Letter writer Joel Weiner is puzzled why so many Jews support the Biden administration’s immigration policies (“Must fight against tyranny,” Nov. 12). Although he grossly misrepresents the actions taken by this administration, President Joe Biden has allowed a modest increase in refugees from 15,000 to 62,500 this year.
Many Jews support a compassionate immigration policy because we remember how Jews fleeing the Holocaust during World War II were similarly considered a security risk and turned away. In 1939, 900 Jews on the SS St. Louis who sought refuge in the United States were refused entry and forced to go back to Germany. Many later died in concentration camps.
A number of the families coming to our borders are similarly fleeing for their lives. At a minimum, they deserve to be treated with compassion. One of the policies former President Donald Trump put in place was to separate children from their families at the border to serve as a cruel deterrent. Failing to collect any identifying information, some of these children will never be reunited with their parents.
I am similarly shocked that any practicing Jew would look back fondly on Trump’s inhumane policies on immigration. The Torah says: “The stranger that dwells with you shall be to you as the home-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself.” Kindness to strangers is at the heart of Judaism.