“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!”
So reads the poem by Emma Lazarus carved onto the Statue of Liberty. But how many Americans feel like that now? For a country built on immigration, a country stolen from its original inhabitants, we sure feel entitled to close our borders to any unfortunate soul looking to make a better life for themselves.
Immigration has been on debate for years in the US, effectively taking our mind off of other matters like Iraq. It’s something most Americans feel strongly about and not in a good way. Hate crimes against immigrates, especially those of Hispanic origin, are increasing in the US. We don’t want them here. But why?
The economy is in a downward spiral and jobs are difficult to find. We don’t want immigrants coming to take our jobs. But most Americans aren’t jumping out into the fields with migrant workers, or mowing lawns, or cleaning other people’s houses. Those aren’t the kinds of jobs we are entitled to. Those are beneath us, at least that’s the feeling I get. Hence, those are the jobs that immigrants, many of them illegal, take when they get here. Without several of those jobs being done, the entire infrastructure of the US economy would fall apart.
Illegal immigration is a problem, but getting into this country is very hard. I have Japanese friends who are extraordinarily productive members of society, yet they can’t become US citizens. If we make it that hard for a country we are supposed to like, how hard is it for those from a country we don’t like?
Another problem is that most American’s seem offended that they might actually have to learn a language besides English or learn about other cultures. Last time I checked, there was no official language in America and we were built on a collection of cultures, a melting pot, if you will. We are supposed to be made up of many, coming together and trying to make our lives better, together. And in this case, anti-immigration is just plain anti-American.