04 July 2013

Happy Independence Day? - A Nation of Immigrants

Warning: This post contains opinion about our broken immigration system along with a little history and genealogy.

Unfortunately, in our 237 years as a nation, we still have not learned to treat all immigrants fairly and with compassion.

history.com states:
"in the Mid-19th Century...The influx of newcomers resulted in anti-immigrant sentiment among certain factions of America’s native-born, predominantly Anglo-Saxon Protestant population. The new arrivals were often seen as unwanted competition for jobs, while many Catholics–especially the Irish–experienced discrimination for their religious beliefs. In the 1850s, the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic American Party (also called the Know-Nothings) tried to severely curb immigration, and even ran a candidate, former U.S. president Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)..."

I am a full 1/8th Irish.

Today, many of the same people who have Irish ancestry are proud of their heritage. I am. Some of these same people are now speaking out against other ethnic groups such as Latin Americans. This behavior is a sad example of the natural man who repeats the pitfalls of our bigoted history.

I always knew that many of my ancestors must have struggled to get here, but I feel this much more clearly now that I am helping my wife to immigrate. She is from Mexico and has felt the sting of prejudice in things as simple as thoughtless comments that others give about our country being "overrun by Mexicans." Such thinking is entirely bigoted and should not have place in the heart of any American. Shortly after we married, we went to Mexico. She only had a visa and we were not well prepared for the difficult immigration system. They border patrol made her stay in Mexico and I had to come back to the USA to keep my job. You might argue that we made a mistake in going to Mexico, but even if you feel that way, I hope you have the compassion to be sympathetic. Should people be punished for wanting to visit their parents? The fact is that my wife and I have been apart for over 9 months in our first year as a couple. I did not set out to marry a foreign born person, but to me it was not a factor. I knew it would be hard to do the paperwork, but it is turning out harder than I expected. I never regret marrying her for a moment, but I am saddened that our great country can't process such a family sensitive case any quicker.

A person should be judged by their personality and not by their ethnicity. They also should not be given unjust or overbearing consequences such as large amounts of time away from a spouse. This Independence Day, may we all remember that God loves everyone just as much as he loves you or me.

1 comment:

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments.