|Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island, Manhattan, in New York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
"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!"
― Emma Lazarus
Do you recognize these lines? They come from the poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus. The sonnet was engraved on a plaque that was placed on a wall inside the pedestal upon which rests the Statue of Liberty. Those of us who live in the United States have undoubtedly heard the lines recited sometime in our lives or might have even seen the plaque itself.
I was reminded of this quote recently while watching Alfred Hitchcock's World War II era suspense film Saboteur. This fine film is filled with patriotic monologues and concepts regarding loyalty and justice. After a trek across America, the action culminates in a thrilling sequence in the upper reaches of the Statue of Liberty. If you've never seen this, it's a film I would highly recommend. Besides, it's Hitchcock and that's enough for me.
Do the lines quoted above seem as sensible in our age as they did in the late 19th century when they were written? How accepting should we be of sojourners to the U.S. who do not follow our laws and have a desire to change our culture to adapt to theirs? Are there a good many peoples from other lands who want to take advantage of America's idealistic generosity and at the same time bring us down? How would you define "immigration reform"?
I've got some posts lined up on this topic, but I'm not sure when I'll get to them. They're in my queue waiting. The immigration reform issue has never left the news, but it's coming to the forefront now that elections are behind us.