In 1939, the St. Louis and its passengers, almost all Jewish, were turned away from the U.S. More than a quarter of those passengers died in the Holocaust. During WWII, about 115,000 people of Japanese ancestry, including many children, were kept in detention camps. Most Americans now would say these policies were wrong. They did not live up to the ideal of the American values of “liberty and justice for all.”
Yet, today we repeat the errors of our past, turning away or detaining people fleeing violence and fear of death. President Trump’s intention to dismantle the U.S. refugee and asylum systems is clear. While White Helmets were recently evacuated from Syria, the U.S. took in none of them, as the country continues to ban refugees from Syria and several other nations. Thousands of children are still separated from their parents having been taken from them as families crossed our border.
I believe that Congress should act to advance legisl...
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