Tag Archives: The Statue Of Liberty

It Does Not Say “Tell Them Not To Come” on the Statue of Liberty

For generations, millions of new immigrants passed by the State of Liberty as the United States came into view. Carved into the statue are the words of Emma Lazarus‘s immortal poem, The New Colossus.

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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It does not say anywhere within the poem, “tell them not to come”.

Those are the words of the man who Americans elected to lead us in 2016.

What are these migrants supposed to do? Stay in a country in which violence, destruction and hunger is the norm? Watch as their children starve or die from gang violence? Just hand over their sons to the gangs to fill their ranks? Give their daughters to the gangs to become sexual playthings?

What would you do if you were in their shoes? Would you just stay or make the dangerous trek to America, hoping that the United States provides the safety and freedom that does not exist in your home country?

Past generations have left their homelands for America for the same reason that these people are leaving for America. It’s time to tell the administration to stop this persecution of Central American immigrants and treat them as human beings.

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Immigration Is Not A Black And White Issue: Thoughts On The Accused Killer Of Mollie Tibbetts And The Deportation Of Jakiw Palij

The myth about America pertains to the thorny issue of immigration. While Emma Lazarus‘s immortal poem, The New Colossus has greeted new American immigrants along with The Statue Of Liberty for generations, the immigrant experience has never been an easy one.

In 2018, the complications have become magnified, thanks to you know who.

Last month, college student Mollie Tibbetts went missing. This week, her body was found. Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who authorities have identified as an illegal immigrant originally from Mexico was accused of her murder.

My heart breaks for those who knew her and loved her. May her memory be a blessing.

It didn’t take long for certain political factions in this country to use this girl’s murder as a reason to paint all illegal immigrants with broad brush. Most, if not all immigrants, regardless of their status, did not come to America to become criminals. They came to this country for the freedoms and opportunities that for many immigrants are not available in the countries of their birth.

This case also bring to light two scourges on our global cultural landscape: sexism and racism. Some of the news reports stated that Mr. Rivera approached Miss Tibbetts.  When she rebuffed him, he didn’t understand that no means no. Racism comes into the picture because this case amplifies the myth that all men of color are predators when it comes to white women. Therefore, white woman need to be protected by white men from the men of color who might have less than honorable or harmless intentions.

The other news story that  brings into light the shades of grey when it comes to immigration is the case of Jakiw Palij.

In 1949, he came to America, claiming to be a farmhand and factory worker. Since then, he has lived in Queens, New York. According to news reports, Mr. Palij was actually a Nazi labor camp guard at Trawniki concentration camp and lied on his immigration paperwork. He is being deported back to Germany.

While I understand that he is 95 years old, justice must be served. From my perspective, when an immigrant is deported, the government must have a solid reason to send him or her back to their country of origin. In this case, I cannot disagree with his deportation. While it would be impossible in 2018 to prosecute every member of the Nazi party who stood by while their Jewish friends and neighbors were being murdered, the prosecution of Mr. Palij must proceed. The message must be heard loudly and clearly: those who had a hand in murdering Jews and other minorities during World War II will be judged and prosecuted for their actions.

Despite the promise of America, immigration will never be a black and white issue. It is my opinion that unfortunately, it’s taken Americans over 200 years to realize that fact.

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Filed under Feminism, History, National News, New York City, Politics

Trump’s New Immigration Policy

America, despite its lofty ideals of freedom and diversity, can sometimes be described as “do as I say, not as I do”.

Our immigration policy history is not as welcoming as we might think. Added to the list of these policies is President Trump’s new immigration policy, if Congress agrees to codify it into law, will be one more blemish on the lofty ideals that we claim to be proud of.

Unless someone can say that they have Native American ancestry (and even their ancestors had to come from somewhere else), we are all immigrants. Most Americans can trace their family back to someone who chose to leave their family and their homeland for a new life in America. That is the first issue that I have with the proposed amendment to the immigration policy. The second is a reply to the b*llsh*t excuse that has been used for generations to prevent new immigrants from coming into the country: they will take our jobs. While some new immigrants may have a professional background and a degree, many others have to start from scratch. Find me an American citizen who wants to spend their days picking vegetables under a hot sun or washing dishes in a restaurant and earning minimum wage. That person is unlikely to be found.

I could go on, but I think Stephen Colbert’s response and satirical revision of Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus in response to the new proposed policy says it all.

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