Don’t Let Lady Liberty’s Beacon Go Out!


This article was submitted by Cath Kestler, a Silver Creek resident
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand
world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips.  “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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”    Emma Lazarus
Ellis Island lies in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and was the gateway for millions
4.1.1

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Port of New York

of immigrants to the United States.  It was the busiest immigrant inspection station

from 1892 to 1934.  It is likely to connect with more of the American population
than any other spot in the country.  It has been estimated that nearly half of
all Americans today can trace their family history to at least one person who
has passed through the Port of NY at Ellis Island.
There were hundreds of immigrant groups that contributed to the building and expansion of America throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  As word of new
opportunities in America reached foreign shores, some entire villages relocated to this Land of Opportunity, bringing their customs, cultures,
and cuisine with them.  The Peopling of America examines the trends in a changing population.
In 2013, the Senate passed a bipartisan CIR (comprehensive immigration reform) bill that would have strengthened our communities, our economy, and our country’s future.  Representatives from both sides of the aisle have voiced their support for CIR, and Americans across the country haven’t waivered.  And yet, Speaker John Boehner and 
the House leadership refused to even bring the bill up for a vote.That’s why President Barack Obama is taking action where he can to help fix our broken immigration system, strengthen our economy, and protect our communities and families.
The President’s executive orders will give parents of American citizens or legal resident children who have lived in the US for more than five years relief from deportation if they register with the government, undergo background checks, and pay taxes.  It
will allow immigration enforcement officials to focus resources on deporting felons, not families.
These actions to help our immigration system will strengthen our country, grow our economy by up to $210 billion in 10 years, and could shrink the federal deficit by up to $25 billion over the next  decade.
But the President can only do so much on his own.  Only Congress  can finish the job and fix our broken immigration system in a permanent, meaningful way. 
The list includes:
  • Provide a pathway to earned citizenship.
  • Streamline the legal immigration process.
  • Continue to strengthen our borders.
  • Crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers.
The only thing you hear today in the media is Donald Trump’s ultra-hard lined immigration plan; which consists of building a wall around our country that he will make the Mexican government pay for.  His plan is unfeasible, to say the least.
Trump has accumulated a lot of support from the GOP nativist base in large part because they trust him to enforce immigration laws. Few national politicians and fewer business leaders are serious about deporting 11 million people.  Undocumented immigrants are 
a necessary part of the national economy; American enforcement practices are designed to manage, not eliminate, violation of border laws.
A strain of American resentment can’t deal with this contradiction: If some people are allowed to violate the law, they must be doing so at the expense of lawful citizens.  It’s not true; undocumented  immigrants (not to mention over 50 million Latino Americans nativists are really talking about) contribute to the national economy, tax base, culture, and social fabric in innumerable ways.  But racism and xenophobia make inspiring campaign themes. If this comes to fruition, it would delegitimize the federal government
just as it would send thousands upon thousands of un-welcomed immigration agents into American cities to deport 11 million immigrants; further opening other cans of worms.  There is a term for what could come next: civil war.
The US-led war in Iraq, under the Bush administration, ultimately contributed to the further destabilization of the Syrian region, which helped spawn such terror groups as the Islamic State aka ISIS, and the four year civil war in Syria; headed by Bashar al-Assad.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have either been displaced or have recently fled the region due to the destruction that ISIS has caused, let alone the in-fighting with the Syrian Civil War in which the resignation of al-Assad has been called for by the United
Nations.  Neighboring Turkey has taken on refugees and most  have been continuing onward to Western Europe. The refugees have been joined by others in Iraq, Pakistan, and everywhere else conflict has arisen in the Middle East trying to escape abject poverty and the Islamic extremists.
The Obama administration has provided limited military support for the rebels trying to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Assad.  Much to the protesting of the GOP, the 
Obama administration is not the root of the crises in Syria.
In the beginning of ISIS there were many media outlets reporting about a visit that Senators McCain and Graham  took to the Middle East to garner support for the young, upstart group, ISIS.  They found an open ear of a Saudi prince, who was willing to fund the young, upstart group–this fact has since  been buried when ISIS turned out to be a huge threat to the US.
Nine million refugees have fled since 2011 into the surrounding  countries.  Applications for asylum have been accepted in the countries around Syria; most have moved further west. 
The United States has given asylum to 1,500 since 2011; we are  expecting 10,000 this fiscal year and 75,000 are slated for next year.  Since we have had a big hand in creating this problem, I say we must be careful upon whom we are letting in; it is however, a good start.
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About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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