the entire history of the United States.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b031745cef5cc8

As a result of all this, some critics and human rights advocates are now comparing the current hysteria over Syrian Muslim refugees with the refusal of the Roosevelt administration to admit more than a handful of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany during the 1930's leading up to WW2.

But this comparison itself is causing outrage among many of the opponents of letting Syrian refugees into the United States. One of the milder reactions I have seen was from an acquaintance who said that even considering such a comparison was offensive.

The reason why some people angrily reject the idea of comparing Syrian refugees today with Jewish refugees 75 or 80 years ago is security: Syrians (at least those who, according to Rupert Murdoch, are not "proven Christians") are pilloried as potential terror threats today, while, the argument goes, Jewish refugees were a danger to nobody in the 1930's.

But that is not how Jewish refugees were perceived by the American public at the time. Just as the actual danger from Syrian refugees who are fleeing from an Islamist terror regime and an equally brutal Russian-backed dictatorship is wildly exaggerated today, Jewish refugees in the 1930's were considered by much of the American public to be everything from anarchists and Bolsheviks to potential Nazi spies in the 1930's.

Beenish Ahmed (OK, not exactly a Jewish name, but he extensively quotes from a Jewish historian - see below) in a November 19 article on ThinkProgress America Turned Away Jewish Refugees Because Some Were Feared To Be Nazi Agents, cites American University history professor Max Paul Freedman as saying that security concerns - not unlike those being raised with regard to Syrian refugees now, were among the chief reasons for denying desperate Jewish refugees safe haven in the US. See

http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/...wish-refugees/

See also: Ishan Tharoor: Washington Post, November 19 Yes, the comparison between Jewish and Syrian refugees matters (Link to be provided.)

To be continued in Part 2.
_________________________
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional workers obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger regards immigration law not just as a series of technical rules, important as they are, but also as a matter of equal justice, fundamental fairness and basic human rights. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com


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Updated 11-20-2015 at 09:09 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Unregistered222's Avatar
    And, again here comes Roger know-nothing. I wonder, Roger, what the people of Israel (highest IQ country in the world) know about these "refugee" people that they have adamantly decided they will take 0 of those so-called "refugees". I'm sure Israel government knows a lot more than you do (which is easy by the way).

    PS. On top of that, immigration lawyer advocating for "refugees" on the immigration lawyers website is like a honeybee advocating for honey. Pathetic.
    Updated 11-20-2015 at 08:15 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I know that facts are not of any great concern to you, but just for the record. I do not practice in the area of refugee or asylum law and am not seeking clients in that field. My practice consists almost entirely of representing educated, skilled and professional immigrants seeking legal work visas and green cards

    Also, in case you didn't notice. Israel is not America. However, if you read my comment, you will see that there are parallels between US attitudes toward Syrian refugees now and Jewish refugees in the 1930's which are impossible to ignore.

    These are issues of equal justice and basic human rights which are of concern to every lawyer, every American and everyone else who lives in this great nation of immigrants.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at law
    Updated 11-20-2015 at 08:52 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. Unregistered222's Avatar
    Lol, it is pretty funny that you want American people who are getting by paycheck-to-paycheck to pay for bringing these "refugees". Over the last few days I have told many many people how much they are going to pay for each "refugee" being brought here, even without any proof that they are real refugees not terrorists.

    And you are right, Israel is not America. I bet in Israel you wouldn't be advocating brining freeloader moochers "refugees" to murder people on the street. Israel is very higher IQ country and that is why US should follow its decisions on refugees and start sending them back to whatever places they crawled out.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    I know that facts are not of any great concern to you, but just for the record. I do not practice in the area of refugee or asylum law and am not seeking clients in that field. My practice consists almost entirely of representing educated, skilled and professional immigrants seeking legal work visas and green cards

    Also, in case you didn't notice. Israel is not America. However, if you read my comment, you will see that there are parallels between US attitudes toward Syrian refugees now and Jewish refugees in the 1930's which are impossible to ignore.

    These are issues of equal justice and basic human rights which are of concern to every lawyer, every American and everyone else who lives in this great nation of immigrants.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at law
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Israel is a fine country and a good American ally. America needs to have its own refugee policy, not that of Israel, South Africa, Burma, Bangladesh or wherever.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 11-20-2015 at 09:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. Harry DeMell's Avatar
    Although there are parallels between the Jewsin the 30s and the Syrians today no one is really telling what they really are.

    There is a book called 'These Tumoltuous Days' by Olsen about the 2 years leading to Pearl Harbor. The amount of anti_-Jewish sentiment in the US was significant. Roosevelt didn't want the war to be about the Jews because he knew he would lose. Forget the spy excuse.

    The issue today is not about some terrorists. They will get here anyway. The unspoken reason is that Americans see what goes on in every Muslim majority country and even those countries with a significant Muslim minority and they are afraid that this will happen here.
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I agree with Harry DeMell, a highly respected lawyer and writer about immigration, whose comments are always very valuable and to the point, about two points above. First, I agree that the idea that Jewish refugees from Hitler might be Nazi spies was not the real issue in rejecting Jewish immigrants during the 1930's. It would most likely have been just a convenient excuse, even though I am not old enough to have any first hand knowledge or memories of the 1930's decade.

    I also agree with Mr. DeMell that the danger of terror is not the real issue with opposition to Muslim refugees today. Other than 9/11, which did not involve any refugees among the attackers, and the Boston Marathon bombing, whose perpetrators came here as young children and were subsequently radicalized in the US, not in some refugee camp, there have been few if any attacks in the US by Muslim jihadists.

    As Mr. DeMell indicates, the Muslim "problem" in America is mainly a cultural one, which is the same as saying one of bigotry. In the 1930's 1940's and 1950's anti-Semites looked on Jews as a basically alien people who posed a risk to America's "Christian" identity.

    Now, the issue is the supposed threat posed by Muslim "culture" to America's "Judeo-Christian" identity.

    But in the meantime, ISIS remains a real, and dangerous, terror threat to America. Let's go after them instead of persecuting their innocent victims, Muslim or Christian, and using terror scares for political posturing and demagoguery, rather than as a way of making America safer.

    Let every American, including demagogic politicians in both parties who are using the suffering of innocent refugees to spread fear and hate, reread the statement by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum at the beginning of this post and take it to heart.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 11-20-2015 at 09:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  7. Tehirbolao's Avatar
    Syrian refugees for the right and linked problems. The enhanced and elevated. The prospects of the best custom essay uk Syrian refugee for the right and safe. The enhanced capacity of the refugee in this range of the success.
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