Recently I was gazing over at Angel Island as I crossed the Bay Bridge, and I realized that this is probably where my great great grandfather entered America back in the 1800’s. There is no record of his entry in Ellis Island, so he must have brought his family through the West Coast and the processing station at Angel Island. However as I did a little research, I realized that Angel Island only started screening immigrants in 1910, and Ellis Island started doing that in 1892. What happened before that time? Did the ships just land on the shore and people went their own way? No border control? No medical tests? Wow, how things have changed. I have listed my thoughts below:
1. We are all immigrants. Unless you are Native American, we are all immigrants. In fact, Native Americans immigrated here from other places as well. So, why do we want to crack down on immigration so much? Do we feel exempt because our ancestors came here earlier and we now have a feeling of entitlement?
2. Official language. If we want to have an official American language, shouldn’t it be Choctaw, Cherokee, or Sioux? Christopher Columbus did not discover America. Instead he and his invading adventurers after him discovered a land full of people with their own traditions, their own society, and their own rules. This was the beginning of a very bleak period in American history filled with the European invaders using lies, guns, alcohol, and anything else they had to take over this country and force the people to speak English. English is not the native language of America. It was not the language of the society the early explorers discovered.
3. Economy. If you study the economic history of the United States, you will see that our economy has always been fueled by immigration. Most families come over here and end up doing any job they can find, even if they were considered educated people back in their homeland. They work hard and raise the next generation to be more successful and get better jobs. It continued from there through the generations. It may seem harsh to say, but we need that first generation to build railroads, work in meat packing plants, construct buildings, and pick crops. Their kids and their kid’s kids will probably get better jobs, but we need that first generation. Immigration does not take away from the United States economy, it adds to it.
4. Christianity. I’m just throwing this one in for the irony of it. I love to see people who are supposedly so Christian spew hate and venom at immigrants from other countries. Didn’t they just go to church and hear about how we are supposed to help our fellow man and give to those less fortunate? I also think it is funny how people who are racist can still think of themselves as true Christians. Really?
5. Living Conditions. If I lived in some of these other countries, I would definitely try to enter the country to help my family have a different life. It was only the random act of birth that one person is born in Mexico and another born in America. It was nothing that either person did. Why not try to improve your lot in life. Isn’t that the American way? I don’t blame people for trying to get in here because I would do the same thing.