Tuesday, 31 August 2010


I recently heard a news item about US Immigration and it left me a tad confused.  I must point out that I am not American, don't listen or read a lot of American news and only have a scant knowledge of American history.  What puzzled me was the force of the article against the people trying to enter America in order to get a better life for themselves and their families. 

The Continent of the Americas had been held in fascination for many centuries by Europeans.  Many travelled across to the seas to find it.  The 1400 and 1500s are full of daring adventures; Columbus discovered the West Indies in 1492.  I suspect that with this in mind many of the people aboard the Mayflower left the shores of my (sometimes not so delightful country) to escape Religious persecution; to start a new life for themselves in a new land.  After a long and arduous journey they landed upon the country we now know as America.  The country was already occupied by indigenous people.  It could be argued that the introduction of many Europeans was not good for these people; many were wiped out by European diseases for which their immune systems were not strong enough to fight.

As news of the new country spread more and more people from the European Continent chanced their arms to travel and discover a better life for themselves and their families.  Settlements were set up, towns were built and States were organised.  Eventually, after much history and war against the Brits Independence was declared on 4th July 1776.  A new country was born.

All the while the Indigenous people were being pushed back and out of their land.  The settlers were taking over; all to get a better life for themselves and their families.  Unfortunately, the Indigenous people of America didn't have a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help them stop illegal immigrates coming into their country and taking over their land and livelihoods.

I could go on but I think I have made my point.  I would love to know why the people coming to the US and trying to make a better life for themselves are seen in such a negative way by a few Americans.  Why is history not remembered? 

And then again, maybe I am sticking my nose into business that really doesn't belong to me.  I am puzzled, that is all.


Louvregirl said...

Hummm. I think it's a sign of 'the times.' Allot here see 'those' immigrants differently (Indians aside; that is a sad but real sin; agreed here I must say; a sin of our past; my own husband is a wee part Indian~ if that is what you are referring to here...my bad if not.) The (mainly) European immigrants that came were hard-working people that were self-reliant. They built businesses and added to our country. These people became citizens and are proud of their heritage; but the U.S. gave them a 'new start; many a real bonafide "opportunity."

In the case of what is happening right now~ along our southern-most border, this is a different 'type' of thing happening here. Many feel we are (right now; in the state we find ourselves) being 'over-run' by many who are poor, in need of assistance (health care, education, medicaid and the like...)of some kind (and they all too often avail themselves of it illegally and they continue on in this state.) They are also exploited (labor-wise, drug-trafficing wise and other things...) because they are desperate.

There is allot of drug trafficing and crime associated with many coming into the country (esp. from
Mexico) and border cities are simply over-run. Just this past week bullets were fired from a HUGE drug war-lord city-wide war with the Mexican police. The shot from this crossed the border and hit municipal buildings here.

I don't live along any border~ but if I did live near the southern one; well, I suppose I would be more informed and even more opinionated about the issue.

I did, however, live right near the airfield where the terrorists of 9/11 learned how to fly. I'm not sure if they were here legally; I think they were using different names (or something.) Frankly, people (here) are just plain creeped out by our (apparent) lack of control.
Just my own wee, feeble explanation of the increasing concern for our welfare (in a real sense.)
Hope that helps. I am not a politician nor a Mayor of a border town but if I was; this issue would (right now) loom very large for me.

Louvregirl said...

I left a long comment but it was denied...too long! I will attempt again later. Maybe compose my thoughts :) Ohh no. It was a huge comment but; alas it is lost.

Louvregirl said...

I want to add, as a worker in the church, I have personally met an entire family who were here illegally (they had social security cards that were forgeries to pass themselves off as citizens; which they had for years.) Also, knew a women who was here illegally as well with her family. She was paid (church) staff but we had to let her go when we found this out. We advised her to pursue the matter legally (to get the proper documents) but she would not. This is the type of thing (most) want to put a real end to.

Shelley said...

I know in Canada one of the main concerns is how immigrants ( me included - yikes) are becoming the majority and having a voice - especially when it comes to cultural change and religious freedom - many Canadians feel that their voices are lost in amongst the huge immigrant community and therefore resent that - which I totally understand - government needs to find a balance somehow.

Pam Terrell said...

I respectfully disagree with Louvregirl. The early European immigrants were also viewed with disdain--for speaking other languages, being different, bringing new/different diseases into the country, intermarrying with the American woman, etc. That's when all the derogatory terms for Irish, Polish, Jewish, Italian, etc. immigrants were coined. Different day, same story--and both in contrast to the gospel. I'm puzzled right along with you Elizabeth, esp, when the "religious right" is most outspoken about immigrants. What would Jesus do indeed? (seemed He talked a lot about how to treat "aliens...")