My father was born in Berlin and came to the United States as a 10-year-old, escaping Nazi Germany. I am a second-generation American and have always felt a great affinity for immigrants and the immigrant experience, whether it’s by choice or life-and-death necessity. I am deeply mindful of the genocidal violence toward Native Americans, the horrors of slavery that stripped people from their native lands, and the continuing confrontation with bigotry and fear each new wave of immigrants has faced as they became part of the American tapestry. But there is no doubt immigration is central to the American story and its evolution.
Battles at the border have been a polarizing force in recent years, raising questions about America’s desire to still be that country described in “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus and etched into the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
What do you think? Can and should America still be a welcoming country? And do you have an immigrant story to share?
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