Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Jewish Journal's Misleading Immigration Comparison

The Jewish Journal


The Jewish Journal has to be one of the most left-wing publications in Los Angeles, and that is saying a lot considering the Los Angeles Times and other media in the greater LA Area (including LA Weekly).

The blatant pandering to left-leaning principles, whether pushing secularism as religious, global equality, commiseration with the deeds of evil men as if they are good, all of it defines the "Anti-Jewish" Journal to such a degree, that conservative Jews (yes, they exist) cannot stand to read the publication, even though the paper covers free newsstands throughout the region.

One of the Journal's latest articles dresses up the immigration crisis as another opportunity for Jewish-Americans to identify with another marginalized group. The comparison between Central Americans today and Jewish migrants from two centuries ago does contain some similarities, but the arguments presented by the author are exaggerated and maudlin.

Pro bono attorney David Lash wrote this sentimental and misleading account of his visit to an immigrant detention center in Texas.

Central American immigrants’ story reflects Jews’ past

 The trip was eye-opening in so many ways. The professional mountains needed to be climbed to help these terror-stricken families are matched only by the personal trauma so evident in the eyes of so many. We came face-to-face with the trauma experienced by today’s immigrants and with the ghosts of our past. 
No, they did not meet with the trauma of "today's immigrants", precisely because a large number of them, including those who emigrate from Central American countries, do so legally. Therefore, they have nothing to fear.
"The ghosts of our past" - what is this lawyer talking about? Has he committed a crime? Does he actually conclude that migrant Jews from Eastern Europe or throughout the world came to the United States illegally?
Immigration has become a contentious issue in the United States not because of xenophobia, not because of economic limits. The growth of government and the executive overreach (and inaction) of the current President has fomented a border crisis. As President Obama and his pro-amnesty allies (both Republican and Democrat) expand the exceptions to the rule on secured immigration, more migrants from throughout the world have rushed upon the Southern border of the United States, expecting asylum, citizenship, and public assistance.
One hundred years ago, immigrants came to the United States, and had themselves and their communities to fend for themselves. They did not depend on the state, but resorted to resolve and a work ethic to improve their lot in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Any descendant of Jewish immigrants would have understood that. At least free-market economist Milton Friedman did, as well as Freidrich Hayek, among others.
As all of us on the tour were children and grandchildren of immigrants, and several of us, as Jews, particularly aware of our immigrant ancestry, we saw these facilities and the 1,000 women and children currently being held there through the filter of our own histories.

How arrogant and self-serving can one get "through the filter of our own histories". As if! If professionals want to serve those in need, they should be considering their current as well as the present circumstances in which they find themselves.

 At the Karnes City and Dilley detention facilities, we witnessed up close the results of the national debate on immigration. Both sites are about 60 to 90 minutes outside of San Antonio, although they might as well have been in another world, for all we knew and all we were prepared to see — the world of our ancestors.

No they did not. The Southern border of the United States is not Ellis Island. No way. There is no psychological division between the Central American arrivals with the European immigrants of centuries past, for example.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum (Source: chensiyuan)
Our group of lawyers was first alerted to this border crisis last summer at a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on other pro bono related projects. During that meeting, he asked us, board members of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, to keep an eye open for an impending surge of immigrants crossing the United States-Mexico border.

Newspapers across the county ultimately covered the arrival of this enormous influx of unaccompanied children escaping heinous violence in their native countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

"Ultimately" is the correct word, since aside from Breitbart, no one was paying attention. Why did the "mainstream" media ignore this story? Perhaps they were too busy exposing the private conversations of Donald Sterling with his girlfriend.

At the facilities, we saw children who were clearly not healthy. Their life-endangering journeys to the U.S. left them exhausted, sick and scared. Many had lost a frightening amount of weight. Even more gut-wrenching, the children plaintively asked their mothers, “Why are we in jail?” Mothers cried to the lawyers, begging for help. Some had been held for six, eight, 10, even as long as 12 months. It was heartbreaking.

Of course seeing young migrant children in ill-health is painful and "heartbreaking". Good public policy, however, has to rest on more than feelings. Moral crusades at cost to local and state governments should not depend on the perceptions of a few lawyers. For the record, the "mothers" whom the author refers to are not in jails. They are in detention centers because they are not strictly legal residents. I find in particularly insulting that this lawyer, if he is a professional, considers the plight of this country and the legal necessities of federal and state facilities to protect the citizenry of this country. The bias of this article is substantial to the point of suffocating.

Amazingly, most of the detained families have viable asylum claims, making them eligible to remain in the U.S., entitling them to find safety in the promise of democracy.

"Entitling" them? What exactly are immigrants entitled to? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, perhaps. Yet in today's America, the welfare state has expanded to such a degree, that a sense of entitled quality of life has put more people on some form of government subsidy or assistance. Besides, the promises of democracy are not explicit. What does he mean? Perhaps the author actually means the promises of big, generous government programs, which in themselves are not essentially generous, because they hand out other people's money. "Safety in the promise of democracy". What does that even mean? More lofty, meaning-free left-wing talking points.

And once again: who is paying for this?

 But without the chance to be represented by attorneys, they are without hope.

Oh really? Of course they need an attorney -- says the attorney looking to drum up good PR for his law firm.

As many as 95 percent of those without counsel will be deported simply because they are poor and cannot find representation.

Why did they come illegally in the first place? Poverty and lack of representation aside.

Many likely could pass their “credible fear interviews,” establishing to the satisfaction of U.S. immigration authorities they have a credible fear of returning to their home countries. This means they essentially could prove the bona fides of a legally sufficient asylum claim that, under the law, would entitle them to be released from detention. However, without lawyers, they cannot navigate the system, they are too frightened to tell their stories, the complexities of a foreign legal system are too overwhelming, and so, as a result, they likely will be returned to the dangerous places they risked their lives to leave. All because they are poor and do not have access to help.

Real immigration reform would undo the complex, illiberal legal problems. Of course, by making the immigration process simple and streamlined, there would be no need for attorneys.

Throughout the report, the author focuses a few very tragic stories, including families ripped apart, attacked, and members who were raped, take away, or ultimately killed.

This passage stood out for the self-focused chutzpah of the writer:

My thoughts quickly turned to another young woman. Like the women we had just met, she had escaped marauding soldiers in the countryside of her homeland. She was a teenager who had witnessed her sister being brutally raped and her brother carried off by the “army,” never to be seen again. . . .However, she was forever scarred, forever frightened, forever missing her absent family members. That lone, brave teenage girl was my grandmother, fleeing from the pogroms of czarist Russia.

Uh. . . no she was not. Get over yourself!

 These Latin American women today are escaping the same kinds of dangers, obstacles and nightmares that our ancestors fled, seeking peace and solace. As Jews, our histories remind us of the hurdles they will face and the helping hands they will need, which are within our hearts to fulfill. The ghosts of our grandmothers today are sitting in detention in southern Texas.

Line-Up of capture illegal aliens (Environmental Protection Agency)
Final Reflection

What is it about certain people of minority status who insist on seeing every national or international  tragedy through their own eyes? It is insufferable and insulting, diminishes the immediate concerns and long-term necessities of dealing with key issues of our time.

No doubt, what Jewish-American immigrants faced distressing pogroms and state-sponsored genocide. The Central American migrants flooding the Southern United State are not all victims of genocide, ethnic cleansing, or any other form cultural mass murder. Indeed, they are fleeing corrupt and dangerous countries, where governments have become corrupt of powerless, where law enforcement has failed, and where rampant drug cartels rule by the rules of blood and iron.

Yet the answer to the world's problems is not an open border. The resources of the United States are depleted as is, and the idea that a group of pro bono attorneys are going to change this problem is arrogant as much as false.

Another passage bears repeating and analyzing:

Their immigrant transition was difficult. Language issues, poverty, anti-immigrant attitudes and anti-Semitism made for a hard climb up society’s social ladder. They were helped by a system of Jewish communal support and by the safety net of community.

"The safety net of community" bolstered many migrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, that safety net has turned into a hammock, one which legal residents abuse with abandon. Now that the California state legislature has signed off on free health care for illegal immigrants, and other states offer more money for doing nothing instead of something, no one should be surprised that illegal immigration has spiked in this country, and that more people are induced to risk their lives, hoping for immediate amnesty then provision from the United States government.

As for the language issues, Gene Simmons (himself an immigrant and the son of immigrants) did not believe coddling people trying to make it in life. "Learn to speak God-damn English!" he told a Huffington Post report. Why didn't the Jewish Journal seek Simmons' take on the immigration crisis in the United States? He's Jewish. His parents survived the Holocaust and immigrated to Israel, where Simmons (born Chaim Witz) was born. Surely he would have a valid opinion on the matter.

Throughout David Lash's article, his fanciful transitions to the hardships of his and other Jewish ancestors was fatuous as even selfish. One gets the feeling that the attorney is more interested in presenting a piece which will promote his law firm in the public eye rather than spotlight the faults of a federal government which refuses to enforce the law, protect the nation's borders, or provide a proper, streamlined immigration process for all human beings seeking asylum, prosperity, and well-being in the United States of America.

If anything else, Lash's article draws a misleading comparison on the immigration issues facing this country, and his frequent insertions of his own heritage undermine any serious presentation on the hardships faced by and created by the tens of thousands of Central American migrants who overflowed the Southern US border last year.

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