July 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The US Needs to Do Better On Immigration

We are high school students responding to Joseph Starcher’s letter from the September 28 edition regarding illegal immigration (“Illegal Immigration”).

The U.S. should let in more immigrants legally, and since there are so many people who are in need, we as Jews should help them. Undocumented immigrants want to apply for citizenship and come legally. The benefits are enormous, such as food stamps, the right to vote, and protection for family members. There is no reason not to become a citizen if you are able to, but this has become virtually impossible. Because of unreasonably long wait times and other barriers, desperate people are effectively unable to immigrate to the U.S. for humanitarian or financial reasons. The U.S. is the richest country in the world, and we need to do better. What we should be thinking is not what to do with these human beings who just want a better life, but why we in the U.S., the bastion of freedom, aren’t more generous in accepting immigrants through legal channels.

More importantly, it is ironic for Jews not to support immigrants. America barred thousands of Jews from entering the country during the Holocaust, as David Twersky pointed out in a letter in a previous issue (“Illegal Jewish Immigration,” September 21, 2023). How can we justify not helping those trying to find a safer and better life?

The Torah clearly states more than 30 times that we must care for strangers, especially because we were strangers in Egypt (for example, Vayikra 19:33-34). Consistent with these teachings, we, as Jews, should not turn our backs on our fellow strangers. It is indisputable, that we, as strangers in the Diaspora, and as Americans, are all immigrants.

Yakir Schlosberg and Boaz Passner

Teaneck

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