Welc​ome the Stranger



The week of Passover is an apt time to consider the continuing effort by many in this country to demonize immigrants to this country. As a people who were once "strangers in a strange land," our tradition teaches that compassion for outsiders is an accurate measure of the virtues of a society. That is especially true because American Jews, like most Americans, are also the descendants of immigrants.

In recent years, a wave of xenophobia has swept the land. The particular targets of this movement have been the millions of undocumented immigrants to this country, virtually all of whom have come here as our forebears did, looking for work and a better way of life. Yet that's not stopped some from seeking to use them as scapegoats.

This must end. We need no walls on our borders to keep out people who wind up doing jobs others don't want. Nor should we divert resources that should be deployed against potential terrorists to worry about those who seek low-paid employment, not trouble.

America needs to find a way to make productive people legal, and to control its borders without stigmatizing any ethnic group. Immigration has always made this nation that much stronger, just as xenophobia makes it weaker. What we need from our leaders is a resolute stand against this nonsense, in both Washington and in Harrisburg.


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