Saturday, November 14, 2015

Keep the Golden Door Open

Well, Huckabee got himself on CNN and declared that we (America) need to "close our borders". Oh yes he did. And the CNN pup (Smerconish--who previously I was furious at for dissing my college ferociously a while back, but we won't go there--he redeemed himself in my eyes with the following) shot back with what I thought was a profoundly important point: he said, but if we close our borders, that will keep out, for example, Syrian refugees who are fleeing FROM terrorists, FROM ISIS. He said, what about "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses"? Huckabee's response was that we need to keep out the terrorists. He stuck by his close the borders stance.

The America that I'm proud of is the one that welcomes immigrants, the one that is a melting pot, the one that celebrates diversity and the one that opens its borders to those fleeing terrorism, violence, war and certain death for their children. We ideally are an OPEN country.
Of COURSE we need to do everything in our power to screen out terrorists, but we are here to take in the "huddled masses". Not to close our borders, not to turn our backs on them! If we do that, we are no better, for example, than those (including us to an upsetting degree, so let's learn and not repeat history) who turned their backs on Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany during WWII, leaving many stranded in boats out at sea, with no country willing to take them. I have not forgotten that chapter of my own people's history, and that is why I look at the Syrian refugees and I say fling open the gates!

It is heartless and downright anti-American to say "close the borders". Screen as best we can, yes. But allow in refugees as is our proud history and part of our very ideals as America? Yes, or we cease to be the America that I can be proud of, the America symbolized (poignantly, today, as this was a gift from France) by the Statue of Liberty, holding her welcoming torch to light the way in for those who need it.

“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-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” - quote by Emma Lazarus -