'Press two for Yiddish'

The left is ever anxious and busy comparing the Arizona illegal immigration issue to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.  The differences are so vast, that the argument is comical.  They state that there is no difference between Mexicans coming for a better life today and the Jews escaping the pogroms in the late 1800's through early 1900's.  They compare Arizona police to Nazis forcing Jews to identify themselves with yellow stars.  The most glaring distinction is that the star -wearing Jews in Nazi Germany were citizens, not illegal immigrants.  

Demographics and economic history of the United States illustrate another important difference between current illegal immigration and legal immigration in the early 1900's.  In 1905, the United States population was around 85 million people.  There was a large need for unskilled labor.  Currently, however, our population is over 300 million, and our workforce is much higher skilled and geared toward a service economy.  The need for uneducated, low-skilled workers is much smaller now. 

Another important distinction is the current magnet of big government welfare.  In the early 1900's, the United States was not a welfare state.  Government handouts were basically non-existent until the early to mid 1930's.  Jewish immigrants helped each other and received help from private groups such as the Russian Brotherhood Organization, B'nai B'rith, and the National Council of Jewish Women.  Again, federal welfare programs did not exist.  Unfortunately, as both parties pander for votes, especially the democrats, illegal aliens granted amnesty would surely be eligible for all our fine government handouts, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc.

Another difference between past Jewish immigration and illegal immigration is that Jews and other immigrants entered and were processed through proper channels.  They obeyed the rules.  And yes, there were hardships; thousands were sent back to Europe and were exterminated.  In other words, the first act that Jews and other European immigrants took in this country was not illegal.

Most importantly, Jewish immigrants were encouraged by Jewish leaders to assimilate, to adopt the American culture.  And that they did.  Think about this.  If touchtone or digital technology were available in the early to mid 1900's, do you think you would have heard a recording that said ‘press two for Yiddish? '

David Rosenthal