Thursday, July 3, 2014

ANTI-IMMIGRANT DEMONSTRATIONS SHAME IMMIGRANT NATION

By Juan Montoya
Seeing the coverage of the bus loads of illegal women and their children from Central America being stopped in the streets of Murrieta, California, brought home the fact that some of us don't remember our own history.
We are, after all, a nation of immigrants.
Some would say that immigration is fine as long as it's done legally, but this is a disingenuous argument.
Thomas Keneally, the same writer who wrote Schindler's List, also wrote one called led The Great Shame and the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World. In it, he tells of the masses of starving Irish who came to this country after suffering hunger and deprivation in their native country.
He also tells of the despotic policies of the English overlords who controlled the Irish colony and imposed economic policies that assured the residents of the Enchanted Isle would remain powerless and vulnerable to their colonial government through colonial overseers, many of them Irish.
The mass  migration saw shiploads of these wretched race crowded aboard ships where disease was rampant and hygienic conditions deplorable. When they arrived at Staten Island, many were turned back because they were carries of diseases like typhoid, tuberculosis, etc.
When that happened, the ship captains would simply go into Canadian waters and unload their human cargo there. The immigrants would then make their way overland to the U.S.-Canada border and make their way to the U.S. urban centers like Boston or New York. Once in the mass, they went undetected and eventually melted into the urban population.
They were, in every sense of the word, illegal aliens.
A television network anchor commented that if the immigration laws had been enforced as strictly as they are being enforced now, his own relatives who came through Canada would not have been able to enter this country.
This came to mind when the images of screaming men and women shouted at the buses of women and children that they didn't wan their city to be subject to disease and that the immigrants would take jobs from U.S. workers and that their schools would be overwhelmed by the influx of the Central American children.
This despite the federal government's assurances that the shelter in Murrieta was going to be used to hold the immigrant women and children from Central America temporarily while they could reunite them with family members already in the United States. Whether we agree with the law or not, this is the policy in place.
The worst historical example of our abiding by the law in place at the time was the deportation of the Jewish refugees in may 1939.  The refugees were aboard the German transatlantic liner St. Louis that sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba. On the voyage were 938 passengers, one of whom was not a refugee. Almost all were Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. Most were German citizens, some were from Eastern Europe, and a few were officially "stateless."
Right-wing Cubans forced the Cuban government to rescind their permits to land.
 A State Department telegram sent to a passenger stated that the passengers must "await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States."
In the end, the majority returned to Europe where Jewish aid organizations sought assistance from anti-Nazi governments to give them refuge. Nonetheless, when the Nazis overran those countries.
532 St. Louis passengers were trapped when Germany conquered Western Europe. Just over half, 278 survived the Holocaust. 254 died: 84 who had been in Belgium; 84 who had found refuge in Holland, and 86 who had been admitted to France.
The Central American immigrants say that they are sending their children to the U.S. because of the gang violence and poverty in their home country.
Aren't we, in turning these new refugees away, in a  roundabout way asking them to return to the horrors of poverty and violence  they are fleeing?
Ample documentation exists that the Salvatruchas (MS 13) in El Salvador are basically a creation of our great American urban centers and prisons. When they were deported, they set about to organize the gangs they formed in urban areas and penitentiaries in the United States. In a very real sense we're reaping what we sowed.
Economic interest seems to predominate the debate onimmigration. But it wasn't that long ago, during the world wars, that American agricultural interests and lobbies convinced the U.S. Congress to establish programs to bring labor (the cheaper the better) to take the place of soldiers at the front.
In Brownsville, as late as the 1960s, one could go to the Trailways station (old Lopez store) on Adams and see trucks from nearby cotton farms pick up agricultural workers from Matamoros and nearby rural areas to work in our fields while the Border Patrol turned a blind eye.. Without their labor, the nation might not have been able to counteract and overcome the aggressor.
And, predictably, history teaches us that when there is an economic downswing, the clamor from the protestors is for the immigrant to be repatriated, deported, or prosecuted.
We will survive the current crisis. We always do. But we should not forget that we are, indeed, our brother's keeper. Or have we forgotten so soon?


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

The United States is no question a nation of immigrants; Europeans, Asians. Central and So. America. Africa , etc. Yet, we are a paradox nation. We have a Constitution unequal in the world.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Irish immigrate legally, Juan?

Anonymous said...

All the big time corruption of New York and Chicago can be traced directly to the Irish. They are the worst, poorly educated, unclean and drunks. Where do you think the term "Paddy Wagon" came from? It was used to pick up all the drunk Irishmen on the streets of NY. We should deport every last one of them, starting with that guy that owns the bar on the resaca.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see some one cares. No everyone in the united states wants their hometown to look like Brownsville.

Anonymous said...

How easy we forget , that our own came here for a better life, and we are the products.

Anonymous said...

democrats have disgraced this nation.

Anonymous said...

As crooked as his other associates from the tourism bureau - Mike Gonzalez, George Gavito, and the recently incarcerated Gwen Benton

Anonymous said...

The Border crossed us.

Anonymous said...

Deport all Critters with foreign sur-names. !!!

Anonymous said...

Just because some of you meatheads hate the Irish doesn't mean I am going to stop excellent Irish libations By the same token there are a lot pepper belly Bro. greasers ,I dislike , I will still be enjoying El Patrón Agave.

Anonymous said...

Republicans have disgraced this Nation !

Anonymous said...

Da Mayor for President of Patagonia. La Quinnie Jullietta for V.P.

Anonymous said...

Don't leave Mr "Drink&Drive" Ayala, the most Dishonest and Unethical wannabe in town

rita