I grew up with aunts and uncles, but no grandparents. They died in the Holocaust.
My parents were survivors of the Holocaust. They brought me to America as a baby - “die goldene landt," they called it. I was always enormously grateful to be an American.
The Jewish population of my parents' hometown walked across much of Eastern Europe from their town near Vilna, now Vilnius, to the Italian ports to try to get to the safety of Israel. The returning Polish partisans were attacking and murdering them.
Finally, we were rescued by a wonderful organization called The International Rescue Committee (you can donate to their good work here) and then sent to a displaced persons camp near Munich. It took almost five years to emigrate to America, where we had scores of family to sponsor us.
I'm writing today to ask you to call your representative's office and tell them to vote to continue to accept Syrian refugees, who already have to pass a very thorough screening process. A bill is being rushed to the House floor today that could put an indefinite pause on taking in families and orphans who are running away from the same terrorists who turned the streets of Paris into a war zone.
Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, have turned many once-peaceful Syrian towns into war zones. Terrified parents and children are risking their lives in barely seaworthy boats, with thousands dying at sea.
In July 1938, a poll in Fortune magazine found fewer than five percent of Americans thought we should raise our immigration quoteas to allow refugees fleeing the fascist states in Europe. And in January 1939, even after we knew about Kristallnacht, polling still showed two-thirds of Americans did not want us to take in 10,000 German Jewish refugee children.
Not even the children. It seems so cruel, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised -- Gov. Chris Christie even made sure to reject the idea of taking in Syrian orphans under age 5. What kind of country are we to allow ourselves to be terrorized into fearing toddlers?
Meanwhile, in France, just days after a terror attack that turned the streets of Paris into a war zone, President Hollande has said that France will continue to take in refugees as they had planned. We should stand with them.
Thank you for your support.
Silver Linings Action