I arrived in America on August 6, 1949 with my parents and older brother. My parents were the only members of their families to survive the Holocaust. After the war, my parents left their native Poland and settled in West Germany (1946) in small town outside of Munich. I was born a few months later.
In 1949 my parents decided to come to America. Dad wrote his great aunt in the Bronx and his first cousin (a Holocaust survivor, too) who lived in Brooklyn to get the necessary “papers” to enter America. My father soon received the papers and the process of coming to America began.
Before we sailed from northern Germany in late July my father was vetted by a young American who asked him questions about his experiences during the war and the location of Soviet airfields. Dad was a partisan commander who was in contact with the Soviet military to defeat the German war machine in Poland. The young American who vetted my father was Marvin Kalb; he went on to become one of America’s most respected journalists.
If there were European survivors who “deserved” to come to America after World War II without any red tape it was the Jewish people like my parents who were “orphaned” by the Nazi’s killing machine. But my parents did not demand that America let them no questions asked, nor did they think it would be a good idea to “sneak” into the US either from Canada or Mexico.
My parents and their friends who also survived the war followed the rules and got sponsors to take care of them when they arrived in America. My parents were assisted by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, now known only as HIAS, an American based organization that helps refugees settle around the world.
If Americans want to help immigrants come to America, they should support HIAS so the vetting process of individuals and families can begin in Mexico and other countries. This would be the orderly and right thing to do.
For many libertarians, liberals, and others who think US immigration laws are inhumane or draconian or the border should be wide open, there is a way out of the immigration conundrum. And the solution comes from my late father who told me on several occasions, “there is a right way and a wrong way, always choose the right way.”
The “right way” is to end the chaos at our border, which can be resolved by immigrants staying in Mexico or in their home country, be properly vetted and get an American sponsor who will take care of them until they become financially independent, just like the Sabrin family did in 1949.
Instead, the Biden administration’s press secretary makes a fool of herself before the White House press corps and the nation with her disingenuous description of the border situation.
The American people deserve the truth about the border crisis, and migrants who want to come to America should embrace my father’s advice. Come to America the “right way” and you will be welcomed just as we and countless other families were welcomed when we came to the US through the “front door” after World War II.
Murray Sabrin, PhD, is emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College of New Jersey. Dr. Sabrin is considered a “public intellectual” for writing about the economy in scholarly and popular publications. His new book, The Finance of Health Care: Wellness and Innovative Approaches to Employee Medical Insurance (Business Expert Press, Oct. 24, 2022), provides business decision makers with the information they need to match the optimal health care plan with the culture of their workforce, and his other BEP publication, Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle: An Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide (October 2021), provides decision makers with tools needed to help manage their businesses. Sabrin’s autobiography, From Immigrant to Public Intellectual: An American Story, was published in November, 2022.