Saturday, January 28, 2006
While Dr. D was reading the Emma Lazarus poem, "The New Colossus," I remembered my middle school days. For one reason or another, I had a free period to do whatever I wanted. Instead of playing outside, I found myself in the school library trying to look up the history of the Statue of Liberty. Liberty...what a great word. I find it interesting (and possibly ironic?) that the Statue of Liberty was commissioned by a few noted Frenchmen to celebrate the centennial of America's independence. A way, if you will, to celebrate America's pursuit for "human liberty." That the Lady Liberty was and still is the iconic symbol for immigrants to travel to America where there was a melting pot of ideas and innovation. Where is that melting pot now? In a January 9th, 2006 Wall Street Journal article titled, "How U.S. Immigration Evolved As the Nation Grew and Changed," the author, Cynthia Crossen notes that the issue of immigation and its concerns that are prevalent even today (i.e. a surplus of poor unskilled workers taking jobs from today's Americans) were also present in the early 20th century. So, this issue of immigration, while seemingly new, has actually been a concern for more than 80 years. Questions as to whom should we allow? Are there exemptions if the individuals seeking entrance into the US from "designated" countries? Who defines all of this? Even now, this past fall the Department of Homeland Securitty (DHS) has sought to revamp the questions on the U.S. Citizenship test. Whether or not those questions will be tougher or easier is up for debate, though most signs point to a toughening of questions. Given all the above, there seems to be a tension between accepting people seeking human liberty and those undermining American job security. What are your thoughts?
Posted by don at 4:09 PM