Sherwin Pomerantz
Sherwin Pomerantz

Closing the Golden Door: America in Lock-down

One need not have a crystal ball to predict what will happen to America’s place as a beacon of hope to the world if “The Donald” gets elected.  All one needs to do is compare Emma Lazarus’ words written in 1883 and inscribed on the Statue of Liberty with Trump’s words in Phoenix on Thursday to get a sense of what America’s direction will be under a Trump presidency.

Her words are italicized and underlined……his are all the rest in quotes.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free 

“Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came. And they’ll be brought great distances.  We will issue detainers for illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever, and they will be placed into immediate removal proceedings.”

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

“Another reform involves new screening tests for all applicants that include an ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values and love our people. Applicants will be asked for their views about honor killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities, attitudes on Radical Islam, and many other topics as part of the (extreme) vetting procedure.”

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me; I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

“The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals:

  • To keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms
  • To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society, and their ability to be financially self-sufficient. We need a system that serves our needs – remember, it’s America First.
  • To choose immigrants based on merit, skill and proficiency
  • And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.”

“Right now, however, we are in the middle of a jobs crisis, a border crisis, and a terrorism crisis.”

“All energies of the federal government and the legislative process must now be focused on immigration security. That is the only conversation we should be having at this time.”

Frankly, I do not believe that my grandparents or most other immigrants who came to America and re-started their lives in freedom and security would have been admitted under these conditions.  For them the beacon of the Statue of Liberty as they entered New York harbor (or a similar icon for those who came through Boston, Galveston or other ports) will be dimmed in the future under a Trump presidency, if not totally extinguished.  Then our friends in America will know what it is like to live in a country under “lock down.”

As Cicero remarked in his oration against Cataline, “O tempora o mores,” shame on the times and its values.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 29 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Chairperson of the Israel Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.