Wednesday, February 17, 2016

you're making it very hard to root for you, freddy krueger

Immigration law is a weird thing to me.  I need to study it more because in my Pollyanna way I am confused about why we don't welcome any and all law-abiding people who want to come here.  From the cursory internet research I've done it looks like the United States didn't institute quotas until 1921, and I'm wondering what else was going on socioeconomically or geopolitically or whatever that the quota system was put in place.

I've heard people make the argument that you have to have quotas, otherwise the massive influx of people would overwhelm the infrastructure, but that depends on how the infrastructure is paid for, right?  If it's paid for by sales tax then that argument holds less water.  I guess I've got to google THAT now.

But I guess there were country-of-origin exclusion policies clear back in 1882, so it's not like we were living up to our professed ideals even then.  

Related:  I love the poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus--the Statue of Liberty poem.  It's beautiful and evocative and always brings me to tears.  So here it is, in case it's been a while since you've read it:  

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