A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, June 02, 2006

There Was A Time When Strangers Were Welcome Here….*

Dear Prospective Citizens,

Yes, this means you, hiding in the ditch along the southwest border while you wait for your smuggler's signal to dash into the United States. It has come to our attention that America’s open arms policy toward immigrants has been taken too seriously. Admittedly, in the past we have welcomed all comers regardless of their origin, their race, or their language. In fact, we embraced this tradition so much that we accepted a gift from France – back when France still liked us - which became an international symbol of hope and freedom for strangers coming to our shores. We were filled with pride as we read the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, you’re poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.”

Well, forget all that. It turns out that we were just kidding.

I don’t why immigration became an issue now. It’s not like it hasn’t been smoldering underneath the surface for years. It could be that someone in the Bush administration or the GOP-led Congress is concerned with their poll numbers, oh I mean, the immigration problem. We have dealt with this issue before, but apparently our efforts have not been good enough.

Congress is now hashing out a series of bills designed to address the problem. One extreme idea calls for every illegal immigrant – and those that helped him or her enter the country – go to jail. As I noted earlier, this idea isn’t practical. We would need more prisons built, which would require money, which would add to the national deficit.

The other extreme, endorsed by the President, calls for amnesty of all illegal aliens. This idea won’t fly either. Bush’s idea is a sweep-it-under-the-carpet-and-we’ll-work-out-the-details-later solution. Blanket forgiveness for all who came here illegally, to hell with those who lawfully applied for citizenship, and all businesses get to keep their cheap labor. Huh-uh!

Another proposal calls for a fence to be built along the southwest border to keep you from coming in illegally. Tensions are so high that I wouldn’t be surprised if someone proposes dismantling the Statue of Liberty as scrap metal to help pay for the new fence.

Oh yeah, I can see that now. We could replace Miss Liberty with a ninety-foot tall image of a snarling Lou Dobbs. The new inscription could read, “Enter at your own risk.”

The point of all this is to give you something to think about before you run into our country. Keep in mind there are many trigger happy volunteers massing at the borders who are eager to convince you to go back from whence you came. The days of the great land rushes are over. Those were the days when people would line up and, when a shot was fired in the air, everyone in line would run to settle lands in the west. Today’s shots will no doubt be aimed in a different direction.

I’m just using the term trigger happy to describe people who like shooting at anything or anybody. Just a friendly reminder, that’s all.

So, please keep all this mind as you prepare to walk, run, skip, jump, hop, or crawl across our border. Of course you can always become a citizen of the United States legally by filling out the necessary paperwork and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Then, one day, you’ll be granted American citizenship. This would be a proud day, a day which you won’t have to tell your grandchildren about, because they will already be here when you get your approval.

Did I mention the term trigger happy? I can’t emphasize that concept enough.

*The Immigrant, Neil Sedaka


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