The Morality Of Refugees In The United States

Better Essays
A refugee is a person who must flee their home of national origin for need of safety. Refugees are displaced for a plethora of reasons, from famine and drought to civil and social unrest. Many people seeking asylum often are only looking for security for themselves and family. Given the sociopolitical changes that are arising due to a new presidential administration, it is important America holds steadfast to the ideals and morals in which it was founded. The United States Constitution, a collection of amendments that exemplify the American ideal set specific principles for the nation. A founding principle established at the time of the nation's conception was that of the separation of church and state. This allowed for individuals of varying…show more content…
On may 13th, 1939 the S.S. St. Louis departed from Hamburg Germany. The ship contained 937 passengers, nearly all were Jewish and were planning to escape the rising power of Hitler and his Third Reich. These Jewish refugees arrived in Cuba on May 27th, 1939. However, they were not afforded the asylum they hoped for. Only 22 of the 937 passengers were granted entry, they had obtained valid U.S. Visas. The rest were refused to even disembark from the St. Louis. Once the press was alerted of the refugee crisis news spread throughout the Americas and Europe. While the plight of the refugees was portrayed rather sympathetically very few journalist suggested that their countries admit the passengers. The St. Louis remained docked in the Havana harbor while Lawrence Berenson, an attorney who worked to represent the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee negotiated with Cuba's President Federico Bru. Berenson was unable to reach an agreement. The St. Louis was then ordered to leave Cuba on June 2nd. The ship would sail towards Florida, many were sure that America would grant refuge. Some passengers went as far as the contact U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself. They were met with denial. The state department issued a telegram that stated the refugees must wait their turn as well as meet the qualifications and obtain a visa in order for U.S. entry. A final effort by U.S. diplomats to convince Cuba to grant entry to the Jewish refugees was perused to no avail. The refugees would ultimately sail back to Europe. Jewish Organizations, however, intervened and the refugees were granted asylum in other European countries, 288 refugees entered Britain, the rest were sent to landlocked Europe. This asylum would be temporary, however, in May of 1940 Hitler invaded Western Europe. 254 of the 620 passengers that returned to continental Europe would die in the
Get Access