A nation of immigrants?

Immigration was never even in the top ten issues that Americans cared about until the recent influx of immigrant children pouring through the Southern border of this country.

This has naturally kicked off a new round of immigration debates and arguments. While listening to one such argument, one of the people involved said “we’re a nation of immigrants. You know, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.””

Certainly I’ve heard that line before, and so probably have you (if not, you should have).

What I’d never considered before was the response: It’s from a poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty. It was put there by a private charity – not the government.

What made me think about that was the counterpoint to that argument. It’s a poem. It was never United States policy.

Mor intriguing to me is that at the time it was put there, there were no entitlements – no welfare – of any kind in the United States. People who came here were on their own with whatever they brought with them. Amazing for people now to think that people survived and thrived in this country for nearly 200 years before there was any kind of government safety net. How could that be?

Lastly, it was correctly pointed out that most of us are not immigrants. Some of us are. And some of us may have been born to immigrants. But most of us were born to parents who, themselves, were born in this country.

This nation is full of people who were born here and who grew up with and helped shape the culture that is unique to the United States.

We have a legal immigration process, and I think anyone – conservative and liberal alike – can support as many as who want to go through that process.

What I don’t think we should support is illegal immigration – people who sneak in and then go into hiding. It’s a recipe for all kinds of problems, from its effect on minority joblessness to a simple insult to those who went through the system properly and followed the rules.

The funny thing is, with illegal immigration, the word “illegal” is sitting right there. Funny how that word starts to disappear when people who support it say it. Now we call them “Dreamers.” How quaint.

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