Boy, talk about a word that conjurers up a ton of emotions.
On the one hand, we have stories of “Irish Need Not Apply”. On the other, heroic remembrances of a time gone by when determined folks would walk off a ship with barely a nickel to their name. And die rich.
And now…well, now we have newscasts of drug runners, cartels and coyotes. Fences and tunnels, arms deals and drug wars.
Ugly stuff this. To be sure.
But when the drama and the histrionics have past and we have boiled away all that isn’t really truly important, what are we left with? To me, in it’s simplest form, we are left with one single human being wanting to make a better life for himself. His family.
We are left with that most American story of boots and straps and pull. We cheer for the individualist. We build a culture that applauds that individual. And rewards him with adoration and, perhaps, wealth.
To me, that’s the American Dream.
To be able through merit, sacrifice, blood and all odds build a life that’s better than you otherwise might’ve had. To leave behind the opportunity for your children to experience things not only better than you but unimagined by you. Where you went to the hill to look at the stars, our children go to the stars to look at the hills.
THIS is what is America.
And lines on a map are arbitrary. Drawn at the will and whim of a nonsensical politic. Bias by money and war and fate.
So when people wanna come, wanna sacrifice everything they have to come, to build a better them, that we deny that is unconscionable. It fly’s in the face of what we are, what we aspire. The act of refusing foreigners is…un-American.
But I can get it. We’re human and susceptible to irrational thought. Jobs and numbers and taxes and crime. It’s natural. Tribes are built into our selves.
I get it.
But I don’t get the kids. I don’t understand the logic that says we ought hold the sons responsible for the crimes of the father. When a child is pulled across the border at 2-3-4 or even 12 years of age…what serious option does he have?
Rather, he grows up an American. Full of promise and excited at the prospect of all we have discussed. He knows what an X-box is. American Idol. Superman. Nike.
He watched as the towers fell.
He saw sting of defeat when the Canadians beat the Americans; and the Japanese.
Are we so consumed by our fear that we are unable to embrace our inheritance?
Durham, N.C. — A statewide Latino advocacy group and members of the community rallied Tuesday afternoon to stop the deportation of a Durham teen.
Fausto Palma-Guifarro, 18, said he didn’t know he was illegal until he was detained by immigration officials on June 8 – the day before his graduation from Jordan High School in Durham.
Federal agents had arrived at his apartment looking for someone else, but in the process asked for identification from everyone there. They found out that Palma-Guifarro had a deportation order against him.
The teen was held at the ICE detention center in Cary, but was released and allowed to attend his graduation because of good behavior and his lack of a criminal record.
This kid is an American.
Make it so.