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Monday, November 10, 2014

Give Me Liberty or I'll Just Take It!

Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Isl...
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.


  1. I know immigration is a touchy subject but I am sorry, if you are here illegally, get out. Stop trying to change the USA into your culture. I don't understand why we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo and the Day of the Dead. Learn to speak English, stop this 'for Spanish press 1'. My family came in through the front door, legally. They learned to speak English and assimilated into American culture. They worked really hard and paid their taxes. When my dad became a citizen at 19 he joined the US Army and fought in WW2 where he was badly wounded. My family never expected govt. handouts. Our own people can't even get some of the benefits afforded to illegals. Get. Out. Now.

    I never used to feel that way till I lived in California. When I moved to WA, my liberal friends were all, 'But it's so 'white' up there' and my exact response was, 'And your point would be.....?'

  2. Yes, if you come here, do it legally. There should be no rights for those who enter our country illegally. If I slipped across the border into Canada, be sure they would send me packing.

  3. You know what? I don't think I've seen Saboteur. huh? I'm putting it on my watch list right now.

  4. It would be beautiful to open up borders everywhere but the reality of it isn't so simple and the laws are there for good reason & should be followed. Not fair for some people to have to jump through all the hoops while others simply bypass them.

    As far as culture assimilation, I rather like the enrichment from other cultural traditions and languages. America is a blend of cultures and I hope always remains that way.

  5. I can't get my head around the attitude that nothing gets done if you break the law. I know many immigrants here legally and they are great additions to our country. I would pay the price for breaking the law, why shouldn't someone else.

  6. BOIDMAN ~
    I've never seen that movie but it sounds pretty good. Plus, I do likes me some Hitchcock, so I'm-a go to NetFlix right now and add it to my list.

    As for my opinions about illegal immigration... you already know them. Everybody who reads my blogs or has visited your blog for years already knows where I stand on such issues, so there's no point in me wasting time by repeating myself... yet again.

    I am a staunch supporter of a strict adherence to the Constitution as the majority of the framers understood it, and I am for full adherence to The Rule Of Law. That's all anyone should need to know about me in order to know where I stand on this and other issues.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground.

  7. JoJo-- An official national language--English--would create greater unity in this country not to mention save us a ton of money and hassle. Years ago immigrants used to pride themselves in learning English while in our age many immigrants seem to expect to continue their own language while we adapt to that.

    Alex --Why is the U.S. expected to have open borders while other countries are pretty strict with their own laws?

    HR-- Hope you enjoy the film. I can't recall ever seeing a Hitchcock film that I didn't like even though sometimes there are some outlandish premises tangled into the plots.

    Nicki - I too like the blend of cultures, but I don't like it when many of the standards and values that make America what it has traditionally been begin to turn this country into a slightly better version than the countries from whence the immigrants came.

    Susan GK-- I'm a little unsure as to what exactly you said in your comment so I don't think I can respond. We should all have to follow the laws equally and when we don't like the laws we need to take actions to change them.

    STMcC---I think you would appreciate Saboteur. There are some fine discussions about liberty and our nation. The climactic scenes at the Statue of Liberty are symbolic and very appropriate to the message of the film. Let me know what you think after seeing the film. It's nothing like Fellini so you're safe from that perspective.


  8. I am good at taking liberties but to enter the USA illegally I'd have to swim the big pond, two things stop me.
    (1)pond too big. (2) I can't swim.

    Seriously Lee very good post to read and digest.

    Have a good day.

  9. I believe that people should not go to any country illegally. I also think that some people are let in and I wonder why because you find out in the news, later on, that they were wanted or were part of some sect. Saboteur is one of my favs and I believe Norman Lloyd is still alive. I love Hitchcock

  10. hey thanks for following! I love me some kavinski~!

  11. A lot of the reason for who we are as a nation is because we are made up of so many people. I am not for stagnation and death because we want to quit growing as a nation.

    By the way, I think you may be a Six (which I'll be covering on Wednesday). Sixes, because of the nature of who they are, can mis-type, especially on the shorter tests. Granted, it may be that I'm saying this based on your blog persona, but it's something that you might want to look at.

  12. Just because someone is opposed to illegal immigration does not mean they want stagnation for our nation's future

    I am all for legal immigration...just not illegal immigration.

    Living in Arizona, I work with quite a few people who were born in Mexico, and they feel the same way (I have asked-this was a hot button for me a couple of years back).

    It always makes me wonder why objecting to people breaking immigration laws is interpreted as jingoism.

    I was reading an article over the weekend that had all sorts of census statistics on illegal immigrants, and it made me wonder....

    If they fill out a census form identifying themselves as illegal, doesn't it stand to reason that the government knows where they live?

    It strikes me as insanity that we're actually gathering statistics on illegals by mailing a census form to them or knocking on their door, but not addressing the issue of them being here illegally at that time.

  13. Hey Lee,

    Yes, you are not imagining this. Immigration, illegal or legal, has become an emotive topic in many a land. The realisation has that a country's resources can only take so much burden. So much so that I know that Americans born in America are knowingly becoming homeless by a bureaucratic mess that doesn't seem to care about its most vulnerable citizens. After all, anybody, well almost anybody, can become vulnerable.

    I know a lady in Chicago in her fifties who is about to become homeless and she is not entitled to any help! What the hell is that all about?

    Take care, good sir.


  14. Yvonne-- That would be one heck of a swim.

    Birgit-- The showing of Saboteur on TCM this past weekend was in honor of Norman Lloyd's 100th birthday celebration.

    James-- You're welcome.

    Andrew-- Immigration should not be stopped, but it should be in check and according to laws. I'll check out the Wednesday post.

    Larry -- Your points are why I'm asking the questions. Some aspects of immigration reform seem like unfair application of laws. If we're picking and choosing which laws we want to obey or not then I'm accepting my right to drive faster than the speed limit.

    Gary -- Good, but sad point. I know that in the UK and the rest of Europe there are possibly even more serious problems with immigration and not all illegal. A shift in populace can change a nation in a detrimental way and it's not always a colorful sharing of culture and heritage. All change is not necessarily for the better.


  15. I find it so cruelly ironic that the 1921 immigration quota was called The Emergency Quota Act. Yes, it was such an emergency that America was receiving large numbers of non-WASPs, but it wasn't an emergency for many of these people to be trapped in dangerous situations. The 1924 immigration quota was even worse, only accepting 2% of all people of a particular nationality who'd been in the U.S. during the 1890 census. Bad enough all immigration from Asia had already long since been barred. I don't understand how immigration officials still insisted on those reams of red tape when deserving people were desperately trying to escape Nazi Germany, Nazi-occupied Europe, or the USSR before they were devoured.

  16. >>... Just because someone is opposed to illegal immigration does not mean they want stagnation for our nation's future. I am all for legal immigration... just not illegal immigration.

    OH, NO YOU DON'T, DISCCONNECTED! I ain't gonna let you get away with that one!

    It is TOTALLY LOGICAL that anyone who opposes illegal immigration is against immigration altogether.

    If you oppose ANY FORM of immigration then it stands to reason that you are xenophobic (and probably homophobic, too) and you want to see the U.S.A. stagnate and die!

    If you don't believe that, then just ask any liberal who is smarter than the average bear. And for the record, EVERY liberal is smarter than the average bear (and smarter than every Conservative, Christian, Right-Wing, Republican, Straight, White, American male). And if you don't believe THAT, then just ask one - (s)he will tell you so.

    I have seen the enemy, sir, and YOU are it!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  17. Lee, thanks for dropping by and commenting on my blog! Luckily opinions are just that, opinions, and I will not stand on a soap box and lynch anyone for their beliefs.

    The United States of America was founded by people who fled for their lives in search of freedom, for the right to believe, and to act.

    The country started out as a place to heal and grow and become strong. Those of us who are born here from our forefathers are blessed enough for that honor, privilege and others want to partake of its riches.

    I still feel we are as stumbling children because of the natural faults that come with being human: This country was founded upon God's hand who led every people here and we ought to maintain that so that we may continue to enjoy those blessings.

    If anyone within this country is caught doing "illegal" activities, we are punished. Why reward anything less? But then again, why not provide a way with open doors--provide that same healing, growing and strengthening? To nurture freedom, belief and the right to act in harmony with the respect of other's as well?

    I suppose that's the very reason God removed Enoch and his great City. It had been taken up into Heaven because they had achieved the highest possible mark. If only we could as a nation...

    Thanks for the chance to share!


  18. >>... If anyone within this country is caught doing "illegal" activities, we are punished. Why reward anything less? But then again, why not provide a way with open doors--provide that same healing, growing and strengthening?

    The MAGIC 8 BALL says:

    "Reply hazy, try again."

    ~ D-FensDogg


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