Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Storied Pomp & Politics of Immigration While Our US Congress Stalls Again

The Statue of Liberty 
Lower Manhattan in 1999

In Red Belt Tennessee in the McCarthy era we fourth graders memorized this insightful poem. Maybe all those tea party republican creeps in congress like Boehner and McConnell and Ryan who are trying to game the system for more lobby money before they vote on an Immigration bill should read this poem. Please put your pomp and the net balance in your leadership PAC aside and do something for the good of the nation.

The New Colossus 1883 

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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" 

Emma Lazarus 

The writer Emma Lazarus lived for many years on West 10th Street in Manhattan. Much of her life was dedicated to helping newly arrived Jewish immigrants learn a new language and worker skills. Because of pogroms in Europe and Russia, she became an early advocate of creating a homeland for Jews in Palestine. She wrote this poem to help fund and to honor the new Statue in New York Harbor.


Joey King said...

The Republicans will never allow it because they'll be voting Democrat in 5 years when they become citizens

Jerry Hoke said...

I think it runs deeper than "pomp and greed", Marty. It has been a rough road, but the Europeans came to realize the wastefulness and absurdity of "frontiers." We might benefit from some of that "old World" wisdom.

cynthia said...

Love that poem. I nominated Emma Lazarus to the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca NY (http://www.greatwomen.org/) a few years ago and she was "inducted" to the Hall at a ceremony where I was very honored to meet two of her descendants who came to accept the posthumous award for her.

Robert K. Wilcox said...

The issue is a deeper than Mean Republicans and a nice poem. Amnesty before the borders are secured is unfair, unjust, economically disastrous, and dangerous from a security standpoint. I’m pro-immigrant and I’m married to one. But we need to secure the borders first. The senate bill doesn’t do that. Terrorists routinely come over the border to harm us. Millions of new enrollees on the social service roles will bankrupt the country in addition to taking jobs from citizens who desperately need them. We already have laws to control our border but our leaders don’t enforce them. We’re a country of laws but our leaders disregard the ones they don’t like. The current bill is liked by the Democrats because it brings them millions of new voters which will keep them in power for decades. It’s not compassion. Republicans want the cheap labor and preposterously think they’ll win Latin votes. Both motives are wrong. Are Pelosi, Reid and Schumer any better than Boehner, McConnell and Cantor? Why just name the group you don’t like? It’s the Washington establishment that is broken – Democrats as well as Republicans - not the immigration system which they simply will not enforce and manipulate only for their own self-serving good. There’s room for immigration improvement but a yes to what’s currently on the table is unwise and a sellout.