Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Borders On The Books

On the base of the Statue of Liberty, the iconic US monument, rests a plaque of the poem, "The New Colossus" written by Emma Lazarus. In the famous last lines it reads:

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

Over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island, where that plaque and the statue it sits upon still remain. These transplanted men and women came with or without families they had no choice but to leave behind. They arrived at a nation beginning to slowly welcome cultural, economic and social diversity.

The direct results of the immigrant influx were a new variety of business enterprises and thousands of new citizens eager to join the American workforce. Their presence also contributed to different styles of art, music, cuisine and culture.
That melting-pot diversification of the new American culture gave life to an incredible new eclecticism recognizable by all, a long-needed change for a society built on a genocidal reduction of Native Americans and enslavement of Africans for nearly a half millennia.

So now in 2006, Congress doesn't know how to handle a quickly growing problem involving illegal immigrants from Mexico crossing the California border.
The Republican Party, divided over the issue, have recently proposed a few alternatives after abandoning hopes of criminalizing the immigrants.

The most extreme idea to surface was to put up a fence on the lines of the border kind of like they tried at the first two Woodstocks. This concept, all too similar to the Berlin Wall, or even the Great Wall of China to prevent undesirables from entering the Empire.
The other idea proposed by the administration to limit people's stays and/or grant citizenship provided they pass criminal checks and learn English look most sensible.

When it comes to the bottom line, the USA is struggling at the moment to maintain its workforce. Availability for jobs in some industries are going the way of energy source suppliers - onto foreign soil. However, jobs to cultivate our own soil namely, landscaping, gardening and lawn fertilization are often too physically demanding for most Americans. Latino workers without a certified education do their jobs very well in order to support themselves and their families who may or may not be still living in South American countries.
The Latino community is the fastest growing minority population in the United States. It won't be long before Espanol becomes the secondary language.
With that being said: juntos somos fuertes. (together we are strong)


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