I owe a great debt to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, whom I met in 2009 through the Republican Jewish Coalition and who helped me when I ran for Congress in 2010. So it is with some reluctance that I criticize his heartfelt remarks in Queens last weekend, where he enlisted the Jewish American experience in service of the cause of immigration reform, now pending before the House after passage in the Senate.
Cantor recalled his own family’s path to Richmond, Virginia, through economic struggle and across the lines of religious and racial discrimination. He did not endorse any particular legislation, but given the context of his address—part of a faith-oriented “pilgrimage” of members of Congress from both parties to immigration sites, timed to coincide with the ongoing immigration debate—his broader purpose was unmistakable.
It is worth noting that Jewish American immigration to the United States was almost entirely legal. There is almost universal consensus in America today that legal immigration, particularly of skilled immigrants, is a good and desirable thing; the main debate is about illegal immigration—how to stop it, and what to do with illegal immigrants already in the U.S. There are few relevant parallels in the Jewish American experience.
In addition, the massive wave of Jewish immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was driven, in part, by aggressive persecution in Eastern Europe. Yes, many came in search of economic opportunity, just as most of today’s immigrants do. But many came to avoid the Tsarist pogroms and broad discrimination, and many of those who failed to leave, or their children, would later perish in the Holocaust.
The fact that America’s doors were closed after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924 (one of the few dark moments of the Coolidge presidency) did contribute to the disaster in Europe. That experience has led Jews of all political stripes, quite rightly, to support laws providing asylum for refugees fleeing political and religious persecution. But that is not what is at issue as the U.S. confronts today’s immigration problems.
Today, immigration is driven not just by economic opportunity (which has been flagging throughout the Obama “recovery,” leading to lower illegal immigration from Mexico) but also by the attraction of welfare-state programs in education, health care, and poverty relief. Jewish immigrants to America included many poor people and a few notorious miscreants, but few expected to go on the dole: there wasn’t much of one.
Just a sample of the comments:
Rose 1redcent • 2 hours ago −
NO, ILLEGALS don’t build HOMES here, they just set up PARASITIC SIPHONS to sent the CASH back home.
brownie Eric_Mc • an hour ago −
Correct. If we were being invaded by illegal Germans, Norwegians and Russians, we’d rightfully be celebrating! It’s all about I.Q. and that’s biologically based.
Charles Lufkin Kryptonic • 5 hours ago −
Cantor is a traitor and sellout.Hanging out on his “tour” with the race hustler ,Guiterrez.Cantor is an amnesty shill.
sisterdo • 6 hours ago −
It’s a typical Leftist tactic, use a race bludgeon to shut down dissent. I thought I was at MSNBC or the Huff and Puffington Post when I heard Rubio’s obscene statement that it would be racist to not amnesty 35 year old anchor babies by the millions. (Especially since his ancestors were Conquistadors, and African slavery began in Mexico and spread to Caribbean).
I suspect Karl Rove suggested it.
Then white boy Paul Ryan needed something, he went with being Catholic.
Now Cantor. And Cantor wants to shut us up with his Judaism and deflect from the fact that he was bribed.
Let’s face it, we have 4 (or more) “Spokesmodels for Slavery.”
Cantor, Rubio, Boehner and Paul are good looking, well spoken and therefore some big businesses are paying for them to put a soft face to 50 million slaves for them.
Rose sisterdo • 2 hours ago −
This ain’t BRIBERY for Cantor - this is his own long time true nature. If he’s taking money to be himself… THAT ain’t bribery. that is just CONSPIRACY to commit TREASON.
Charles Lufkin • 5 hours ago −
Cantor has equated the traditions of his religion with illegal alien lawbreakers. In order to pander to illegals and their supporters,during his idiotic amnesty tour, he has played the Jewish card(dragging his religion into the fray).Oozing a smug self-righteousness, Cantor prattled on spouting pc platitudes in surplus.What a despicable amnesty apologist.Boehner and Cantor are sellouts and traitors.The fool even hung out on his “tour” with the race hustler and ultra-liberal,Luis Guiterrez.The darling of LA RAZA(the race).Cantor is a rank embarrassment.
iSpike • 5 hours ago −
No its not ‘Liberal’ its a Communist playing up to his ‘Jewish’ roots in communism he is a devout follower of money and power he’s is the very definition and rat face of an american Judas a modern day Nazi Collaborator a Quisling like Judas he has received his Thirty Pieces of Silver from the Spy the price for this country his rodent like grandparents kissed the ground when they got off the boat after they scurried down the gangplank.
ike • 4 hours ago −
Cantor is the very rat face of the modern day Nazi Collaborator he knows what the Spy is Exactly he’s an Enemy Spy in the ultimate position as president he’s one of our Judases.
another_engineer • 34 minutes ago −
You know.. they’re going to push this “jewish plight” stuff to the point where no one cares.
7 Million Ukrainians starved under Stalin and we don’t question one Russian coming/or already in this country. Several million Vietnamese executed.. no questioning. Upwards of 40 Million Chinese killed — no questioning.. .. everything is “jewish”.
I am not an anti-semite, just tired of the constant blather day in day out while everything else is ignored.
aniptofar another_engineer • 26 minutes ago −
I stopped caring a long time ago. It’s all for political advantage. BTW, that wall built in israel was paid for by US taxpayers.
undergroundman14 • 2 hours ago −
Yeah, that’s a smart thing to do, link the mass migration of the third world to Jews. That’s what David Duke has been saying for decades. They (the Jews) are seen in some quarters as people who like to keep themselves pure, but encourage migration and intermixing between other groups.
Rose • 4 hours ago −
Eric Cantor - walk like a Commie Stalinist, IS a Commie Stalinist.
He is a proven intelligent person who can make a budget - he KNOWS what this will do to America.
America cannot help anyone when it is totally demolished, and he knows it.
He is without excuse for supporting the demise of America. Certainly NOT with IGNORANCE.
He just hasn’t had enough HARVEST come back to him in his life as yet. He is DEPRIVED of his own Harvests. He is starving for his own HARVESTS. He needs to eat of the fruit of the seeds HE HIMSELF has planted.
W. Onker • 5 hours ago −
AMERICA MUST INCREASE its rates of acceptance of NON-ISLAMICS because already ISLAM is about to confiscate ALL OF EUROPE and even CANADA for itself due to their EXCESSIVE IMMIGRATION of MUSLIMS whose dirty little secret is that they do NOT have to KILL anybody to DEFEAT any DEMOCRACY, only out PROCREATE the natives until they have reached MAJORITY status and then PULL THE LEVERS at the polls. THIS is why Anders Breivik went crazy in Norway and why there are riots in Sweden and on and on. The happenings in ALGERIA in 1991 and EGYPT this year instruct you that, WHEN ISLAM DOES vote itself into power, YOU’RE NOT gonna like it if you are INFIDEL and, you’re NOT gonna like it ENOUGH so that you support a MILITARY COUP to get RID OF IT. In EUROPE the ‘END’ for them will come between 2050 and 2075 although the OPTIONS will extend beyond the tried-and-true COUP to include the MASS FORCED EMMIGRATIONS of MUSLIMS and the CIVIL WARS against them too so, we have a LOT to look forward to……and, to PLAN against.
storibund • 30 minutes ago −
The whole Jewish victim mentality has worn out its welcome.
I’m tired of them beating the rest of this society into the ground, and using that as a bludgeon.
There, I said it.
teapartyofficer storibund • 22 minutes ago −
You should be in Florida (where I moved a few years ago). A few years ago, my high school daughter told me she was studying the Holocaust. I thought, “Okay”, but I thought she meant THAT DAY or, possibly, that WEEK. Nooooooooooooo, she had to “study” it for a MONTH.
My youngest daughter (5th grade) recently was asking me a bunch of questions about Hitler. I thought, “She sure has learned a lot about him”, and asked her if she knew who Joseph Stalin was. No, she said, but quickly added, “But I know about Ann Frank!”
It goes on and on and on.