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St. Patrick's: A Day to remember immigrants.

 
 
Reply Thu 16 Mar, 2006 06:41 pm
This an important time for immigrants in the United States. And St. Patrick's day is a day celebrating our immigrant heritage.

The current anti-immigrant movement is not new. For at least the past 100 years people have been demonizing newcomers, minimizing their contribution and calling on the government to make and enforce harsh laws.

Irish immigrants, legal and illegal, have come for centuries and contributed to our society and culture. They faced accusations that they were disloyal and caused crime. They faced quotas and discrimination. Yet they came and worked and built lives and made contributions to our country.

Not even our current brand of gun-toting anti-immigrant vigilante groups are new. Our immigrant ancestors, Irish and otherwise, faced the same.

St. Patrick's day is a day to remember the trials, perseverence and contributions of immigrants. Since the 19th centuries immigrants faced contradictory laws and messages- with society wanting their labor and contributions, yet refusing to allow them to become a part of society.

Today there is hope. The McCain-Kennedy bill offers todays immigrants, both Irish and non, a chance to step out of the shadows. They will allow worker who pay a fine and any back taxes, and work toward becoming a part of our country a chance to become legal.

On St. Patrick's day we celebrate the immigrant. We also remember that we are a nation built of immigrants.

So wear green and grab a Guiness... but right now there is something more you can do to celebrate your immigrant heritage.

This month in the Senate, immigration reform is being debated... whether we are going to treat today's immigrants living in the shadows with respect, or whether we will refuse to recognize their contributions and keep them in limbo.

Call your Senator today and tell them to support McCain-Kennedy. Your great grandparents (Irish or not) would be proud.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,394 • Replies: 9
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Mar, 2006 09:16 pm
This italo-scot will consider doing just that. Actually, I may have already signed an online petition.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Mar, 2006 10:19 pm
Thanks K (although I think your Senator is already on board Smile)
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Mar, 2006 10:22 pm
That's the way it is, here..... they keep writing back saying, "yep, we're with ya!"
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Mar, 2006 10:32 pm
By any chance did you see the "My Word" (editorial) in the Metro (that free newspaper they hand out in the citiy) this morning? It was a pretty strong pro-immigrant article.

I am interested to read the responses (this kind of thing always stirs up the Know-Nothings).
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Mar, 2006 10:54 pm
No, I didn't read it.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Mar, 2006 09:15 am
Re: St. Patrick's: A Day to remember immigrants.
ebrown_p wrote:
This an important time for immigrants in the United States. And St. Patrick's day is a day celebrating our immigrant heritage.

The current anti-immigrant movement is not new. For at least the past 100 years people have been demonizing newcomers, minimizing their contribution and calling on the government to make and enforce harsh laws.

Irish immigrants, legal and illegal, have come for centuries and contributed to our society and culture. They faced accusations that they were disloyal and caused crime. They faced quotas and discrimination. Yet they came and worked and built lives and made contributions to our country.

Not even our current brand of gun-toting anti-immigrant vigilante groups are new. Our immigrant ancestors, Irish and otherwise, faced the same.

St. Patrick's day is a day to remember the trials, perseverence and contributions of immigrants. Since the 19th centuries immigrants faced contradictory laws and messages- with society wanting their labor and contributions, yet refusing to allow them to become a part of society.

Today there is hope. The McCain-Kennedy bill offers todays immigrants, both Irish and non, a chance to step out of the shadows. They will allow worker who pay a fine and any back taxes, and work toward becoming a part of our country a chance to become legal.

On St. Patrick's day we celebrate the immigrant. We also remember that we are a nation built of immigrants.

So wear green and grab a Guiness... but right now there is something more you can do to celebrate your immigrant heritage.

This month in the Senate, immigration reform is being debated... whether we are going to treat today's immigrants living in the shadows with respect, or whether we will refuse to recognize their contributions and keep them in limbo.

Call your Senator today and tell them to support McCain-Kennedy. Your great grandparents (Irish or not) would be proud.


I still find it funny how you blur the line between legal and illegal immigration. There is a large difference between the two. If you ask the "gun-toting anti-immigrant vigilante groups" if they see a difference they will tell you yes, there is a huge difference. I don't think we should dispute legal immerigration but illegal immerigration should be stopped and corrected. Harsh penalities should be inacted.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Mar, 2006 10:57 am
The line is much blurrier than you admit on its own. There is not much difference between the two.

Since immigration laws were formed in the mid 1800s, immigrants have been breaking them. This includes Irish, Italian, German and Greeks. All of them were opposed by the anti-immigrant groups of the day.

But nonetheless immigrants both legal and illegal have made a huge contribution to our society. And, once they come no one can tell or even cares who came in legally come. Many Irish and Italian and German Americans descend from illegal immigrants.

The gun-toting vigilante groups haven't changed much either. Under the rhetoric trying to say they are against breaking the law, the real message is pretty clear.

The Minutemen are openly opposed to multi-culturalism-- the idea that society should embrace the different cultures that exist in a nation of immigrants. The fact that they criticize people for speaking Spanish should be obvious.

The other thing that is very thinly veiled is the links between the Minutemen (who as you state make a lame attempt to dress up as a legitmate political stance) and other groups like the KKK who are widely seen as racist. These groups all share members, goals and rhetoric.

The US is a nation of immigrants. Not "legal immigrants" but immigrants. If your ancestors came from a European country in the early 1900s there is a decent chance that they broke a law to get here.

Immigrants today are no different than immigrants of the past, they were vulnerable and did what they had to make a better life for there family.
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Mar, 2006 11:23 am
Frankly, we'd all be paying a much higher price for the chicken and produce we eat and the homes we live in if it weren't for those darned illegal immigrants. We might even have to [gasp!] mow our own lawns and prune our own shrubbery!

The dirty little secret of illegal immigration, after all, is that most of them probably wouldn't be here without the collusion of the various American individuals, industries and corporations that benefit-- and indeed, that couldn't, or wouldn't want to, operate without their hard work.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Mar, 2006 07:07 pm
The Irish Echo wrote:

Many Irish have returned to Ireland in recent years, a lot of them for thankfully positive economic reasons.

But many have also stuck it out in America despite their lack of status.

Why would they put themselves through such psychological and financial strain we wonder?

Perhaps it is because they see themselves as part of a country that, even as it struggles to deal with a huge influx of immigrants from many lands, still has enough of a friendliness and familiarity to it that it can never be seen as being somehow strange or foreign to newcomers from Ireland.

And that's the heart of it for thousands of undocumented Irish. When Tancredo, and others who think as he does on immigration, point their fingers outwards, beyond America's borders, they forget that some who they would see off have been here for so long that this country is now home to them.

With that in mind it is up to even immigration hardliners like the congressman from Colorado to get to grips with immigration reform in a sensible and realistic way.

Yes, some additional Irish will likely quit on their American dream in the days ahead.

But not all will. They are here to stay, to build and to contribute to a nation that would be unrecognizable if not for the contributions of those Irish who came here before them.


The Irish Echo
0 Replies
 
 

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