In the wake of the Holocaust, when thousands of Jewish survivors and other refugees remained in camps, the United States and other countries around the world delayed action on immigration. Between 1945 and 1948, US policy denied access to most Displaced Persons based on the country of their birth. The 1948 Displaced Persons Act and the 1950 corrective of that act finally allowed Jewish DPs access to legal immigration to the United States, where they settled and found new lives. The U.S. Refugee Resettlement program that grew as a result of this initial legislation has allowed hundreds of thousands of refugees the same opportunity.
Around the world, there are now more refugees and displaced persons in the world than at any time since World War II. We should all be aware of this crisis and ask our government to take a lead in providing refuge for those fleeing from violence and oppression. As President Truman said in 1952 about the ongoing Refugee Crisis in Europe:
This problem is of great practical importance to us because it affects the peace and security of the free world. It is also of great concern to us, because of our long-established humanitarian traditions.
Today, congress seeks to end the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program, it is even more important than ever to remember this history and demand that our leaders act according to our best past.
Stand with HIAS in support of refugees.
Image via HIAS
Originally posted on memoriesmotifs.tumblr.com >