I was reading a story about some refugees who cabled the President asking for asylum. The President never responded. The federal government had decided not to take extraordinary measures to permit the refugees to enter the United States. A state department telegram stated that the passengers must await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States.
It was 1939. The U.S. followed its laws and rules to the letter and turned away a boatload of Jewish refugees from Europe. The boat, the Saint Louis, went back home and 254 of its passengers died in the Holocaust. Sound familiar.
We're looking at a similar story on our border right now. Many of our young people currently being held are refugees from deadly violence. Should we send them home?
- Amanda Marcotte is a writer and a Double XX contributor for Slate.com. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast and Alternet.
- Werner Oyanadel is the Executive Director for the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission
- Glenn Formica is a trial and immigration attorney and a founding partner at Formica Williams, P.C.