JOURNALIST UNCOVERS IMMIGRANT BACKGROUNDS OF ANTI-IMMIGRANT PUBLIC FIGURES

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In a world where many public figures have felt free to broadcast their anti-immigration views and share aloud their pejorative claims and prejudices against immigrants, Jennifer Mendelsohn, a journalist and genealogist has been highlighting these people’s ancestral immigration histories to illustrate the obvious hypocrisy. Her genealogy facts have garnered public attention, have gone viral, and are being re-tweeted by the thousands as the apparent double standard seems to viscerally resonate with people.

Mendelsohn began her quest with Steve King, a Republican Congressman from Iowa who, in March of 2017, was quoted as saying “you cannot rebuild civilization with somebody else’s babies,” in addition to making other negative statements about immigrants. Her research uncovered how in King’s immigrant history, his own grandmother and her two young siblings arrived as immigrants in the United States at Ellis Island, the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States and busiest immigrant inspection station for over 60 years.

After Tomi Lahren, a conservative pundit of German and Norwegian descent shared her negative thoughts and opinions about immigrants during an interview with Fox News this week, Mendelsohn furthered her genealogic investigating. In particular, Lahren stated. “You don’t just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice,” she said. “That’s not what this country is based on.” She also criticized Dreamers and their families as not being “law-abiding citizens.” Once again, Mendelsohn uncovered some fascinating facts about Lahren’s own ancestors. To begin with, one of Lahren’s own ancestors was indicted for forging naturalization papers. In addition, according to a 1930 census, one of Lahren’s great-grandmothers reportedly lived in the United States for 41 years and only spoke German. Another great grandmother had been in the United States for 10 years and still spoke no English.Read More

Mendelsohn exposed similar historical hypocrisies for Dan Scavino, Jr., the White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President who made news in the spring of 2016 for having selected a picture of Hillary Clinton with an anti-Semitic text in the shape of a Star of David, calling her the “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever.” Earlier this month Scavino vocalized his strong opposition to “chain migration,” by which multiple family members immigrate to a country over time. After a few hours, Mendelsohn was quick to uncover the fact that Scavino’s own family immigrated to the United States from Italy via chain migration. Interestingly, Mendelsohn pointed out that Scavino’s Italian immigrant ancestors were viewed with the same type of prejudice that today’s anti-immigration hard-liners project onto Hispanic and Middle Eastern immigrants.

The Shulman Law Group, LLC applauds Mendelsohn’s investigative genealogic reporting which aims to illustrate how we are all immigrants and we should take pride in being a country of immigrants. Immigration Firm Founder Edward Shulman, Esq. highlighted how Mendelsohn is not trying to shame people, but rather to highlight the import of understanding our backgrounds to have increased empathy for immigrants who have much in common with our own ancestors who built this country.