Ninety-two years ago, The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith in Texas conducted a social experiment with Jewish immigrants that had landed in Mexico with the intention of crossing the border into the United States.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency vault revisits the experiment, which inspired many of the immigrants to put down roots south of the border. As of 2010, more than 67,000 Jews call Mexico home.
Read excerpts from the JTA Vault article, below:
Large numbers of Jews who entered Mexico with intention of crossing into the States from there are now prospering in Mexico and entirely contend to remain there. A report to this affect has been received by the Independent Order B’nai Brith from Rabbi Martin Zielonka of EL Paso who conducted an investigation for the Order.
In the last two years more than 800 of these Jewish immigrants have landed in Mexico, Rabbi Zielonka hears. “The only problem seems to be that all the young men want to get married and from all conversations with them they want wives of their own nationality, “writes Ed. Saunders of El Paso who has met the young men.
“The work of the B’nai Brith should convince the most sceptical that Mexico offers opportunity to immigrants willing to work, to suffer some privation and to settle in a strange environment. The opportunities are especially good for those whose relatives can give them a sufficient fund to start their business.”
B'nai B'rith International joined a group of 20 international Jewish organizations that signed a letter addressed to President Obama, calling for a holistic solution to the U.S. border crisis “that prioritizes safety and opportunity.”
The story was covered by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and The Forward
According to recent figures by HIAS, more than 50,000 unaccompanied children have crossed into the United States along its southern border in the past nine months and another 80,000 to 90,000 are expected by the end of the current fiscal year.
Read highlights from the JTA article below:
The statement released Tuesday, which was written by the refugee resettlement agency HIAS, calls on the government to “welcome the stranger” in dealing with those entering the United States through Mexico from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
“The safety and well-being of these migrants – and particularly the unaccompanied children – must be at the heart of every policy decision made in response to this humanitarian crisis,” according to the statement, which was signed by such groups as the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International and the Jewish Federations of North America.
In the statement, the Jewish organizations call for a long term, holistic solution “that prioritizes safety and opportunity.” They call for increased border enforcement in connection with measures to ensure that those in danger of persecution in their homeland can seek asylum in the United States.
The Jewish groups also are calling for increased funding for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Policy.
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