By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that Gov. Greg Abbott has declared his intention to shut down the Texas border with Mexico all by himself, I want to say a word or two about immigrants and the strength they bring to this great country.
I am acutely aware that Abbott wants to end “illegal immigration” into this country. He wants to stop refugees who are seeking to enter the U.S. to flee oppression, crime, poverty and misery in their home countries. Hmm. Is that a bad thing for the United States?
Yes, they should enter the country legally. I know and accept it.
Abbott, though, has targeted specifically criminals who he said should be arrested, detained and then sent back. Let’s see. I think that has been occurring since, oh, about the time of the nation’s founding. However, the GOP demagogues continue to insist that President Biden has enacted an “open border policy” that allows for thugs to enter freely.
Why do I feel so strongly about immigrants? I am the grandson of four of them. They came here near the start of the 20th century in search of a better life. They left southeastern Europe. Two of them came from what one former POTUS would have called a “sh**hole country.” That would be Turkey, a mostly Muslim nation.
They came. They thrived. They produced their children, all of whom led productive lives; some of them served heroically on the battlefield during World War II; my dear Dad was one of them.
What separates immigrants from native-born Americans is one simple fact: All of them chose to come here. They weren’t granted U.S. citizenship merely as an act of fate, having been born here. They made conscious decisions to build new lives and to call the U.S.A. their “home.”
Someone needs to tell me, though, how many of those who seek to sneak into this country comprise the nefarious criminal element that a former president once said comprised most of them.
Immigrants have helped create this great nation. They should be honored, not vilified.