In 1939 over 900 Jewish refugees boarded the SS St. Louis from Germany in search of asylum.
Under the command of Captain Gustav Schröder, a non-Jewish German, the passengers set sail from Hamburg to Cuba in a two week expedition for freedom.
Upon reaching Cuba, the refugees were denied entry. So they tried again, this time sailing to the USA.
Upon reaching the USA, the refugees were denied entry yet again. And then again in Canada.
Eventually Captain Schröder negotiated to find the refugees a safe haven in Europe. The ship turned around and they sailed back to the very place from which they were escaping.
Hundreds of Jewish refugees who boarded the SS St. Louis in search of asylum perished in Nazi death camps after being refused entry into these countries.
After this event, the American government resolved they could not make the same mistake again - that asylum seekers escaping persecution in other countries should be allowed refuge in countries like the USA. This is a worldview that the USA is built on, is it not?
Over the past two weeks over 5,000 migrants, mostly from Central America, have arrived in the northern Mexican border city of Tijuana. Officials say they expect at least another 1,500 to arrive in the coming days, some traveling in other caravans making their way north through Mexico (The NYTimes). They are escaping violence, poverty, and persecution. Many are families with young children.
In response, our administration sent over 5,000 active-duty troops to the border. On Thanksgiving day, Donald Trump authorized American troops on the US-Mexico border to "use lethal force" if necessary against an approaching group of migrants while also threatening to close "the whole border." (CNN).
How is this any different than what happened in World War II?
I'm sickened by Donald Trump and his administration's refusal to treat people who need help with any sense of humanity or understanding.
Said best by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: