Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) compared the policy of turning migrants away at the U.S. border under Title 42 reasons to the Holocaust, when Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe were sometimes turned away at U.S. shores.
Booker, arguing for the “right” to claim asylum in the U.S., apparently without any reason, invoked an infamous episode in 1939 in which 937 refugees aboard a ship called the St. Louis were turned away in Cuba, the U.S., and Canada. The ship was sent back to Europe, and 254 of the passengers were killed in the Holocaust. The episode is often invoked as a cautionary tale against immigration policies that would exclude all refugees.
But Title 42 is different. It is a public health measure that allows the U.S. government to turn migrants away because of the ongoing threat of the global coronavirus pandemic. There was no worldwide pandemic in 1939.
Booker, conflating the two, demanded that Title 42 be ended, lest the U.S. participate in another “Holocaust”:
Cory Booker compares deporting illegal immigrants under Title 42 to turning away Jews fleeing the Holocaust. pic.twitter.com/4ILykVD3Pg
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 26, 2023
Booker has opposed the extension of Title 42, declaring earlier this month that it is a “failed and inhumane Trump-era policy put in place to address a public health crisis.” President Joe Biden had promised to end it, but administration officials have been hesitant because of the prospect of even greater influxes of migrants. The issue will come before the Supreme Court later this year, thanks to a lawsuit brought by several states.
Though many of the migrants claim legal asylum, that status applies to those fleeing religious or political persecution, not those merely those fleeing crime or looking for better economic prospects. Few of the migrants qualify.
President Biden reversed President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which asylum applicants would have to wait outside the country, rather than potentially disappearing into the U.S. interior.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.