Jews and Immigration: Time for Change by Marcus Alethia, Ph.D.
Our country and its Jewish intelligentsia are currently torn by a debate about immigration. On one side the Trump administration is trying to pass executive orders limiting immigration from particular, though certainly not all, Muslim-majority countries while also deporting people — largely from Mexico or Central America — who are in the US illegally.
On the other side are activist judges shutting down these executive orders and what seems like the entire constellation of journalists, pundits and activists in the country decrying these moves. From looking at the writers of many op-ed pieces or from looking through Jewish publications such as Forward, it is clear that Jews are disproportionately lobbying in favor of immigration and against deportation or immigration restrictions. Jewish organizations ostensibly formed to lobby for Jewish interests are on the side of resettling more Muslim refugees. Some voices on this side go so far as to call for “open borders” as in a recent piece in Salon. Most of the left has long decried the idea of White interests or White rights as being inherently racist in a way that Black rights or Latino interests aren’t. See for instance David Aaronovitch’s recent op-ed “Defending ‘white interests’ can never be right” in the Financial Times.
I think Jews are on the wrong side of this debate, and have been for decades. Countries are not arbitrary designations ona map; and borders are not imaginary lines. Countries are defined by their people, and borders generally demarcate necessary walls between peoples. Good fences make good neighbors, as the saying goes. Globalization and mass immigration result in what amounts to demographic invasion. It is natural for host populations to resist this being forced upon them.
The Jewish support for so-called “immigrant rights” is supposed to be rooted in the Jewish experience of diaspora and constant movement. Being exiled from our home in ancient times, we should feel sympathy with others who need to leave their homes in modern times. Jews have prospered in America because it is a multicultural society with such a rainbow of peoples that no true majority exists, or will soon, if current demographic trends continue.
I think Jews should be looking at this in another way.