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Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Driftwood Editorial Staff

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Immigration and immigration policy have always been hot-button issues of the American political climate, but rarely are they front and center of the national debate. However, this past year, immigration was perhaps the defining topic of the election cycle.

Not only was the ever-present debate regarding the advantage of allowing illegal immigrants to cross the border from Mexico discussed, but a seemingly new topic emerged as well: the fear of radical terrorists slipping in undetected amongst refugees was a belief that divided and continues to divide the nation.

Donald Trump and his cabinet have made it no secret: They have zero tolerance with illegal immigration and are serious about strictly limiting the immigration of citizens from countries deemed “too dangerous.”

 

In fact, our current attorney general is flat-out against any kind of immigration at all: a position many would consider to be both a morally and economically poor stance.

 

These arguments specifically target majority-Muslim countries like Syria and Iran, those that have communities many immigration-opponents consider anti-American in their beliefs and practices.

 

It is interesting: those who oppose these migrants do not see the mistakes of history being repeated over and over again ad-nauseum. The beauty of America is, after all, that we are a nation founded and sustained by immigrants. There is no singular American identity or ethnic background.

 

Not so long ago, it was those Irish immigrants (as well as Italian and Japanese communities) who were considered entirely un-American, and widely banned from local businesses and small towns. They were considered a threat simply because they weren’t Anglo-Saxon, the only way many considered an American could be.

 

Today, we embrace the Irish as quintessentially American citizens. We celebrate the culture and the people they brought to our nation. How so many people can directly descend from immigrants who once faced a world of discrimination and simultaneously refuse to acknowledge allowing modern day immigrants in from a war-torn country is a good thing that continues to baffle us.

 

Study after study has shown the children of immigrants are massively beneficial to the American economy. Shutting the door to this great country is not the answer.

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The student news site of the University of New Orleans
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free