Monday, May 01, 2006

Listen to me about the immigrants

Wir riefen Arbeitskräfte und es kamen Menschen.” (“We asked for manpower, and we got human beings.”) - Swiss writer Max Frisch on labor migration to Europe.

Some people came here to escape poverty and you would make being poor a crime. Some came here to dream and you would make dreaming a crime. Some came to escape violence and you would make fear a crime. Some stayed here for love and you would make faithfulness a crime. Some have nowhere to go and you would make homelessness a crime.

You would turn your back on these human beings? For what - simple trespassing and a lie? Are you actually suggesting that this is worse than driving while intoxicated, running red lights, or speeding on the highway? Those are all crimes that endanger the lives of other citizens yet you come down harder on the most meaningless of offenses.

Yeah it’s possible that a great influx of people can bring some adversity, but so what? Since when did we fear such things? Since when did we stop solving problems? Where is your courage? Where is your backbone? The laws we have work well enough and those illegal and legal immigrants that are here are certainly not crippling our economy. You should be ashamed of your fear.

Is it possible that our lifeboat of a country could sink and drown us all? Perhaps, but we would die doing the right thing – fighting the good fight. Unlike other fallen empires, we might instead, be remembered for our compassion. It’s called principles and that’s what we were raised to defend, right? Or have you forgotten?

Here, we do not allow mullahs to randomly rape freedom. Here, we do not allow a caste system to burn human aspirations alive. Here, we do not have rebels roaming the countryside at their leisure. Here, we can rage against our politburo without having bullets pushed into our brains. Here, we are the greatest refuge from chaos and hopelessness. It is here that the line is drawn.

It’s my country too, and I say anyone who makes it here can stay.

Did you hear me this time?
Painting by Frank Frazetta