With respect to American immigration are these words no longer relevant? Has the current invasion of illegal immigration relegated Emma's words to that of empty slogan? Is the idea that America wants and needs a replenishing supply of immigrants to refresh the American ideal of freedom no longer valid.? Don't we need the immigrant to remind us how very special America is, so that we may not take her for granted?
I believe we do need the immigrant..but he must be of the same heart and soul of those who came before; he must truly believe that America is the land of opportunity and only asks that he be given a chance to work hard and succeed. Sadly, in the wake of massive illegal immigration, we must now ask how to best achieve that vital influx of new Americans.
Far too many of our neighbors to the south see America as a haven for receiving social welfare, free medical care, free public education and a means to pursue tax-free working salaries. That is true for the "best" of the illegal immigrant. The "worst" are those who head north with bales of pot, truck beds teeming with meth and cocaine and heroin and integrate with big city latino gangs to market their destructive wares.
Contrast that Mexican immigrant profile with those immigrants of fifty years ago. I grew up in the rich agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley of California. I worked along side Mexican families in the grape and peach fields. The Mexican visitors from that time worked hard for what they earned. At the end of the summer they were content to return to their homes in Mexico and live on their earnings over the winter.
Then President Johnson began a series of legislation called "The Great Society". This legislation created generous welfare programs which the CBO approximates reflect several trillion dollars in government giveaways. Free public housing, free medical care, free food stamps, nutritional aid programs for infants, preferential quota for employment hiring and education grants, all on the public dime. Many of these programs are worthwhile and served a valuable purpose. But the unintended consequences of these programs was to create a "victim" mentality for at least three generations of us. Imagine, three generations of folks who believe it is not necessary to work, or be productive, to draw a check.
Unfortunately, many of these programs were not well administered and these costly benefits were dispensed to millions who were not eligible to receive them. Enter the illegal immigrant, lured by a national plethora of government freebies under programs poorly monitored.
Even by conservative estimates at least 50,000,000 illegals have entered the U.S. over the last three decades. Millions have created false or stolen ID and signed up for the free goodies! Aided by a misguided Supreme Court that mandated no state may deny free education to illegal children, hundreds of billions of federal and state money is expended each year to build thousands of new schools to house the millions of illegal children. Illegal parents, occupied with gaming the emergency rooms, food banks and welfare offices, show little interest in learning English or even seeing that their children do. The benefits got even more "choice" when the U.S. Supreme court ruled that no illegal can be turned away from a hospital emergency room so the ER has now become the "routine care" clinic for illegal families. Facing bankruptcy, many hospitals have closed their emergency rooms completely as a consequence.
Now, the Democrats and some 20,000,000 new illegals currently residing here are demanding "immigration reform" which is the tired old term for "amnesty". How many of you remember how the last "amnesty" went? We legalized millions of illegals and the federal government vowed "no mas", no more and would seal the border. The problem is now compounded by a bastardized interpretation of the 14th amendment which was meant to provide full citizenship to former slaves but is now used as justification for the legalization of any child born in the U.S., whether the parents are legal or not. How's that been working out? And how can we hope to get a handle on spiraling social spending costs when illegals can carry a copy of a U.S. birth certificate to any social welfare agency and apply and receive all applicable welfare programs based on that bogus birth certificate?
Perhaps, the worst consequence of the illegal invasion has been the failure of the illegal immigrant to assimilate to our core national beliefs, to develop a deep love of country, or even to learn our language. Again aided by the liberal courts, the U.S. mandated that ballots and official government documents be printed in the illegal's native language.
The key difference between the "Emma Lazarus" immigrant on Lady Liberty and the "immigrant" of today is that they choose to invade rather than ask permission to enter. The character of this affront is that they hold neither respect, admiration or love for a nation with a proud heritage of lifting up the downtrodden and protecting those who can't protect themselves. They vilify the notion that hard work and fair and open opportunities are to be honored.
So Emma, we hardly know ye....
And every day we read stories like this all over the USA. So who did we give amnesty to?