As the nation continues its immigration debate, there is something anyone with an opinion on the matter should do. They should read these words, penned by Emma Lazarus, and inscribed upon The Statue Of Liberty in New York Harbor:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
Nowhere does it say give me your huddled masses so long as they are not from Mexico. Granted, the nation needs to plot out a plan for citizenship, taking steps to keep up with demand. We should, as a nation be able to both come up with an effective plan and agree upon it. We stand the danger however to become a nation beset by fear. Follow me here.Yoda, the little green guy in Star Wars said something to the effect, "fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering". What are we afraid of ? Are we afraid newcomers are going to take our slice of the pie ? There is still plenty of pie. Are you afraid of losing jobs to an immigrant workforce ? This is a vast over - simplification, but when was the last time you applied for work picking strawberries 12 hours a day ? You say there won't be enough pie if we keep letting people in ? Hmmm, I see. Is that the same thing as saying "hooray for me and the hell with everyone else" ? Do they teach that in church ? I wouldn’t know because I've never been. No, I dont want to go to yours. I can tell you however my mother came through Ellis Island as a little girl. Legally, in 1930. That was pre depression and pre war, although Fascism was even then on the rise in Europe. The boat out of Naples, Italy took her right by the Statue Of Liberty. Because my grandfather worked hard in this country as an immigrant, his family arrived second class, which was better than steerage, which basically means stacked like cordwood in a cargo hold. That was a point of pride. If my Mom had not been admitted, I wouldn’t be here today. That might make some folks happy, then again, maybe for my part I could be lounging on the Mediterranean right now.
I just think we have to do our best to keep true to what this country is all about .. and the words inscribed on the statue are what we are, and always have been about. Witness the outpouring of aid and assistance for those who suffered this week in Oklahoma. We have it our hearts, we just have to widen our scope of generosity if at all possible. Im not saying we shouldnt have rules, we should... but lets not forget the plight of our fellow man. By the way, have you ever been to The Statue Of Liberty ? It's impressive, and emotional.