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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
Glows 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!”

Written by Emma Lazarus and engraved upon a plaque inside the pedestal that supports the American icon, the Statue of Liberty.

photoThis is the spirit from which America rose to global prominence and envy. How far we have fallen from the promise of our birth.

It is early in the presidential clown race to the 2016 election, but as it stands now, Donald Trump has risen to the top of the Republican wave by making stricter immigration laws a pillar of his proposed policy. According to CNN News, Trump envisions:

  1. Building a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border
  2. Fully enforcing immigration laws
  3. Improving jobs, wages and security for all Americans ahead of immigration.

Item two is a given. We are a land of laws. But the other two suggestions fly in the face of the history of a country that was built on the backs of immigrants and refugees. Contrast this mean-spirited and short-minded policy with the largess of countries like Germany, Austria, and Iceland. It is apparent why America’s image is a tarnished shell of what it once was.

Let’s examine Germany’s response to the swelling misery coming from the Middle East and the African continent. For almost 30 years a wall—a wall much like the proposed Trump Wall—divided Germany into the haves and the have-nots, east from west, communism from democracy, families split at the core. When that vilified wall came down just 25 years ago, great was the fear that prosperous West Germany would falter in absorbing its poor cousin to the East. The hardships connected with the economic and political reforms necessary to unite East and West were enormous. However the will for the co-existence and cooperation resulted in a vibrant new country, steeped in history and proud of its heritage. Today Germans are again reaching out to the disenfranchised, offering bread, water, and blankets to a fresh wave of immigrants. Germany is modeling behavior that once made America the land of the free and the land of hope.

Americans represent just 5% of the world’s population yet we consume more natural resources than any other nation and create half of the solid waste produced on the planet. And yet, we have the hutzpah to say that we have no room, no resources, and are afraid of immigrants from war-torn countries?

Americans, a huge contingent of whom claim to be a “Christian Nation,” want to close our borders to immigration because:

  • Immigrants bring disease
  • Immigrants harbor terrorists
  • Immigrants steal jobs from Americans
  • Immigrants will cause higher taxes
  • Immigrants will vote illegally
  • Immigrants will devalue “American Culture”

Well get over it, Christian impostors! We all, but for the few real natives left, came from immigrants! Our terrorists come from within our borders to the tune of between 33 – 85 gun-related deaths per day. Many world immigrants today are better educated than the average American; once established in new jobs and lives, immigrants add to the tax base. Immigrants who become voting US citizens, know more about this country than native-born Americans. Shutting out immigrants is devaluing American Culture.

Real Americans, Christian or not, will take up the banner of Pope Francis: “May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe host a family,”

Pope Francis [Photo AFP - The Telegraph]

Pope Francis [Photo AFP – The Telegraph]

If Europe, with its far more limited space and resources can, why in the hell can’t America do just as much or more to alleviate the misery of people who were unfortunate enough to be born into countries like Mexico or Syria or Somalia?