[FoRK] Day without illegals in the bay area

Ken Meltsner < meltsner at alum.mit.edu > on > Mon May 1 18:34:11 PDT 2006

As was pointed out in one of the Chicago papers today, the National
Anthem (with tune swiped from "To Anacreon in Heaven" IIRC) has been
translated into more than a dozen languages, including Yiddish and
Tagalog.

As the son of an immigrant (my mom, although she was 7 at the time) on
one side, and a grandson on the other, I find it hard to deny others
what my family received -- a chance to struggle and work in this
country.  My grandfather, a learned man and rabbi, washed dishes when
he first got here and my grandmother was a live-in maid -- they only
saw each other on weekends and my mother and uncle lived with their
cousins.

And even breaking the law, while wrong, should be viewed with
compassion -- the illegal immigrants working in the U.S. are often
fleeing terrible lives and/or relentless persecution.  I find it hard
to imagine that anyone would stay in the US as an illegal
resident/immigrant unless it was far worse where he or she came from. 
When faced with a filled quota for Hungarian immigrants, my
grandparents' families tried "extraordinary" means to get my
grandfather into this country -- given the choice between imprisonment
and/or death in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, or breaking the law,
they tried to do whatever (not successfully, apparently -- there's a
long story that wasn't told to me as a kid...) was necessary to get my
grandfather to the U.S.

Yes, I'm a bleeding heart liberal.  But my grandfather served his new
country in Germany and Korea (as a chaplain -- he retired a lt.
colonel) in the U.S. Army and did his best, in life and after his
death, to pay back what he felt he had been given by the United
States.

Ken Meltsner

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