“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
That is what is inscribed on a plaque inside our Statue of Liberty. Now flash forward more than 100 years to what is going on today on our southern border. I will not flash the images you have no doubt seen of a toddler crying and looking up into a stranger’s face. It makes me weep. She was torn away from her mother. Ironically, the reporting of much of this happened on or around Father’s Day…a day to celebrate the sacrifices that real men make for their children. Most of the people flocking to our Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico border now are not MS-13 criminals. The overwhelming majority are not even Mexicans. They are fleeing El Salvador, Guatamala and Honduras…Central American nation wracked with infighting, violence and political instability. (Sounds kind of like what America has turned into, right?) But most of them just want to bring up their children in a land of opportunity that made the above promise to millions of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island and other outposts for hundreds of years. Imagine what would have happened if the political climate had been like it is now, and when our ancestors arrived on a ship from Europe…they had been separated from their children, processed in a quick deportation hearing and sent back to wherever they came from? No Albert Einstein…no John F. Kennedy…no Irving Berlin or Eddie Van Halen…no Ronald Reagan…none of us except the original Americans, native tribes who saw their lands taken. You and I would not be here. And instead of trying hard to make America great, we probably would have either not existed or made Germany great, or Japan, or England, or France, or Russia. How about Roberto Goizueta, CEO of a little company called Coca Cola, who led that firm to global wealth and dominance? He also personally had a habit of donating large sums of money to his new country’s charities. I’m not saying all the folks showing up on our borders now are going to become philanthropists down the road. But our new habit of being afraid of immigrants, while knowing that our not-so-distant relatives were the exact same thing, fleeing poverty and corrupt regimes and hopeless areas to come to the Land of Opportunity…that is just ignoring our own history. So today, despite my general nature of trying to stay completely out of the political arena, I am shocked by the actions of our President and Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security, whose leader in a press conference expressed uncertainty when she was asked “Where are the young girls being held right now?” “I don’t know but I will check into it.” The government of our country is not ready to house thousands of small children and babies, and that is why they are being held in facilities that resemble jails, even though their crime is that their parents wanted what America promises…an opportunity to make life better for their children. I am personally going on a campaign to make sure our present elected officials step in the way of the President, and determine a method for those who simply want to live in America, work hard (often in jobs that businesses are having trouble filling) so their lives and their children’s lives can be productive and happy, can do so. And if our current elected officials cannot take reasonable steps to do so…I suggest we elect some different people who believe in the creed of that statue. “Yearning to breathe free” not “ripped apart by cruel and oppressive government”
If you do not know who your Congressman and Senators are…you can find them and their contact information at http://www.congress.gov. Take action, or we will descend into the kind of country our Founding Fathers were escaping.