Please Remember – Thanksgiving Is About Immigrants.

Posted By Levi

November 26th, 2014 8:05pm

Category: Immigration

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Dear friends,
A few days ago President Obama issued orders that will prevent close to 5 million undocumented immigrants from being deported. This is a fitting tribute to Thanksgiving.

Many of us don’t see the link between Thanksgiving and immigration but the holiday is pretty much about immigrants too.

The founding of the country is traced to the Pilgrims and Puritans who came here in the early 1600s. They were immigrants. They came here without invitations and they had no family ties to the land that later came to be called the United States.

Nevertheless, Native Americans welcomed them, fed them when they were hungry and taught them how to grow crops. Later, these newcomers sat with the Natives and together they gave thanks for the difficult times they experienced. This became our first Thanksgiving.

Since then, America opened her arms in welcoming millions of Americans from every part of the world. I know because my family is one of the millions who came.

Every wave of immigrants who came to America in the past were greeted with fear and suspicions that they were not “one of us” and would never be able to become Americans. Yet, the Irish, the Catholics, the Poles, Hungarians, Jews and others proved them wrong. Not only did they become patriotic Americans but they contributed immensely to the development and prosperity of the United States. They helped built America into one of the most prosperous countries the world has ever seen.

For many of us very few words are as beautiful as the ones written by the New York poet, Emma Lazarus, and which is still inscribed at the foot of the Statue of Liberty:

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
.”

So, as we celebrate this Thanksgiving, let us not do so in the mean-spirited way depicted in this cartoon published in the Indianapolis Star a few days ago. The newspaper later apologized and deleted the cartoon.

Immigrant cartoon

Immigrant cartoon

Let us not yield to the temptations of those who want to shut the doors of America so tight that only few will be able to enter.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Twitter: @Levianthony123

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