In 1939 a Roper poll found that only thirty-nine percent of Americans felt that Jews should be treated like other people. Fifty-three percent believed that "Jews are different and should be restricted" and ten percent believed that Jews should be deported.  The United States’ tight immigration policies were not lifted during the Holocaust, news of which began to reach the United States in 1941 and 1942 and it has been estimated that 190 000 - 200 000 Jews could have been saved during the Second World War had it not been for bureaucratic obstacles to immigration deliberately created by Breckinridge Long and others.
Rescue of the European Jewish population was not a priority for the US during the war, and the American Jewish community did not realize the severity of the Holocaust until late in the conflict. Despite strong public and political sentiment to the contrary, however, there were some who encouraged the U.S. government to help victims of Nazi genocide. In 1943, just before Yom Kippur, 400 rabbis marched in Washington, D.C. to draw attention to the plight of Holocaust victims. (See "The Day the Rabbis Marched.") A week later, Senator William Warren Barbour (R; New Jersey), one of a handful of politicians who met with the rabbis on the steps of the U.S.Capitol, proposed legislation that would have allowed as many as 100,000 victims of the Holocaust to emigrate temporarily to the United States. Barbour died six weeks after introducing the bill, and it was not passed. A parallel bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Samuel Dickstein (D; New York). This also failed to pass.  The US did not change its immigration policies until 1948.