Immigrants are being demonized. In the words of our president they are “animals” from “s-t hole countries.” They are rapists, felons wanting nothing more than to sponge off hard-working Americans.
Today’s immigrants and refugees are no different from every white American’s ancestors. The Irish came here in the 1900’s fleeing famine and persecution in their home country. Similarly the Italian and German immigrants of that century. Jewish immigrants came from Russia and Central Europe, where their towns were being invaded by pogromists, lynch mobs who killed, raped and burned.
Professional people-doctors, nurses, scientists, engineers-can get into the U.S. fairly easily under present immigration laws. But ordinary people can’t. This means ordinary factory workers, shopkeepers, farmers, restaurant workers, truck drivers-people who support themselves and their families but who haven’t been lucky enough to get higher education or possess special skills.
Many refugees coming to the U.S. are fleeing unimaginable hardships and horrors. Their journeys are often fraught with danger. The ones who make it to the U.S. are only the most resourceful and lucky. There are thousands who don’t make it, and no one counts them.
I have been working with immigrants and refugees, and immigration lawyers, for years. I know from personal experience, from hearing their stories and seeing their scars, what they have endured. When Donald Trump says, “These aren’t people, these are animals,” it is eerily reminiscent of when the Nazis called Jews “subhumans.”
Anyone who is the child, or grandchild, or great-grandchild of immigrants-and this includes most white Americans-will know this is true: Immigrants work hard.
They take the jobs no one else wants. They strive to provide better lives for their children. As opposed to established Americans, they take nothing for granted. They appreciate the freedoms of our nation, and the safety it affords, compared to the places they came from.
The people seeking to come to the U.S. today are just the same as those from years past. They only come from different countries, and look a little different.
Arno Vosk MD
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom