Saturday, June 23, 2007

So You Are Thinking About Coming to the U.S. of A.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.~ Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

Americans have always been ambivalent about immigration, with realistic concerns bumping into altruistic, even romantic notions. The romance is summed up in the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, erected in 1886, proclaiming the famous lines ''give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.'' The ambivalence was expressed a mere four years earlier, when Congress enacted the first immigration restrictions, specifically excluding "paupers, ex-convicts, mental defectives and Chinese." That was at the beginning of the greatest wave of immigration in American history, which brought in 18 million new citizens, diversified U.S. society and gave us the enduring analogy of the ''melting pot.'' ~ Immigration Overview at Public Agenda

So you are thinking of immigrating to the United States? May I suggest that, unless you are of Western European origin and have a PhD in a subject that is assured to bring huge profits to a U.S. corporation, now may not be the best time to come. And if you plan to immigrate as “an illegal,” now is definitely not the best time to come.

A Look at the Immigration Issue:

The Immigration Reform bills of the House and Senate are still not compatible. (To view the difference, see Citizen Joe’s Immigration Bills In Brief).

Meanwhile, the Senate is working on 22 amendments before, some hope, bringing their immigration bill to a final vote.

President Bush will use his radio broadcast this weekend to “encourage” the conservatives in the Senate to accept the amnesty measures he has proposed.

Meanwhile, 175 illegal immigrants were arrested in California in a sweep of Orange County at the beginning of June.

In a strange case concerning the U.S. immigration laws, the wife, Yaderlin Jimenez, of a U.S soldier captured and possibly murdered by Iraqi insurgents is facing deportation because it has been found that both she is an illegal immigrant. Read her story in Boston’s The Enterprise.

Since a picture (or, in this case, a political cartoon) may say much more than words:


  1. My ancestors came to the United States from Ireland. When they arrived and sought work, they were greeted by signs that read “IRISH NEED NOT APPLY.” Need I say more?

  2. Wow...this is such an important message.


  3. I'm not able to divide the world up the way some people can. it doesn't make any sense to me at all. Drawing imaginary lines dividing "us" and "them" just seems arbitrary and kind of stupid.

    I think globalization will eventually make immigration unnecessary. Why travel a long distance to take a job in a foreign land when you can be exploited closer to home?

  4. My husband is Colombian, and was naturalized one week after our wedding, October 2005. I'm ambivalent on the issue in a way, because he did everything on the up and up, and I wonder why the other immigrants can't.

    But that's just me. I would rather see illegal immigrants get some sort of rights, but yes, they have to pay for that privilege.

    I have more thoughts on this, but I have a Basset Hound singing tenor in my ear.

  5. Hmmm, sounds like you have the same problems with illegals as we do here. I'm afraid I can't agree with the illegals...why try and jump the queue ahead of those who are doing things properly and lawfully? Because they have the money to pay the people smugglers, therefore it stands that they would have the money to come here legally. It seems to be endemic throughout the world...I want it and I want it now!

    Have fun with your weekend