The Refugee Crisis under President Roosevelt and Harry Truman
The refugee crisis mirrored the divisive debate of whether to allow refugees under President Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Laws were set up barring immigrants mostly from eastern and southern the refugee crisis was due to the increased warfare and persecution between U.S and other independent nation’s hence forcing people to leave their homelands. The U.S government sought to significantly reduce the number of refugees and immigrants to their country. Instead of settling and providing aid to them, the refugees were neglected and their freedom limited. Only a few immigrants were offered meaningful white collar jobs and informal employment opportunities and a chance to remake their lives (Zeʼevi et al 812). For instance, only high-status Christians and Jews were allowed to enter the United States. After the World War II, most Americans aimed at neglecting and excluding refugees rather than welcoming them. Although Roosevelt sympathized with the oppressed refugees, he declined to challenge the congress views and hence ignoring the plight of the refugees.
The United States neglected its moral role and obligation of providing food reliefs, shelter and decent lifestyles to refugees and immigrants to the United States. The state was also required to protect them from any form of war and violence especially from Iraq. The U.S did less in to help the refugees especially from Middle East and were unresponsive to their woes. In this essence, the refugee discrepancies were left unsettled. Correspondingly, those settled were of a small number compared to the total number of refugees who had fled from their places due to the waging wars.
Additionally, the U.S ignored the plight of the refugees by continuously waging war against other countries and hence in turn causing the refugee crises. This actions endangered the civilians and led to imperil of the refugees. The refugees’ problems such as poverty and diseases were stirred by the wars which led to the destruction of their property. The mostly affected areas were the non-western parts which were marked by endless battles hence leading to massive destructions of farms and property and in turn posing people to increased poverty and illnesses.
In my perspective, there are parallels between the 1930 immigration policy and today. For instance, the immigration and nationality act has been enacted to replace the longstanding national quotas which were designed for refugees as a way of barring them from entering the United States. Moreover, currently. Immigration to the U.S is dominated by Asians and people from eastern and southern who were initially barred from entering the U.S .Additionally, more laws such as the 1965 law have been enacted to counteract the 1930 immigration policy which had written laws regulating immigration. Also, focusing on the provisions from most legislations from the 20th century and onwards, all races are given equal opportunities unlike before were the set law allowed only the high skilled immigrants.
In conclusion, although Jewish, Roosevelt ignored the plight of the refugees who were oppressed and excluded from the country. The congress upheld that people who could not be able to support themselves and the unskilled ones were not to enter the U.S moreover, only a few of the immigrants were offered blue collar and informal employment opportunities. The Americans were hostile towards the immigrants and sought to exclude them from their country through setting up barriers to restrict their entry. The U.S leaders had ignored the plight of the refugees through the setting up policies which excluded the refugees and failed to resettle them.
Divine, Robert A. American immigration policy, 1924-1952. Vol. 66. Perseus Books, 1972.
Zeʼevi, Dror, and Ehud R. Toledano. “the new deal for americans.” Society, Law, and Culture in the Middle East: “modernities” in the Making, 2015, pp. 812-813.