In discussing immigration reform, what factors should inform the communal positions of our faith communities? What can we learn from immigration models in other countries? Which key Jewish texts speak to issues of resettlement and welcoming the stranger?
Alicia Ostriker Emma Lazarus by Esther Schor, Nextbook, Schocken, 2006. 350 pp, $21.95 Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door. The words of Emma Lazarus, famously engraved
Sanford Ragins A colleague recently brought me the following problem: “I was approached by John who was raised in a family that practiced Christian Science. He has been happily married for some time to a woman who has a strong background in Conservative Judaism. They were not married by a rabbi but today they keep
Tamar Jacoby: “For most Americans, immigration is a deeply emotional issue. I’m no exception. As the child of what I call a “melting-pot marriage,” I have an instinctive empathy for immigrants and believe passionately in that miraculous balancing act we call e pluribus unum. But like most things, immigration must be approached with the head as well as the heart, and policy must be made on the basis of national interest, not emotion.
Gideon Arnoff: As Jews, when we consider immigration reform, we are obliged to begin with the central Jewish teachings that emphasize welcome, protection, and love for the ger, stranger. Jewish tradition also includes principles of piddyon shevuyim, redeeming the captive, chesed, kindness, and hachnasat orchim, hospitality, which create a solid framework for a compassionate response to the needs of immigrants and refugees.
Robert Rubin: Over only the past 25 years, the U. S. Congress has enacted major legislation on four occasions. And the debate typically has been couched in extreme terms: Should we pursue Pat Buchanan’s vision of Fortress America? Or the laissez-faire open borders approach?