(JTA) — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican who was censured by House colleagues for espousing conspiracy theories and what some consider anti-Semitic rhetoric, shared her restrictionist views on immigration with an Orthodox Jewish magazine.
On Monday, Greene toured an Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn at the invitation of a local Republican activist.
She also gave an interview to Ami Magazine. Greene draws a contrast in the piece between contemporary immigration, which she is seeking to limit dramatically, and the era in which Jews came to the United States in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
“I got to meet a Holocaust survivor today who came to America when she was 12 years old. Her aunt sponsored her, meaning that she took complete responsibility for the financial obligation of her coming to this country,” Greene said in the interview, which a subscriber posted to Twitter. (Most of the magazine’s content appears in print only.)
Jewish groups have long pointed out that the strict U.S. immigration law that had kept many Jews stranded in Nazi Europe also severely limited the number of Jewish refugees and displaced persons who could enter the country after the war, even with a sponsor.
Greene, a staunch critic of President Joe Biden’s approach to immigration, also talked about the possibility of impeaching Biden “with regard to our border situation,” referring to a surge of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone. She has sponsored legislation that would require a wall at the border to be named after Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
Conservative activists in the Orthodox world have not made immigration a prominent part of their political activism, and Orthodox advocacy groups like the Orthodox Union, which is nonpartisan, were frequently critical of Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policies. (Liberal Jewish groups, citing the history of Jews as refugees and immigrants, are vocal supporters of legal immigration.)
“I love Trump, but I still don’t agree with him on immigration,” Heschy Tischler, a right-wing activist in Orthodox Brooklyn, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last year. “I believe this country should be open to everyone.”
In the interview, Greene also discussed her visit to Brooklyn, which came at the invitation of Nachman Mostofsky, who runs a politically conservative Orthodox organization. His brother, Aaron, was arrested for his role in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
“I’m so lucky that Nachman Mostofsky and Rabbi Moskowitz brought me to Brooklyn today because it really hurts to be called ‘anti-Semitic’ or ‘racist,'” she said, likely referring to Yechezkel Moskowitz, who works with Mostofsky.
Greene has become a lightning rod during her first few months in office over her promotion of the anti-Semitism-fueled QAnon theory during her campaign for Congress, as well as a widely mocked Facebook post in which she theorized that the Rothschild Jewish banking family bankrolled a space-based laser to start California wildfires.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted to strip Greene of committee assignments in February, mostly along party lines.
In a speech before that vote, Greene said her past comments “do not represent me.”