At odds with the Axis powers in the Second World War, the American government
began the task of dealing with an influx of Europeans seeking refugee status stateside, even before the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. American interest in the global situation, nevertheless, did not officially begin after the initial attack on the 7th of December. Before that date, the United States government had to address refugees seeking asylum from European countries. Often studied, German emigration to the United States at times took center stage in terms of the refugee situation after the Nazi regime enacted anti- Semitic legislation in Germany and its occupied nations, prior to the American declaration of war. France, however, had a crisis of its own after the Germans invaded in the summer of 1940, and the fall of France led to a large portion of France occupied by Germany and the formation of a new government in the non-occupied zone, the Vichy regime.
France had an extensive history of Jewish culture and citizenship culture prior to 1940, and xenophobia, especially common after the 1941 National Revolution in France, led to a “France for the French” mentality championed by Marshal Philippe Pétain, Chief of State of Vichy France. The need for the French Jewish population to seek emigration became a reality in the face of the collaborationist Vichy government and anti-Semitic statutes enacted in 1940 and 1941. French anti-Semitic policies and practices led many Jews to seek asylum in the United States, though American policy was divided between a small segment of government officials, politicians, individuals, and Jewish relief groups who wanted to aid European Jews, and a more powerful nativist faction, led by Breckenridge Long which did not support immigration. President Roosevelt, and the American government, fully aware of the situation of French Jews, did little concrete to aid their asylum in the United States.