Donald Trump may actually become the Republican presidential candidate, and that’s because his message chimes with a lot of Americans.

His words are never minced, he always reaches for the lowest common denominator and, with that, there’s always a chance of success.

The business tycoon wants to “make America great again”. His latest idea to achieve that involves stricter surveillance on Muslims in the US, with Trump refusing to rule out closing mosques and introducing ID cards. Some people would welcome these ideas, but others might even label them “un-American”.

Superman would be one of those people.

That comic appears to have been published in 1956 – a long time before the current refugee crisis, but this isn’t the first time in history a people have needed to seek safety inside another country’s borders.

Immigration was as big a topic in 1950s America as it is today and in response to people from Europe, Asia and South America upping sticks to the US to get away from communism, the Immigration and Nationality Act was introduced in 1952.

Back then the argument against was probably that there would be communist agitators among those seeking shelter, while today the argument is that terrorists travel among the refugees.

Refugees heading through Macedonia
Refugees heading through Macedonia (Boris Grdanoski/AP)

The bill was passed despite a veto from President Harry Truman, who was against a lot of the legislation the bill contained: “It denies the humanitarian creed inscribed beneath the Statue of Liberty proclaiming to all nations, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’

“It repudiates our basic religious concepts, our belief in the brotherhood of man, and in the words of St. Paul that ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free …. for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.’”

And speaking of those fleeing communism in Eastern European countries in much the same way refugees fleeing Syria could be spoken about today, Truman said: “We do not need to be protected against immigrants from these countries – on the contrary we want to stretch out a helping hand, to save those who have managed to flee into Western Europe, to succor those who are brave enough to escape from barbarism, to welcome and restore them against the day when their countries will, as we hope, be free again.”

And if you’d prefer your preaching from a more up to date source, how about this from President Obama.


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