Monday, May 10, 2010

Ellis Island Revisited

Anyone else getting a massive migraine from the immigration fiasco in Arizona yet? I can honestly see both sides of this argument. On one hand, these are indeed real, flesh and blood souls with families risking their lives to come to this country. But, on the other hand (and there's always another hand) they are knowingly breaking the laws of the United States, laws which are meant to protect this country.

Is Arizona being as "evil" as a lot of the media of claiming? I'm not convinced. If you look at the law of the land, they're trying to do a job that the federal government has failed at, miserably. If anything, this should be a huge wake up call to those in Washington who have been putting this issue on the back burner for decades. Both sides of the political isle have benefited, in some manner, by ignoring this issue. So don't let either of them act like their hands are clean on this one. One plays a hypocritical economy card, and the other plays the hypocritical race card.

Why have we as a nation strayed so far from the ideals presented by Ellis Island in the 19th and early 20th century? No one has been able to answer that question. The ideals of Ellis Island welcomed those to our shores who were willing to risk their very lives to realize the fullness of human potential in a land where merit was prized over blood. This was the very thing that supplied the life blood for the American nation from its earliest inception. Not only are we as Americans being convinced to forget our Christian heritage (both Catholic and Protestant), but we're also being told to forget our immigrant heritage.

I suppose I'm promoting a type of "Ellis Island Immigration Reform." It needs to be easier for families to become legal citizens, but there also needs to be a specific path for them to follow to realize that dream with the support system in place to aid them in this endeavour, with the end result being their integration into American life. If anyone has a valid reason for why this can't be done, I'd be glad to hear it.


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