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The United States has never permitted mass immigration

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It seems like many of the most vocal proponents of mass immigration have little sense of the history of the United States. They rely on fragments of our history, argue that our current immigration policies tarnish and mock our history of welcoming the oppressed and threatened of any land. They fail to understand that while the United States has welcomed the oppressed, we have never sacrificed our national interest even for the most humanitarian causes.

The following is an indictment which represents our history. In June 1939, three months before the start of World War II, we knew that Germany was already systematically killing their Jews. As a challenge to their unfavorable world opinion, the Nazis permitted 732 German Jews to leave Germany on a ship bound for the United States.

President Roosevelt, speaking for the U.S., warned the ship not to try to come to the United States. The passengers would not be allowed entry. This was a surprise in view of the U.S. alleged reputation as a haven for the oppressed and threatened. Historians are still debating the cause. Right or wrong, we determined that acceptance was not consistent with our national interest. There was little doubt that the people met our past and current immigration criteria of facing death in their home country.

This incident which achieved worldwide notoriety was detailed in the 1970s book, Voyage of the Damned, and in a movie of the same name of that period. The ship spent many weeks futilely trying many ports north from Cuba, the U.S. and Canada. All ports rejected. Sadly, it started the return journey to Hamburg, Germany. However, the captain would not be a part of such an atrocity. He started plans to scuttle his ship, a criminal act in Greenland or Scotland.

Finally, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Great Britain came up with a last minute agreement to divide the 732 refugees between them. Sadly, 600 of the refugees were killed by the Nazis who conquered Europe in World War II. Only 132 in Britain survived. I have no further comment. The story speaks for itself.

Jerry Kraft

Manor, Texas