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U.S. Immigration Policy on Jews in WWII

World War II and U.S. Immigration Policy Concerning Jews

This paper will discuss the immigration policy of the United States prior to and during the Second World War with regard to Jewish persons living in Europe. The thesis of this paper is that the U.S. government refused to liberalize immigration laws in response to the Nazi policies in Europe because of a combination of traditional anti-semitism, economic fears stemming from the Depression, and government responses to public opinion, both actual and perceived. The first part of the paper will provide a brief background to U.S. immigration policy during the Twentieth Century and show how this policy remained the same throughout the Second World War. The second part of the paper will examine anti-semitism in the U.S. during this period and discuss how it affected immigration policy. The third part of the paper will discuss the economic fears which developed as a result of the Depression and how these fears shaped immigration policy, especially enforcement of the immigration laws by the executive branch. The fourth part of the paper will examine the attitudes of the Roosevelt administration towards Jewish immigration and how these attitudes prevented the administration from effecting any changes in immigration policy.

U.S. immigration policy underwent a substantial change in the late Nineteenth early Twentieth Centuries as native Americans reacted to the flood of southern and eastern European immigrants during this time period. In 1882, a clause was added to immigration law which stated that anyone deemed "likely to become a public charge" (LPC) could be denied admittance; this clause was enacted to restrict the entrance of impoverished immigrants who could become dependent upon public assistance. In 1917, the Alien Act was passed, specifying that unaccompanied children could be admitted into the U.S. only under the discretionary power of the Secretary of Labor. The mo...

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U.S. Immigration Policy on Jews in WWII. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:27, May 28, 2020, from