Immigrants, migrants, refugees, aliens, guests, tourists, visitors; all words for folks who are not where they originally began. We are almost all displaced at one time or another, for short or extended periods of time sometimes voluntarily, often not. Some of us leave our homes to escape dangerous situations - either domestic or political. Others travel to another country to study and expand their horizons.
How did we come to vilify a whole segment of the world’s population just because we can stick a label on them? Most travelers from Mexico or Muslim countries are not the criminals that some of our fear-mongering politicians would have us believe. Many come seeking asylum.
Our nation was built by waves of immigration from abroad, and migrations within our boundaries. Who decided that the last one in gets to slam the door?
immigration table displayIf we are to have order, we need to have regulations and procedures for passage into and out of the country. And those must be fair and executed in a timely manner. Dreamers who are part of the fabric of this culture need to have a clear path to stay. To have crops rot for want of pickers helps no one. Ripping families apart hurts everyone, not just the grieving parents and traumatized children.
What does our current climate on immigration say about us as a country, a culture? I am composing these thoughts on July 4th, a day to mark our nation’s independence. Sadly, I am unable to celebrate; I am in mourning for Lady Liberty’s welcoming history.
May we rise above the fear and embrace the “other” as a person with his or her own unique story. ~ Liza