How dismaying that Jerry Sternberg, the son of an immigrant, would spew forth such xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant bile [“The Gospel According to Jerry: Asheville Could Lead the Nation Out of Immigration Quagmire,” Commentary, Oct. 3]. If his German-born Jewish father had not emigrated, he would have been rounded up and deported to the nearest border and booted out of the country after 1933. If, indeed, he had lived that long.
Mr. Sternberg, who decries “the browning of America,” advocates rounding up these unfortunate people (“Their whereabouts are well-known,” he says. “They cluster in mostly low-income Hispanic neighborhoods.”) at the point of a gun if necessary and deporting them. Sound familiar? One can almost hear the jackboots on the stairs and the fateful knock on the door. And the cries of American-born “legal” children as their “illegal” parents are carted away.
Imagine, if you will, the vast holding pens with millions of prisoners waiting to be herded aboard fleets of buses for the three- or four-day trip to the Mexican border. Then come the immense caravans themselves, with their cargoes of the dispossessed, flooding the highways of America. Kosovo? Darfur? Or should we go back a bit further and summon up the trains that ran night and day, carrying society’s “rejects” from Nazi-occupied Europe to the East?
“We must enforce the law über alles,” Mr. Sternberg says—one hopes unwittingly.
Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles, anyone?
— Marshall De Bruhl
Columnist Jerry Sternberg responds: I opened this article with tongue in cheek, satirizing the preposterous and foolish right-wing position on the immigration issue. If one had read further, one could not have failed to understand that I put a human face on an abstract political issue in order to validate my point.