My ancestors came here for many reasons. Some immigrated in the very early colonial days of this country, including a couple who arrived on the Mayflower. I can only guess that they were seeking economic opportunity, adventure, and greater freedom. Some made months-long perilous journeys from Europe and India, sailing around the southern continents, seeking religious freedom. Recent family members immigrated from Cuba…one to fight in World War II and one for schooling. Afterwards, they stayed to avoid the Castro regime.
None of them were incarcerated in detention centers, waited in “line,” or faced harsh immigration restrictions. They simply came here and added their colorful threads to the tapestry that is the United States of America. There were no educational or income standards to meet. They were truly those invited by our Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Are any of my ancestors (or yours) more deserving than today’s asylum seekers and economic migrants? I do not believe so. I believe we as a society are capable of opening our land and our hearts to those who wish for the same opportunities that made our lives possible.