Jared Kushner’s immigrant grandmother complained of America’s ‘closed doors’

Jared Kushner’s paternal grandparents, Holocaust survivors Joseph and Rae Kushner, came to the United States in 1949 as impoverished Eastern European refugees.

…In a 1982 interview given to a Holocaust research center, Jared’s grandmother talks about how wrong she felt it was for the United States to let people like her and her husband languish in those camps for years awaiting permission to enter the country.

…”This was our honeymoon. In Italy, we sat in a displaced persons camp. It was like being in the ghetto again. . . . Nobody wanted to take us in. So for three and a half years, we waited until we finally got a visa to come to the United States.”

Later on, she says: “For the Jews, the doors were closed. We never understood that. Even President [Franklin] Roosevelt kept the doors closed. Why?”

The answer, of course, can be found by looking at some less-than-inspiring U.S. history. The Immigration Act of 1924 set stringent limits on the number of people the country would admit from Poland (where Joseph and Rae Kushner were from) and other Eastern European countries.

Roosevelt didn’t seek to make exceptions to those rules — perhaps because, in addition to the immigration quotas, there was a nasty outfit called the America First Committee. Its prominent members included the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and its supporters included Father Charles Coughlin, the anti-Semite who gained huge popularity as “the Radio Priest from Royal Oak, Michigan.”

The committee tried to keep the United States out of World War II and blamed American Jews for supposedly pushing Roosevelt to have our country enter the hostilities. 

Jared Kushner’s immigrant grandmother complained of America’s ‘closed doors’ | NJ.com



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