Tuesday, September 05, 2017

"But...My ancestors came here legally!"

To all my 3rd and 4th generation-American friends who are complaining about immigrants who "broke the law" and came here "without papers"....how the hell do you think YOUR ancestors got here? And before you shout out, "They came legally and went through all the paperwork!," listen up.

No, they didn't. They didn't have paperwork. Your Irish ancestors who arrived in the "coffin ships" during the famine had no papers. Neither did your Greek, Italian, and German ancestors fleeing war.

Many did not know what day they were born on, because they didn't have nice pictoral calendars on their non-existent refrigerators. In fact, they were born at home, and had no birth certificates. They not only lacked a college degree, they lacked a high school degree. They had no social security cards or driver's licenses, because they didn't exist.

They arrived penniless. Paperless. With little knowledge of US government, the English language, or basic literacy. They arrived at Ellis Island, had an eye test and a TB test, and some official gave them an "americanized" name because most didn't know how to spell their own names so the immigration officers guessed.

The Dreamers you're bitching about now? *These people are no different than your grandparents and great-grandparents, folks.* It's just that now you've 'made it' so you want to close the door on the next wave who just want a better life.

Before you bitch about them, go into a quiet room and ask your great-grandma up in heaven what she would say about the immigration experience, the hope of America, and the heartbreak and obstacles she encountered. Ask her what she would have done if after being here 15 years, she was threatened with being
sent back to Europe. And ask her how *she* sees those threatened by Trump's reversal of DACA.

End of rant.