FOCUS On Immigration

We are all witness to the increasing focus in this country on how to renew the American Dream for those of our friends and neighbors struggling below the poverty line.

May 1 is a good time to spare a thought for those around the world who also live in poverty, and whose dream of improving their circumstances is to join the melting pot that is this American nation.

What better way to celebrate their ambition than to remind ourselves of the inscription to be found at the base of the Statue of Liberty:

The New Colossus
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 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,
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!”

No mention here of green cards or financial qualifications. No hint of border fences or security patrols.

Only a simple invitation to come – penniless, but hopeful – to our shores, where all will be welcome.

No need even to say ‘thank you,’ because you were welcome even before you left your homeland.

Today is a good day to remind our leaders that we are still a generous nation, even though they may have become scared and selfish and small-minded.

Today is a good day to think about what we can do to reclaim our government. To renew our invitation to those of our friends around the world who still live poor and huddled, and who want so badly to join our Dream.

Published in: on May 1, 2007 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment