What Never Again Really Means
Ugly immigration orders from the White House are unfortunately part of long history of ugliness and fear toward immigration. Always the excuses are the same: there is always a because, always some critical difference between the ones that came before and the ones that want to come in now.
It was exactly the same ugliess in the Twenties and Thirties. That fear (expressed in the belief that Nazis would have secreted spies amongst the Jews begging to come to the US, or that the Jews themselves would subvert American democracy and American values) led to the United States closing its doors to Jewish refugees. This is the same horseshit that is being exhibited toward Muslims...the same, exactly.
Current immigration vetting has served us well and there is no need to have an immigration moritorium or to exclude anyone on the basis of faith, or unsubstatiated fear. As the child of immigrants, as the child of Holocaust survivors, I am deeply saddened that we have devolved into a society that is so fearful that we are willing to give up our values to give in to it.
I am posting a photograph that I have posted before. The taller man in the hat is my Grandfather, Samuel Heisler, on the day he arrived in Auschwitz in 1944. Perhaps if our country had not been riddled almost century ago by the same kind of fears that we have today, that was then directed toward Jews, this might have been a photograph of my Grandfather on the day he arrived safely in The United States instead of a photograph of him in the selection line of Auschwitz on the day before he was murdered.