All My Immigrants

I never thought of myself as coming from a family of immigrants, but the barbaric actions of our new President have put me in my place. My best and closest friend is an immigrant. His mother was an immigrant.  My sister-in–law is an immigrant. My cousin’s kid is about to marry an immigrant.  All my great-grandparents on my mom’s side were immigrants.  I know I’m leaving someone out.

My great-grandfather’s “naturalization papers” consisted of a page in a ledger that listed his name, and said that he came from Ireland.  His wife, my great-grandmother, didn’t warrant a listing of her own, nor did any of the kids.  I found it down in the courthouse. All the people on a page were sworn in on the same day. One of the folks on my great-grandfather’s page was David Cutten, so we’re going back aways.

I would be okay with not having immigration laws at all.  The growth that this country experienced in the 19th century was essentially unregulated.  It was chaos! But somehow it all worked out. They were suspicious of immigrants then,  too.  Did you read the obituary in Sunday’s Times-Standard that referenced our Italian folks from right here in Eureka being restricted and relocated  due to the WWII scare over Italian and Japanese immigrants?  A lot of injustices were done during that time, all in the name of “national security”.  Have you ever in your life met someone who actually lost a job- or anything else- to an undocumented worker? I haven’t.

The ineptitude of the right-wing ideologues who are occupying the White House is actually a good thing.  Bannon, Spicer etc don’t seem to have a clue.  Trump’s first and only term will apparently be a full-employment act for lawyers. Expensive for the taxpayers, but in the end the Constitution will prevail. Hopefully.

I lived in Sacramento for a year and I find myself thinking  of my dentist there, who was a Syrian immigrant, a graduate of the University of Damascus. I hope  he and his family will not be  terrorized by the Trumpies. They are a nice family and a good dentist is hard to find.  

What a bitter backdrop as we welcome the Year of the Rooster.

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