We are in what some people call "the silly season," when politicians can say the most outrageous things and others accept those things as truth. One of the attacks that seems to have gathered momentum is the attack on "undocumented immigrants," which is just another way of saying Mexican or other immigrants from Central and South America who came here for a better life for themselves and their children.
People feel strongly on both sides of this issue, but it is far too involved and contentious to discuss here. However, the subject of immigration generally is one we have lived with from the very beginning of this country — long before it became the United States of America — when at first it was believed to be a short-cut to the Orient and later when it became a haven for those seeking religious liberty and still later for those fleeing famine, poverty and oppression in Europe and elsewhere.
At each step of the process, it seems, there was an outcry to stop the flow of these immigrants who might take our jobs or even our lives because they "were not like us" and might even be criminals — and some of them were. But, over time, America accepted the immigrants who added a certain spice to our nation and their descendants became some of our most accomplished citizens in the arts, science, industry and government.
I'd like to recommend a couple of articles in CMC Digest that make this point — On Immigration and Ben Bernstein: Philadelphia's Premier Art Patron (Part 1).
Beau Weisman, Editor