Amid conflict, a young girl is smuggled from one city to another on the other side of a border to save her from violence, to save her future.
No, I’m not talking about those in Syria or North Korea. I’m talking about my Grandmother, Margit Jensen, who, as a young child, fled the Nazis in Copenhagen to nearby Sweden.
The Holocaust that she survived might have ended in 1945 but the Jewish struggle for justice continues. It continues in synagogues, out in the public square, and on college campuses, like mine, DePauw University. But it’s never ended and, for as long as there persecuted people in the world, it never will.
Over the past half day, news has trickled out through various American outlets that President Trump plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has aided nearly 750,000 young people – our classmates and neighbors – in being able to find security and work in the United States.
Immigration isn’t only a Hispanic issue. It’s a Jewish issue, too.
For every American Jew who has thrived in this country, there was somebody who stood up for us, for our ability to be here, to be who G-d made us be, Few of us are the same. Heck, I identify as a religiously Christian but ethnically Jewish American. We have an obligation to speak up when we see injustice. In Genesis, we are told that G-d created us to be “placed in the garden…to serve it and protect it”.
President Trump’s attacks on young DACA recipients aren’t just an attack on Hispanic Americans, they’re an attack on Jews, too. What if the Swedish government had turned my Grandmother away when she needed a refuge? Would I be writing this column today?
So, when you think about the young student from Mexico who the White House says is trying to steal your job, you should think about my Grandmother, Margit Jensen, too. You should think about the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. What if they’d had somewhere to go like Mor-Mor did?