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 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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
— by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–87), written in 1883
Murrieta, California has received national attention of the not-so-good kind in the last few days for the immigrant children bus debacle. I live a few miles from Murrieta and I some of my colleagues live there. Murrieta is as mainstream America as it gets. Strip malls, brand new housing developments, government buildings, gleaming medical facilities of glass and concrete – and a lot of desert around – characterize the community. This is not where you’d expect a radical movement to originate.
Yet, say Murrieta to anyone around the country right now and that’s what they are probably thinking.
We have a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions on our hands. The video below, showing a border patrol agent pointing out the obvious at a border bus station, is shocking, but it shows a reality that we would rather not acknowledge exists.
The media is full of “news” about an alleged gag order by the federal government restricting the media from reporting on the border crisis. Sadly, I could not find any evidence of any gag order, only media references without sources stating its existence. Even FactCheck.org doesn’t show anything. If any reader has one, please post it in a comment and I will include it here and elaborate.
I generally believe that if a government or a leader needs to prevent others from knowing the truth, you have weak government or leadership. Examples are:
- Egypt, shutting down Bassem Youssef’s television show
- The new Texas law ordering facilities holding dangerous chemicals not to disclose their location to the public
- Drill, baby, drill, but don’t talk about it
So show me the gag order and I say shame on the federal government.
Many of our most productive Americans are immigrants.
- Elon Musk is an immigrant. Because of his contribution, we have PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla. He created thousands of jobs so far, billions of value to America, and he has just started.
- Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, is an immigrant. I need not say more.
- Vinod Dham is in immigrant from India. He became the father of the “Pentium.”
- Andy Grove, the founder of Intel, was an immigrant from Hungary who escaped the revolution of 1956.
- Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, was born in Ukraine. He arrived in the U.S. when he was just 16 years old, and his family lived on food stamps. He just sold the company to Facebook for $19 billion. Granted, he hasn’t contributed to the economy yet, but he made himself a cool few billion dollars.
- Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo!, was an immigrant from Taiwan. He moved to California in 1976 at the age of 8, speaking no English. This father died two years later.
If America didn’t welcome immigrants, Google, Yahoo!, Tesla, SpaceX, WhatsApp, PayPal, Intel and thousands of other companies driving our current American economy would not exist.
I am an immigrant. I know what it feels like to start a new life in a new country, learn a new language and culture. I have created hundreds of jobs over the course of my career, and contributed tens of millions of dollars to the U.S. economy.
We need an immigration policy that works, that is human, that makes sense, that has dignity and that provides economic value to the country and to the immigrants.
Building fences and patrolling the border with SUVs and drones has been tried for 50 years and has not worked. It works less today than it ever did. I don’t fault Obama, I don’t fault Bush, I don’t fault any of the administrations before, for trying. However, nothing has worked. We have immigrants, often illegal immigrants, who put themselves into great peril just to do an honest day’s work.
“Your life depends on a random stranger who could kill you, will probably disrespect you, and will most likely pay you much less than you deserve. But even those prospects are better than the ones you used to have. This is the life of los jornaleros – the day laborers.”
― Gustavo Arellano, Ask a Mexican
I agree, sending mothers with children on bus tickets into the country does not solve the problem. We’ll have these children in our schools on free lunches, subsidized childcare, the mothers on welfare and the sons sitting on street corners as day laborers as soon as we open the door of those busses.
We are in this situation because we simply do not have a strategic plan, and we have no stomach to face the reality. So we ignore it.
“AMNESTY, n. The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.”
― Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary
We need a foreign workers program that gives visas to work to foreign nationals, so they can have jobs, pay taxes, and contribute to the economy like we all do. When they pay taxes, their children can go to school, since the taxes fund the schools.
We need to send all illegal border crossers back to where they came from. Sorry. You can only enter with the proper papers.
We need to deal with drug trafficking across our borders.
We need to do many things that I cannot all list here.
But we cannot start by hating others, who are, after all, just like us, others who want to better their lives by working hard and contributing.
We need real government and real leadership. — I am not holding my breath.